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.

Applies to England


Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) Review Protocol

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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.

The LHA rates for 2016 are available to view prior to their inclusion on LHA Direct.

View tables of the April 2015 LHA rates.

View tables of the April 2014 LHA rates.


VOA Rent Officers: public

Valuation Office Agency

Due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 we're currently unable to accept hard copy post.

For queries regarding fair rents, Local Housing Allowance rates, and to contact a Rent Officer, please email:

VOA Rent Officers: local authorities

More information

National Archives

Published 1 June 2013
Last updated 29 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated in conjunction with the publication of "Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates applicable from April 2016 – March 2017"

  2. First published.