Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is used to calculate Housing Benefit (HB). It is based on the area you live in and the number of people who live in the property.
Tenants affected by LHA rules
LHA rules affect private tenants who:
- make a new claim;or
- change of address claim; or
- have a break of one week or more in their Housing Benefit, and
are not are affected by the LHA rules
Tenants exempt from the LHA rules
A tenant is exempt from LHA rules for the following categories:
- tenants of Registered Social Landlords; or
- tenants of Registered Housing Associations; or
- tenancies which started before 15 January 1989; or
- certain supported housing, where the landlord is a registered social landlord, charity or non profit making voluntary organisation, that provides the tenant with care, support or supervision; or
- hostel dwellers; or
- tenancies where the Rent Officer has decided that a substantial part of the rent is for board and attendance.
If the LHA rules apply a tenant can request that we pay either:
- themselves; or
- the landlord;
- the landlord's agent; or
On the claim for HB, a tenant must choose either:
- to have direct credit to their bank or building society account; or
- to have direct credit to the landlord or their agent's bank or building society account.
For more details about our opening hours and how to contact us, go to Merton Benefits Service contact page.