Information for landlords

Who can get Local Housing Allowance?

Private tenants who live in the Coventry area, have a low income and pay rent for a property to a private landlord may be able to claim Local Housing Allowance (LHA) through a Housing Benefit claim, or as part of their Universal Credit claim whichever is appropriate.

Tenants cannot claim if they have savings of over £16,000, unless they receive the guarantee credit of pension credit. There are special rules for full time students and people who have lived abroad.

How much Local Housing Allowance will my tenant get?

The LHA amount is based on the number of bedrooms the household needs, not the number of rooms in the property. The LHA rates are set each April by the government.

How many bedrooms are allowed?

Tenants are allowed one bedroom for:

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

Bedroom allowance example

Household

Bedrooms

Family A - Couple with one child

2

Family B - Single parent with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 8

2

Family C - Couple with a girl aged 6 and a boy aged 12

3

Family D - Single parent with a boy age 17 and boy age 12

3

Family E - Couple with girls age 17 and 14 and boy age 9

4

Family B for example are allowed two bedrooms. If they rent a property with three bedrooms, their benefit will still be worked out using the two bedroom Housing Benefit.

Single people aged 35 years and over and couples with no children

Single people aged 35 years and over or a couple with no children can get the one bedroom LHA rate but only if they rent a property that has its own bathroom/toilet and kitchen. If the property is not self contained they will be entitled to the shared accommodation LHA rate only.

Single people under 35

A single person under 35 will get the shared rate of LHA no matter what size of property they rent.

Formerly homeless

Single tenants aged between 25 and 34 who have been homeless at any time for more than three months and who live in self contained accommodation may be able to get the one bedroom LHA rate - tenants who think that this may apply to them should contact us.

Single people leaving care and those who are severely disabled

Single care leavers under 22 and people who are severely disabled will get the one bedroom self contained rate, regardless of the type of accommodation occupied.

Joint tenants

Joint tenants are people who are not a couple but share a property and are named on the tenancy agreement. Joint tenants will get the LHA rate for their own household not including the family of the other joint tenants.

Payments of Housing Benefit

For tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit from the Council, payments will normally be made direct to the tenant every two weeks in arrears.

Tenants must make arrangements with you how to pay the rent. Most people find that the best way is for us to pay the Housing Benefit directly into their bank or building society account. They can then set up a standing order or direct debit to pay you every four weeks.

Safeguards

Some people may have difficulty getting the Housing Benefit and paying their rent. Payments of Housing Benefit 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 eight weeks in arrears with their rent.

If your tenant owes you more than eight weeks worth of rent or you feel that your tenant will not pay your rent you must provide either a written statement telling us how the arrears have built up or a letter explaining why you believe that your tenant will not pay their rent.

We will also make payment direct to the landlord where this will help the customer in securing or retaining a tenancy. This is intended to provide landlords with an incentive to reduce rents to a level that is affordable to customers. If your tenant can no longer meet the agreed rent because of the government cuts to Housing Benefit and you agree to reduce the rent to a level that your tenant can afford in return for direct payment of Housing Benefit let us know. 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.

Benefits service

Address: Broadgate House
Customer Service Centre
Broadgate
Coventry
CV1 1FS

Telephone: 024 7683 1800