Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is a new way of working out Housing Benefit and aims to help people on a low income, who live in housing which is rented from a private landlord, pay their rent. The LHA rate that applies to you depends on the area in which you live and the number of bedrooms your household needs. It is the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you may be entitled to. The actual Housing Benefit paid to you depends on your income, capital and household circumstances.
Before you start looking for a property to rent, find out the Local Housing Allowance rate which applies to you, so that you can then choose a place that suits you. To find out how much the current Local Housing Allowance rate is for different sizes of properties in your area, contact the Council or look at their website (below).
Before you decide to rent a property, you should find out how much of its rent will be included in your Housing Benefit calculation; this known as a pre-tenancy determination. It is very important that anyone, who may be relying on Housing Benefit to pay their rent, contact the Council’s Housing Benefit advisers before they accept the tenancy. The Council can carry out a pre-tenancy determination (PTD) and work out whether you may be entitled to housing or Council Tax benefit.
Call The Council’s Freephone number for advice, information or guidance on housing benefit: Freephone 0800 393811
Look at the Finance pages on the Council’s website to find out your Local Allowance Rate (LHA), and for more information on the LHA and housing benefit (including pre-tenancy determination forms for you to complete and send to the Council).
The Highland Council also has leaflets which can help you work out whether you may be able to get housing or other benefits. These are available on the Council’s website or in Council offices. Visit your local Council Service Point.
Citizens’ Advice or other advice agencies can also give you advice on housing benefit and pre-tenancy determinations.
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