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Gosport Borough Council

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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What is Local Housing Allowance?

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) are the rates used to work out Housing Benefit for tenants in private rented accommodation. The amounts used are flat-rate allowances based on the size of the tenant’s household and the area in which they rent their property to decide the amount of benefit they will receive.


The LHA amount is not directly related to the rent that is charged so if your rent is lower than the LHA rate, you will only be entitled to your rent, not more. If your rent is higher than the LHA rate, it is your responsibility to make up any shortfall.


Other circumstances, such as the money that the tenant has coming in or other people living in the household, will still affect the amount of benefit paid so the tenant may not always receive the full rate of LHA. Note that LHA rates do not affect tenants of the Council or a Housing Association.


 The amounts are based on the rents that most people pay in the area, and are valid from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

 

Type of accommodation

Weekly local housing allowance

 Shared

 £69.04

 One bedroom property

 £116.53

 Two bedroom property

 £144.36

 Three bedroom property

 £172.60

 Four bedroom property

 £240.00


LHA is based on:

 

  • what area you live in

  • who lives with you

  • what money you have coming in

  • what savings you have

   

Local Housing Allowance is fairer

Tenants with similar circumstances living in the same area will get the same amount of LHA. LHA is based on the area you live in and how many people live with you and not the amount of rent that you pay.

 If the number of people living in your household changes, the amount of LHA you get may change.

 

Local Housing Allowance is clearer

If you move within the same area you will usually get the same amount of LHA.

By knowing how much LHA you are entitled to before you look for a new place to live, it is easier for you to decide what type of property you can afford.

 

Paying your rent

LHA is usually paid to you and not to your landlord. You are responsible for paying your rent to your landlord.

You must agree with your landlord about how and when you will pay your rent. Being responsible for paying your rent to your landlord gives you greater opportunity to negotiate with your landlord about how much rent you pay.

 

We will pay your benefit straight into your bank account. If you do not already have one, you will need to open a bank account. We have produced a leaflet on basic bank accounts that you may be able to open. If you have a bank account there are a number of ways you can pay the rent to your landlord. You can:

 

  • set up a standing order or a direct debit

  • pay by cheque if you have a chequebook; or

  • pay your landlord with cash that you have withdrawn from the bank.

 

You should talk to your landlord about how he or she would prefer you to pay the rent.

You can get advice about opening and using a bank account from any bank or building society. We have a list of local banks and building societies in our area, ask us for a leaflet. You can also get advice from organisations such as Citizens Advice.

 

What happens if you don’t pay your rent?

If you do not pay your rent, your landlord can ask the courts to evict you from your home.

Eviction means that:

 

  • you will lose your home

  • you may  have difficulty finding new accommodation, as your landlord is unlikely to give you a reference

  • you will still have to pay the landlord the money you owe and possibly extra money to cover any court costs

  • an application for re-housing could be affected as you may be considered to have made yourself intentionally homeless

 

Can my landlord increase my rent?

Your landlord can increase your rent at any time as long as you agree to the increase. If you do not agree with the increase you should get advice from a Solicitor, Law Centre, Citizens Advice or Local Authority Housing Advice Centre.

 

Your landlord must give you 28 days notice in writing that he or she is going to increase your rent.

 

You can get advice from:

Housing Advice- Gosport Council Town Hall High Street Gosport PO12 1EB, or look at our website www.gosport.gov.uk

 

Even if your landlord increases your rent you may only get the same amount of Local Housing Allowance.

 

What if I have problems paying my rent to the landlord?

In special cases we may be able to pay your rent to your landlord. If you are worried about managing your money, or have had problems in the past, let us know and we can help.

 

What if my circumstances change?

 

If you move to a new address or other circumstances change, you need to tell us straight away.

 

Where can I get more information?

 

  • phone the Housing Benefit department on 02392 545325

  • visit the Housing Benefit department at Town Hall High Street Gosport PO12 1EB

  • look on our website www.gosport.gov.uk

  • email us at benefits@gosport.gov.uk

  • visit www.direct.gov.uk

 

Alternatively you can get advice from:

 

  • Citizens Advice -Gosport CAB, Martin Snape House, Pavilion Way, Gosport PO12 1GE. Telephone 08444 77 22 32  www.gosportcab.org.uk