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Local Housing Allowance rates

The Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The rate is based on the number of bedrooms in the property and the area or Broad Rental Market Area (BRMA) it is in.

The number of bedrooms a person can claim HB for depends on their household. See Calculating LHA for more details about how to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to claim for.

On this page

LHA rates for April 2017 to March 2018

For Merton

The VOA has published the new LHA rates that take effect from 1st April 2017. All existing claims and any new and change of address claims made on or after 1st April 2017 will be based on new rates supplied by the VOA.

However if you claimed before 1st April 2017, your claim will be initially based on the LHA rates for April 2016 to March 2017.

Merton has three Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs). If you are not sure of the BRMA use the VOA LHA postcode search first.

Exceptions to the frozen LHA rates

Most of Merton's BRMA LHA rates remain frozen at the April 2015 rate again, for the second year. However, the following bedroom rates in these BRMAs have been increased by 3% due to LHA targeted affordability funding until 31st March 2018:

  • the shared room rate for Outer South West London
  • the one bedroom  for Outer South London.and
  • the two bedroom rate for Outer South London.

For outside Merton

If you are looking to move outside Merton use the VOA LHA postcode search first to find out the LHA rate for the post code or local authority you are moving to.

LHA rates for April 2016 to March 2017

For Merton

The VOA has published the new LHA rates that take effect from 1st April 2016. All existing claims and any new and change of address claims made on or after 1st April 2016 will be based on new rates supplied by the VOA.

However if you claimed before 1st April 2016, your claim will be initially based on the LHA rates for April 2015 to March 2016.

Merton has three Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs). If you are not sure of the BRMA use the VOA LHA postcode search first.

For outside Merton

If you are looking to move outside Merton use the VOA LHA postcode search first to find out the LHA rate for the post code or local authority you are moving to.

LHA rates frozen from 1 April 2016

The Government has confirmed that the LHA rates will be frozen for four years from April 2016 until March 2020, at their April 2015 levels. If you want more information on LHA rates for your size household go to GOV.UK/LHA

LHA rates for April 2015 to March 2016

For Merton

The VOA has published the new LHA rates that take effect from 1st April 2015. All existing claims and any new and change of address claims made on or after 1st April 2015 will be based on new rates supplied by the VOA.

However if you claimed before 1st April 2015, your claim will be initially based on the LHA rates for April 2014 to March 2015.

Merton has three Broad Rental Market Areas (BRMAs). If you are not sure of the BRMA use the VOA LHA postcode search first.

For outside Merton

If you are looking to move outside Merton use the VOA LHA postcode search first to find out the LHA rate for the post code or local authority you are moving to.

Merton's Broad Rental Market Areas

Merton's three BRMAs are listed in the table below. If you want to find the right BRMA you need a full postcode. Then use the VOA LHA postcode search. The table below shows Merton's three BRMAs.

BRMA name BRMA ID
Inner South West London 145
Outer South West London 152
Outer South London 153

LHA increases from 1 April 2015

LHA increases from 1 April 2015 to march 2016 only, were based on four factors, the lowest of which determines the amount of the increase. The VOA gather rent evidence and set the rates and the DWP set the percentage increases and any LHA caps. The LHA rate for any given bedroom size in our three BRMAs will be the lowest of:

  • the April 2014 LHA rate plus 1% (the same as the cap for working age benefits)
  • the April 2014 LHA rate plus 4% for those rates targeted for LHA affordability funding (see below)
  • the rent for three in ten properties (30th percentile) at September 2014
  • the overall LHA cap level (see below for details of the level above which no LHA rates increase)

The table below give the weekly rates from 1 April 2015 only and which of the above four factors determined the increase. Sections on LHA targeted affordability funding and LHA caps will give you more detail.

BRMA Shared room One bedroom Two bedroom Three bedroom Four bedroom
Inner South West London £94.38(4%) £253.82(4%) £302.33(4%) £354.46(1%) £417.02(LHA cap)
Outer South West London £84.91(4%) £209.77(1%) £280.60(4%) £336.96(4%) £417.02(LHA cap
Outer South London £82.46(4%) £167.22(4%) £210.57(4%) £279.14(4%) £344.38(4%)

The tables below give the monthly rates from 1 April 2015 only and which of the above four factors determined the increase. Sections on LHA targeted affordability funding and LHA caps April 2015 will give you more details. Furthermore, the monthly LHA rates are calculated by dividing the weekly LHA above, multiplying by 52 and dividing by 12.

