Change to Housing Benefit for 25-34 year olds who live alone in private rented accommodation

The government intends to change the rules for 25-34 year olds living alone in private accommodation who claim Housing Benefit.

As a result of the changes maximum Housing Benefit will be restricted to the Shared Accommodation rate of Local Housing Allowance (LHA).

As the shared accommodation rate is the lowest rate of LHA, the maximum Housing Benefit available to these tenants will reduce significantly.

When will the change take effect?

For new claims for Housing Benefit where entitlement starts on or after January 1 2012 the change will normally take effect from the start of entitlement

Claims where entitlement starts before  January1 2012 will normally be affected from the anniversary of the claim.

How much housing benefit will I lose?

It is not possible to provide accurate information at this stage as LHA rates change on a monthly basis and the date the changes take effect differ from case to case. However we will write to all persons affected notifying them of the estimated reduction in their entitlement three months in advance of the date of effect.

In some cases the reduction in entitlement may be significant.

Therefore if you are:

  •       Aged between 25 and 34 and
  •       Live alone in private accommodation and
  •       Claim Housing Benefit or feel you may need to claim 

Phone the council’s dedicated Benefits contact centre on 020 7364 5000 and we will be able to provide more specific information concerning the date you are likely to be affected by these changes.