Changes to Local Housing Allowance
There are important changes to Local Housing Allowance from April 1, which affect entitlement for tenants who rent from private landlords.
The changes will affect tenants of private landlords whose housing benefit entitlement is based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
From April 2011, as part of the Government’s programme of welfare reform, LHA levels will reduce and as a result of this, tenants will get less Housing Benefit.
The changes will affect private tenants who:
- Make a new claim for housing benefit, if entitlement starts on or after April 1, or
- Change address on or after April 1, or
- Has a change in the household, (someone moving in or moving out) on or after April 1.
Private tenants who claimed housing benefit before April 2011 and continue to claim after April will not be affected by the changes immediately. Unless they change address, or experience a break in entitlement or the number of people living with them changes, housing benefit entitlement will continue to be based on the pre-April LHA rate until 9 months following the anniversary of their claim.
We will write to existing claimants to inform them of the anniversary of their claim. This should enable them to work out when they are likely to be affected by the changes.
The monthly LHA rates published from April 2011 onwards will reflect the changes. New claimants and existing claimant who are considering moving to another private tenancy within Tower Hamlets should consider that the LHA rates represent the maximum housing benefit they will get.
If you have any concerns about how these changes will affect your Housing Benefit, we are here to help you. You can contact the Council’s Benefit Service on 0207 364 5001.
The Housing Options Service has also set up a Welfare Reform Project team who are communicating with landlords, letting agents and existing LHA claimants to prevent homelessness, sustain tenancies and assist with rent negotiations. We are able to advise on relocation, have access to Housing Advisors and Money Advisors and understand the borough's housing situation.
We have included some links providing in-depth information about the LHA changes and their impact, and have provided our contact details if you would like more information on how the changes will affect your Housing Options.
Please read the following for more information:
Housing Options Service
Albert Jacob House
62 Roman Road
Tel: 020 7364 1413 (for tenants) or 020 7364 1416 (for landlords and letting agents)
Open: Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm
Access: Wheelchair access. Hearing loop in reception
Nearest tube station: Bethnal Green
Nearest bus routes: 8, D6 (Roman Road), 309 (Globe Road), 106, 254 (Cambridge Heath Road)