Help paying your rent – Local Housing Allowance

Universal Credit

If you claim Universal Credit any help you are eligible for towards your rent costs will be paid within your Universal Credit payment.

However if you :

  • Live in supported accommodation
  • Have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Council

then this does not apply and you will need to make a claim for Housing Benefit.

You can claim Housing Benefit online here

If in doubt please do not hesitate to contact us

Help to pay your rent

If you do not receive help towards your rent within a Universal Credit claim there are 2 other ways that you can get help if you are on a low income :

  • Local Housing Allowance (Housing Benefit) - for people that are renting from a private landlord
  • Housing Benefit – This is for people that rent from a housing association, rent a caravan or houseboat, or have a tenancy which began before 1989

Local Housing Allowance is help given to people on a low income to reduce the amount of rent they have to pay to their landlord if they are renting from a private landlord.

Local Housing Allowance is based on the size of your household and the area in which you live.

You can use online calculators to work out if you can apply for benefits and how much you might be able to get.

The amount of Local Housing Allowance you receive depends on

  • Who lives with you
  • Which area you live in
  • How much money you have coming in
  • What savings you have
  • The number of rooms you need

It is not based on the rent that your landlord is charging for your property.

We will work out if you should receive Local Housing Allowance and if so how much, when you make your claim.

Housing Benefit / Local Housing Allowance cannot normally be paid if you:

  • Live with and pay rent to a close relative
  • Used to live with your landlord as a member of their family
  • Are renting a home that you used to share with your ex-partner
  • Are responsible for your landlord’s child
  • Used to own the property you now rent
  • Live in the home as part of your job
  • Live in a care home
  • Are a full time student

You can claim Local Housing Allowance online here

Receiving your Local Housing Allowance

In most cases payment of Local Housing Allowance will be made direct to you and it will be your responsibility to use it to pay your rent to your landlord at the right time.

Provide us with your bank details for housing benefit payments if you are renting a property (PDF, 166KB).

If you do not already have a bank account please make arrangements to open one. If you are unable to open a current account due to your credit history you can open a basic bank account.

We cannot pay into Post Office accounts or Building Society accounts.

Alternatively payment will be paid by cheque every 4 weeks.

For some tenants who find managing their finances difficult we can decide to make payments directly to your landlord. We may also do this if we are told that you are 8 or more weeks behind with your rent. You can request that Local Housing Allowance is paid directly to your landlord (PDF, 39KB). Read more about payments direct to your landlord in our Safeguards Policy (PDF, 200KB).

Whilst you are receiving Local Housing allowance you must tell us about any changes in your circumstances which may affect your claim.

When payments are made

Payments are made directly to tenants every 2 weeks in arrears, and to Landlords every 4 weeks in arrears.

Payments to tenants by cheque are paid every 4 weeks in arrears.

Working out your Local Housing Allowance

For working out Local Housing Allowance, Harborough is divided into 3 areas: Rugby and East; Leicester; and Northants and Central. The postcode of your property is used to work out which area you live in. Find out what area your property is in. The Local Housing Allowance rate is not affected by how much rent you pay.

It is also worked out by how many bedrooms you need based on who lives with you. One bedroom is allowed for:

  • Every adult couple
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over
  • Any 2 children regardless of sex aged under age 10
  • Any 2 children of the same sex aged under 16
  • Any other child

One additional room is also allowed for the following circumstances :

  • If you are an approved foster carer, even if you do not currently have a foster child placed with you, as long as you have fostered a child before, or have become an approved foster carer within the last 12 months 
  • If your adult child who normally lives with you is in the armed forces but is deployed away from home on operations 

We may also be able to award one extra room if certain criteria is met for the following circumstances :

  • If you are disabled and have a partner living with you, or a disabled child or adult lives with you
  • If a carer stays overnight regularly to look after either yourself or someone living in your household

Please contact us for further advice.

The room rate is capped to a maximum of 4.

Find out your Local Housing Allowance rate.

You can make an appeal if you disagree with our decision on your Local Housing Allowance.

Local Housing Allowance rates are reviewed every April by the Valuation Office Agency


 Local Housing Allowance Rates effective from April 2024 to March 2025

Area Shared Accommodation 1 Bedroom 2 Bedrooms 3 Bedrooms 4 Bedrooms



£124.27 £149.59 £178.36 £241.64

Northants Central


£126.58 £159.95 £182.96 £228.99

Rugby & East


£136.93 £166.85 £195.62 £276.16


A single person aged under 35 years who does not have anyone living with them (does not live with a partner or dependant children) is entitled to the shared accommodation rate unless one of the exceptions listed below apply.

The shared accommodation rate is based on properties where the tenant has the exclusive use of only 1 bedroom and they share the use of 1 or more of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, any room suitable for living in.


  • You are severely disabled (you receive disability living allowance care at the middle or high rate, or receive personal independence daily living payment)
  • You are a care leaver aged under 25 (you have been in Local Authority care for 13 weeks or more since you were aged 14 and ended after you became 16)
  • You need an extra bedroom for a carer who provides regular overnight care, but who doesn’t normally live with you
  • You live in certain supported housing (provided by a housing association, county council, registered charity or voluntary organisation)
  • You have lived in homeless hostels for 3 months or more and whilst you were there you accepted support for rehabilitation or resettlement in the community
  • You are 25 or over, but under 35, and are an ex -offender managed under a level 2 or 3 multi-agency public protection agreement
  • You are a victim of domestic abuse
  • You are a victim of modern slavery

Backdating your claim

Read here for information on backdating your claim for Local Housing Allowance.

Temporary absence

Read here to find out if you may be eligible to continue claiming during a period of temporary absence.

Overlapping benefit for two homes

Read here to find out if you may be eligible to claim benefit on two homes