Housing Benefit and the Local Housing Allowance
If you are renting a property or room from a private landlord (excluding Housing Association tenants), changing address or making a new housing benefit claim and are not eligible to receive housing costs within Universal Credit, you will have your benefit calculated using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA).
Your housing benefit entitlement is calculated according to where you live and who lives with you. Mole Valley has two main Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMA); Crawley and Reigate/Walton. A small number of properties can also be found in the Guildford BRMA. By entering a postcode you can check which BRMA a property is located in LHA Post Code Search.
LHA rates are set for different types of accommodation in each area. The rates range from a single room in a shared house up to properties with four bedrooms. The rate is based on how many bedrooms are required for the number of people living in the property. It allows one bedroom for:
- every adult couple
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children of the same sex aged under 16
- any two children regardless of sex aged under 10
- any other child
If you are single and under 35 years old you will only be entitled to the lower rate for housing benefit for a room in shared accommodation in the area that you live. You can use the Bedroom Entitlement Calculator to find out how many rooms you require.
The Rent Service sets LHA rates which are reviewed annually. These rates for the Mole Valley area can be found by visiting the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website (see 'Internet Links' for the financial year required).
Please note that if you are working age Universal Credit will provide help with your housing costs.
Payment will normally be sent to you, as the tenant, directly into your bank account. It is your responsibility to pay the landlord. You can find out more on the Basic Bank Accounts website.
If you or a representative are worried about managing your money, MVDC may be able to pay your benefit to your landlord. You can find out more by viewing the 'Safeguard Policy' (see 'Downloads').
Benefit can still be paid to the landlord if a tenant falls into arrears of eight weeks or more. Written proof of arrears and detailed records of the rent account will be required.
MVDC is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers and, to this end, may use the information you have provided in order to access this service for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds for these purposes.
Discretionary Housing Payments
Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available for people who receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit and require further help to meet their rent payments. They are made at our discretion if we believe extra short-term financial support is required.
Awards of DHP are made from a cash limited fund and once this fund has been used for the year, no further payments are allowed.
If you wish to make an application for a DHP, in the first instance you should contact the Benefits Section on 01306 879187, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more on data sharing by viewing the Data Matching Level 2 Notice page. Alternatively, you can contact the Counter Fraud Manager on 01306 879330.