The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) limits the amount of housing benefit which tenants in the private sector can claim to help pay their rent.

From 1 April 2018, tenants under 35 years of age with no children will only be eligible for the ‘shared accommodation rate’ set under the LHA, area-by-area. This limits most tenants under 35, if they don’t have children, to have enough housing benefit to cover a room in a shared house. This applies to anyone who has signed their tenancy agreement from 1 April 2016 onwards.

The rate is meant to be set at the lowest third of properties on the local rental market.

This would not be enough to cover social or affordable rent for a Council or Housing Association home.

There are a number of exemptions to the shared accommodation rate in the private sector, but the government has not yet said if the same rules will apply to social sector homes.