Understanding Local Housing Allowances rates and broad rental market areas
How Local Housing Allowances (LHA) rates are calculated and where to find your LHA rate.
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Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are used to calculate Housing Benefit for tenants renting from private landlords. LHA rates relate to the area in which you make your claim. These areas are called broad rental market areas (BRMA). A BRMA is where a person could reasonably be expected to live taking into account access to facilities and services.
LHA rates are based on private market rents being paid in the BRMA which can differ from advertised rents. Valuation Office Agency (VOA) Rent Officers collect the rental information from letting agents, landlords and tenants.
How Local Housing Allowance rates are calculated
The Rent Officer maintains rental information for each category of LHA rates. These are the list of rents. Mathematical calculations are applied to the list of rents to determine the LHA rate which is set as the lower of:
- the 30th percentile on a list of rents in the broad rental market area
- the existing LHA
You can find the LHA rates on LHA-Direct by searching by postcode or local authority area. BRMA maps and graphs are included in the search results.
VOA Rent Officers: public
Network Support Office - Housing Allowances
Phone 03000 502502
For queries regarding fair rents, Local Housing Allowance rates, and to contact a Rent Officer.
VOA Rent Officers: local authorities
- Find your LHA rate at LHA-Direct
- LHA bedroom calculator
- LHA log in for local authorities
- Private rental markets statistics
- Private rental markets maps