Eligible rent

Eligible rent is the maximum amount of Housing Benefit we can pay you regardless of how much your rent is.

Council and housing association tenants not on a market rate rent

If you are renting from a local council or from a housing association

Eligible rent = gross rent minus ineligible service charges 

Ineligible service charges are any that you pay that are not towards communal costs.

If your bedroom requirement shows that you are under-occupying your property, meaning you have a spare room, we will make a deduction from your eligible rent:

  • 14% of the eligible rent for one spare bedroom
  • 25% of the eligible rent for two or more spare bedrooms

Private tenant

If you are a private tenant, or a housing association tenant on a market rent rate tenancy

Eligible rent = your Local Housing Allowance rate

If your rent is lower than the Local Housing Allowance rate, then your eligible rent will be your actual rent.

The rate is calculated using:

  • your age
  • how many people in the property require a bedroom
  • which rate applies due to the geographic location of your property

Rates depend on the amount of bedrooms you need, with a maximum of four bedrooms.

Each number of bedrooms required has its own Local Housing Allowance rate.

If you are under 35 and living on your own, you will only be entitled to a shared room rate.

If you are renting a bedroom in shared accommodation and living on your own, you will only be entitled to a shared room rate.

If you are not sure how many bedrooms you are entitled to, use the Local Housing Allowance Bedroom Calculator on the GOV.UK website.

Private tenant – pre-April 2008

If you are a private tenant and started receiving Housing Benefit before 7 April 2008 and you have not changed your address, or had a break in your claim since then

Eligible rent = the maximum amount of Housing Benefit we can pay you regardless of how much your rent is

Your claim is under the Local Reference Rent scheme which means your eligible rent is the Rent Officer’s determination. The Rent Officer, via the Valuations Office Agency, will make a valuation and determine your eligible rent.