Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Local Housing Allowance

If you are a private tenant on a low income you may be entitled to Local Housing Allowance (LHA). 

Anyone in Shetland who rents their home or a room from a private landlord and makes a new claim for Housing Benefit will have their entitlement calculated using the LHA rates.

The maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can receive will be based on the monthly LHA rates that are set by the national Rent Service.

Consequently, the maximum amount of Housing Benefit you can receive is set beforehand by the Rent Service. It does not depend on the amount of rent you pay. If your rent is more than the LHA rate you will need to make up this shortfall yourself. The maximum amount of Housing Benefit you could receive will be the same for every same size household in Shetland, no matter what differences there are in the actual rent you and other households pay.

Details of the current LHA rates can be found in The Local Housing Allowance Rates. There are a number of different rates for Shetland, based on the number of rooms each household needs. We will decide how many rooms, according to the Housing Benefit rules, you will need. However, from 1 April 2011 the most Housing Benefit you could receive will be a four bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate.

Under the LHA rules, payments of Housing Benefit will be paid direct to the tenant either into a bank account or by cheque.