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Local housing allowance

Local housing allowance (LHA) is the way we work out and pay housing benefit for people who rent from a private landlord.  It’s based on how many people live in your household, where you live, your income and your savings.

Does LHA affect me?

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Since 7 April 2008, all private tenant claims are treated as a claim for local housing allowance unless:

  • You rent your property from Cornwall Housing
  • You rent your property from a housing association
  • You have a tenancy that started before 15 January 1989
  • Your rent has been registered with the rent officer as a fair rent
  • You live in a caravan, mobile home or houseboat
  • Your accommodation is provided by a council, housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation and you are provided with care, support or supervision
  • You live in accommodation where your landlord provides some or all of your meals

If you’re in one of these groups, your housing benefit will continue to be calculated under the old rules. 

Your LHA depends on how many bedrooms your household needs.  The LHA bedroom calculator shows how the amount of housing benefit you’re entitled to is worked out.

The LHA rate is based on one bedroom for:

  • Every adult couple or single tenant aged 35 or over
  • Any other adult aged 16 or over (this includes boarders or sub-tenants)
  • Any two children of the same sex
  • Any two children, regardless of sex, under the age of 10
  • Any other child

There is also a rate for a room in shared accommodation, which applies to single people under 35.

LHA is only paid for up to four bedrooms.  If your property has more than four bedrooms, you won’t get LHA for the extra bedrooms.

The current rates for Cornwall are shown below. These are updated in April each year.  There are different rates for different areas. You can use the LHA postcode finder to check which area your property is in.

Local Housing Allowance rates have recently been increased from the previously published April 2020 figures in response to the Covid-19 crisis.  You do not need to contact the Council and ask for the new rates to be applied, this will be done automatically as soon as possible after 1 April 2020.    

Area Name1 Bed Shared1 Bed Self Contained2 Beds3 Beds4 Beds
Kernow West £80.97 £113.92 £143.84 £169.15 £212.88
Plymouth £73.50 £103.56 £134.63 £159.95 £195.62
North Cornwall and Devon Borders £70.00 £97.81 £123.12 £149.59 £184.11


If your LHA is less than your rent, you will have to make up the difference.  If you need extra help to pay your rent, you may be able to apply for a discretionary housing payment