Local Housing Allowance rates
The Rent Service Scotland has defined the broad market rental area (BRMA) and has set a single area for Forth Valley that includes Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannan.
There is a single set of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates that applies to any tenants living in this area.
Once they set the BRMAs, the Rent Service Scotland then set the LHA rates, which are currently standard rates based on the average rents for properties of a given size.
From 01 April 2011, the method of calculating the LHA rate will change. This will result in the rates going down. There will be Transitional Protection for existing claimants for a maximum period of 9 months.
The LHA rates are based on the number of bedrooms; this is because the size criteria sets out the number of bedrooms a claimant is deemed to need for their household.
Where a person falls under the LHA scheme, their maximum rent is the LHA rate that they are entitled to. In most cases, the maximum rent becomes the claimant's eligible rent and is the figure we use to calculate their Housing Benefit (HB) award.
The LHA rate that applies is the rate that is in force at the date of claim.
We review the LHA rate used to calculate benefit annually, on the anniversary date of the claim or earlier if there is a relevant change in the claimant's household circumstances eg change of address or change in number of occupiers.
The Rent Service Scotland gives us the LHA rates for all property sizes (up to four bedrooms)* annually in March. The current rates are available on our LHA rates page, or by calling the Private Sector Benefit Team.
*From 01 April 2011, if a person claims LHA for a property with more than four bedrooms, the LHA rate we use to assess benefit will be capped at the four bedroom rate.
A claimant or landlord cannot appeal against the LHA rates set by the Rent Service Scotland.
[Back to the top]
There are three steps to the calculation:
establish how many bedrooms you are entitled to and which LHA rate will apply
check the LHA rates for the Falkirk area, which can be viewed on the LHA rates page
find out if you are entitled to the full amount of benefit
The amount of benefit you can get may be affected by the following:
if there is anyone living with you who we will make a non-dependant deduction for
if you are a joint tenant
You must make a claim for Housing Benefit (LHA) in the normal manner. Contact us for a form.
[Back to the top]