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Information for Landlords

If your tenant claims Housing Benefit it will be calculated using Local Allowance rates. This page tells you what the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are and how they can be paid. It also lets you know what you must do if your tenant has a change in circumstances.
 
Who can get Local Housing Allowance?
Private tenants who live in the Leeds area, have a low income and pay rent for a property to a private landlord may be able to claim LHA. Tenants cannot claim if they have savings over £16,000, unless they receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit. There are also special rules for full time students and people who have lived abroad.
 
What are the Local Housing Allowance rates for Leeds ?
Please see the Documents section for current rates.

Frequently asked questions

How is the Local Housing Allowance calculated?

​It is worked out by the number of people in their household and the number of bedrooms they need.
 
They are allowed one bedroom for:

  • each adult couple
  • any other adult (aged 16 or over)
  • any two children of the same sex under 16
  • any two children under 10
  • or for any other child

The maximum rate is 4 bedrooms

For example:
 
A couple with one child would get the 2 bedroom rate

A single parent with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 8 would get the 2 bedroom rate
 
A couple with girls age 17 and 14 and boy age 9 would get the 4 bedroom rate.

What if my tenant is single and over the age of 35 ?

Single people aged 35 years and over or a couple with no children can get the 1 bedroom rate but only if they rent a property that is self- contained. This means that the accommodation has its own bathroom / toilet and kitchen.
 
They could also get the 1 bedroom rate if they have 2 rooms for living and sleeping in but share the kitchen and/or bathroom with others.
 
If the property is not self- contained and they don't have 2 rooms for living and sleeping in they will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate of LHA only.

What if my tenants are a couple with no children?

Couples with no children get  the 1 bedroom rate but only if they rent a property that is self- contained. This means that the accommodation has its own bathroom / toilet and kitchen.
 
They could also get the 1 bedroom rate if they have 2 rooms for living and sleeping in but share the kitchen and/or bathroom with others.
 
If the property is not self- contained and they don't have 2 rooms for living and sleeping in they will be entitled to the shared accommodation rate of LHA only.

What if my tenant is single and under the age of 35?

A single person under 35 who has no children will normally get the shared rate of LHA no matter what size of property they rent. For details of the shared rates see the Documents section on this page.
 
Single people aged between 25 and 34 who have been homeless at any time for more than 3 months and who live in self contained accommodation may be able to get the 1 bedroom rate.
 
Single Foster Carers under 35 may be able to get the 1 bedroom rate.
 
Single care leavers under 22 and people who are severely disabled will get the 1 bedroom self contained rate, regardless of the type of accommodation occupied.
 
Tenants who think that any of these situations may apply to them should contact us

Does everyone get the full amount?

No, the maximum that is paid is the LHA rate, but if the rent is less than the LHA, the maximum  we will pay will be the rent charged. For example if the LHA was £98.08 and the rent was £80 the most that would be paid would be £80. The household income is also taken into account.
 
If your tenant receives more than £500 a week in benefits (£350 if they are single) your tenant's benefit may be reduced because of the benefit cap. To find out more about the benefit cap and other welfare benefit changes see Related Pages.
 
Tenants can use the Benefits Calculator to work out how much they can get.

How is Local Housing Allowance paid?

The first payment on a new claim is normally made by cheque payable to the landlord and sent to the tenant’s address. This encourages the tenant to present the cheque to the landlord preventing any arrears.
 
If a tenant is already getting LHA and changes their address, and the first payment covers only the usual four weekly payment, then it will normally be sent to the tenant.  However, if the payment is for an amount greater than four weeks we may pay the first payment to the landlord.
 
Tenants must arrange with you how they will pay their rent. Most people find that the best way is for us to pay the LHA directly into their bank or building society account or credit union account.They can then set up a standing order or direct debit to pay you every four weeks.

Can my tenant’s payments come directly to me?

Payments will normally be made direct to the tenant.
Payments of local housing allowance can be made direct to a landlord if:

  • we consider that a tenant is unlikely to pay their rent
  • we think that a tenant cannot handle their own affairs
  •  where a tenant is more than 8 weeks in arrears with their rent. 

If any of these apply you must provide a written statement detailing how the arrears have built up or explaining why you believe your tenant will not pay their rent.

Payments to landlords can only be made four weekly in arrears. We are not able to pay landlords fortnightly.

If I reduce the rent can payments come directly to me?

We encourage landlords to reduce rents where this will help customers to secure or retain a tenancy when their benefit does not cover their rent.
 
We will consider paying local housing allowance direct to you if you reduce the rent because your tenant can no longer meet the agreed rent or a new tenant cannot afford the rent.
 
Your tenant must agree to direct payment and you must have reduced the rent to a level that your tenant can afford.

Payments to landlords can only be made four weekly in arrears. We are not able to pay landlords fortnightly.

View your tenants payments online

If you are receiving direct payments and you want to check your next payment, simply use our Top tasks to view your tenant's housing benefit online. You will need your creditor reference to register for this service.
 
More information about direct payments is available in the Information for landlords document in the Documents section on this page.

Reporting a change in your tenant's circumstances (direct payments only)

If you receive Housing Benefit on behalf of your tenant you have a duty to tell us of any changes in your tenant's circumstances that you become aware of which may affect the amount of Housing Benefit your tenant is entitled to.
 
Some examples of changes you need to tell us about include the amount of rent that you charge your tenant or if your tenant gives you notice to terminate their tenancy or leaves your property.
 
If you are not sure if the change will affect the amount of Housing Benefit, tell us anyway and we will make the decision. Should a change in your tenant's circumstances result in an overpayment of Housing Benefit, the overpayment may be recoverable from you because you received the payments.
 
Please use the contact details on this page to tell us of a tenant's change in circumstances.