What are the LHA rates?

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are used to calculate housing benefit for tenants renting from private landlords. They do not apply to Council or Housing Association rents

The LHA rates from April 2020 and April 2021

Note: The April 2021 LHA rates for the Milton Keynes area are the same as the April 2020 rates.

Number of bedrooms LHA rate £ per week LHA rate £ per month
Shared room 70.00 303.33
1 bedroom 149.59 648.22
2 bedrooms 189.86 822.73
3 bedrooms 224.38 972.31
4 bedrooms 299.18


The LHA rates from April 2019

Number of bedrooms LHA rate £ per week LHA rate £ per month
Shared room 69.81 302.51
1 bedroom 128.57 557.14
2 bedrooms 160.73 696.50
3 bedrooms 191.01 827.71
4 bedrooms 244.37


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How many bedrooms am I entitled to?

How many bedrooms you need is based on how many people you have living with you. We do not count other rooms such as a living room, kitchen or bathroom.

The number of bedrooms you need is then used to work out the level of Local Housing Allowance to be used in the calculation of your housing benefit.

You are entitled to one bedroom for:

  • every adult couple (married or unmarried)
  • any other adult aged 16 or over
  • disabled child who cannot share a bedroom
  • one or more foster children
  • two children of the same sex aged under 16
  • two children who are under 10 regardless of their sex
  • any other child
  • a carer (or group of carers) providing overnight care

From 1 April 2017 an extra bedroom can be awarded to disabled couples who cannot share a room and to disabled children or non-dependants who need an overnight carer. 

Couples who cannot sleep in same room due to disability

From 1 April 2017, an extra bedroom can be allowed if one or both of a couple have a disability that means they are unable to share and one member of the couple is in receipt of:

  • the middle or higher rate care component of DLA
  • higher rate AA
  • the daily living component of PIP; or
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP).

We will need to know why the couple cannot share. This may be due to insufficient room for 2 single beds because of medical equipment taking up space or may be due to the extent and regularity of disturbance to sleep.

Disabled children

To qualify for the extra bedroom for a disabled child, the home must actually have the extra bedroom and the child must be:

  • entitled to the care component of disability living allowance at the highest or middle rate; and
  • because of their disability, it would not be reasonable for them to share a bedroom.

When deciding whether it is reasonable to expect the child to share a room we will need to know the nature and frequency of care required during the night, and the extent and regularity of the disturbance to the sleep of the child who would normally be required to share the bedroom. Medical evidence will be required.

Foster children

A foster child includes:

  • a child placed with the claimant or his partner by a local authority under section 23(2)(a) of the Children Act 1989 or by a voluntary organisation under section 59(1)(a) of that Act.
  • a child placed, with the claimant or his partner prior to adoption; or
  • a child placed for adoption with the claimant or his partner in accordance with the Adoption and Children Act 2002. 


An extra room can be allowed where the claimant or their partner (or both) needs overnight care and that care is provided by one or more people who normally live somewhere else (known as a non-resident carer).

Housing Benefit for the extra room can only be awarded if evidence is provided that the non-resident carer is:

  • actually engaged in providing overnight care
  • regularly staying overnight in your home for that purpose; and
  • provided with the use of a bedroom in your home that is not used by the people who normally live there.

The form below will help you with providing the required evidence.

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What If I have more than 4 bedrooms?

From 1 April 2011, anyone who makes a new claim for LHA or who changes their address and was previously allowed more than 4 bedrooms, will have their benefit restricted to the 4 bedroom rate.

Are there any exceptions to these rules?

  • A single person under 35, living alone, will  receive the shared room rate regardless of the property they occupy. There are some exceptions to this for:
    • care leavers who are under 22 years old,
    • certain severely disabled people,
    • people aged 25 or over, who have been in a homeless hostel for 3 months,
    • certain (MAPPA) ex-offenders, 
    • qualifying foster parents.   
  • If you claim Housing Benefit you can only get it for yourself and your family. If you have an adult living with you, on a non-commercial basis, your benefit may be reduced.
  • If you are a joint tenant this may affect the Housing Benefit you can get. For more information please contact us.

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Who sets the Local Housing Allowance?

Rent Officers at the Valuation Office Agency provide Local Authorities with the LHA rates, which range from a room in a shared household up to properties with a maximum of four bedrooms.

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What are the LHA rates based on?

LHA rates are derived from twelve months worth of lettings information, for the Milton Keynes area, collected up to the end of September the year before they become effective. LHA rates are based on the 30th percentile of the lettings information.

More information can be found on the Gov.UK website.

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Why is it difficult to find a property to rent at these figures?

From April 2014 to 31 March 2020 the government restricted the increases in LHA rates. LHA rates were set at the lower of the current 30th percentile or the previous LHA rate up-rated by 1% whichever is the lower. However LHA rates that have diverged the most from market levels will be increased by up to 4%. As rents in Milton Keynes have generally increased by more than 1%, until 1 April 2020, the LHA rates were actually lower than the 30th percentile, which means the number of properties available at the LHA rate is low. 

From 1 April 2020, as part of the emergency Covid-19 measures announced by the Government, the LHA rates were increased to the 30th percentile figure, which should mean that more properties in Milton Keynes are available at the LHA rate. These rates will not be increased from 1 April 2021, which means that the LHA rate for properties with less than 4 bedrooms is now below the 30th percentile.  

What is the 30th Percentile?

The LHA rate is a standard rate calculated by reference to the 30th percentile value from a range of rents for properties of a given size in the area. For example, if a list contains 100 rents the rent at position 30 would be the rent at the 30th percentile. This means that around one in three properties in the area will be at or below the 30th percentile

More information

More information on LHA rates, what they are and how they are calculated can be found on the Gov.uk website. 

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Last Updated: 28 September 2021