BRMA Shared room One bedroom Two bedroom Three bedroom Four bedroom
Inner South West London £408.98(4%) £1099.89(4%) £1310.10(4%) £1535.99(1%) £1807.09(LHA cap)
Outer South West London £367.94(4%) £909.00 (1%) £1215.93(4%) £1460.16(4%) £1807.09(LHA cap)
Outer South London £357.33(4%) £724.62(4%) £912.47(4%) £1209.61(4%) £1492.31(4%)

LHA targeted affordability funding

The Government has not provided any additional LHA targeted affordability funding for April 2016 to March 2017. For the previous two years Merton had benefited from this for certain bedroom sizes with our three London BRMAs. But that is not the case for 2016-2017. This does mean that if rents still rise in London, LHA rates will not keep pace with these. Landlords should be awarre of this. Tenants may need to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) for shortfalls.

Additional funding has been provided in recognition of evidence that there have been differences in rental markets across the country. In particular, rents for certain BRMAs in London for certain sizes of accommodation have been rising at rates above the Consumer Price Index of 1.20% last September 2014 and the overall benefit cap of 1%. Where the DWP has identified the greatest shortfalls between actual rents and LHA rates, they have targeted these BRMAs and bedroom sizes for increases of 4% from 1 April 2014. They identified the following in Merton's three BRMAs as satisfying the additional 4% increase:

  • Inner South West London for shared accommodation, one bedroom and two bedroom rates
  • Outer South West London for shared accommodation rate, two bedroom, three bedroom rates
  • Outer South London for all bedroom rates

The remainder of bedroom sizes in the three Merton BRMAs are subject to the limit of either the 1% capped increase of the overall LHA cap.

LHA caps April 2015

The DWP has also reintroduced a new set of overall LHA caps for all of England and Wales. This is a deficit cut measure to keep the levels of LHA from rising too much and curbing the total expenditure on Housing Benefit. Two of our four bedroom rates are subject to the overall LHA cap. Below is a table of the LHA caps as weekly and monthly levels.

Bedroom size Weekly LHA cap April 2015 Monthly LHA cap April 2015
Shared Accommodation Rate £260.64 £1129.44
One bedroom rate £260.64 £1129.44
Two bedroom rate £302.33 £1310.10
Three bedroom rate £354.46 £1535.99
Four bedroom rate £417.02 £1807.09

If you are considering moving to a postcode outside Merton, search online using the VOA LHADirect website. This will search for LHA rates by postcode and bedrooms. You will need to know how many bedrooms you can claim for. See Calculating LHA for more details about how to work out how many bedrooms you are entitled to claim for. Or use the VOA LHA bedroom calculator.

Shared accommodation rate for under 35 year old single people January 2012

From 1 January 2012, the Government extended the shared accommodation rate to 25 to 34 year old single people. Prior to this date you would have been entitled to the higher one bedroom self contained LHA rate.

If you make a new or change of address claim on or after 1 January 2012, and you are single and aged 25 to 34 at the time, you will only be entitled to the lower shared accommodation rate. If you are considering a new tenancy this will limit you to a shared room or a joint tenancy with others.

You must tell us when you claim if you are any of the following exemptions, because you could still get the one bedroom self contained LHA rate:

  • awarded the severe disability premium in your Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance
  • receiving the middle or higher rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • a former hostel dweller who has accepted support to recover and resettle due to a drug or alcohol problem
  • an ex offender subject to Multi-agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Previous LHA rates

LHA rates are reviewed annually by the VOA prior to April.

Use the table below for our archive of old LHA rates. These could apply to your claim for earlier periods.

  • Merton LHA rates for April 2014 to March 2015 (A4 double sided)
  • April 2013 to March 2014
  • April 2012 to March 2013

See also

Related websites

Contact us

For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.

This page was last updated on Monday 8 May 2017

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