Housing Benefit for private tenants (Local Housing Allowance)


  1. Overview
  2. When existing housing benefit rules apply
  3. How it is worked out
  4. Local housing allowance rates
  5. How it is paid


Local Housing Allowance is help with the cost of rent and affects private tenants who:

  • Move into private rented accommodation on or after 7 April 2008
  • Make a new claim for housing benefit on or after 7 April 2008
  • Have a break of at least a week in housing benefit

When existing housing benefit rules apply

Current Housing Benefit rules will still apply to you if you fall under the following categories:

  • Your tenancy started before 1989
  • You rent from a registered social landlord (housing association)
  • You rent from South Tyneside Homes
  • You live in supported housing provided by certain landlords or charities
  • You live in a caravan, houseboat or hostel
  • Your tenancy includes an amount of board

How it is worked out

The amount that you're entitled to depends on:

  • The area you live in
  • Who lives with you
  • The number of bedrooms you and your family need
  • Any savings or money you may have coming in

Local Housing Allowance rates

Number of bedroomsWeekly amount (£)
Shared accommodation87.76
1 bedroom112.77
2 bedrooms126.58
3 bedrooms149.59
4 bedrooms212.88

There are different rates for properties in Sunderland. If your postcode begins with SR6, NE35 or NE36 please contact the Benefits Office on 0191 424 4333 to confirm the Local Housing Allowance rate.

The rates for other areas, including Wearside, can be found at GOV.UK: Local Housing Allowance.

How it is paid

Local Housing Allowance is usually paid to you and not to your landlord. However, we will pay your landlord directly under special circumstances.

Once your Local Housing Allowance has been calculated, it will last for one year unless your circumstances change and a review is needed.