Shared accommodation rate for under 35s

If you are a single private renter under the age of 35, you are usually only entitled to housing benefit at the shared accommodation rate. Some people are exempt.

What is the shared accommodation rate?

The shared accommodation rate applies to most single people under 35 renting from a private landlord.

With the shared accommodation rate, the maximum housing benefit you can get is the rate for renting a single room in a shared house. This applies even if you rent a self-contained flat.

The shared accommodation rate is set by the council's local rent officers. 

The rates are set under local housing allowance (LHA) rules. Use the LHA rate finder to find local rates. 

Find out how to make a housing benefit claim.

Exemptions when you live with others

The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply if you:

  • have a child who lives with you
  • live with a partner as a couple (unless you are renting shared accommodation)
  • live with an adult dependent
  • are a foster carer

The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply to council or housing association tenants.

Read more about housing benefit for young people.

Exemptions for care leavers

The shared accommodation rate does not apply until you are 22 if you are a care leaver.

Find out more about help and housing for care leavers.

Homeless or leaving prison

The shared accommodation rate should not apply if you are 25 or over and can show that you:

  • lived in hostels for homeless people for three months or more before moving to the private rented sector and while there accepted rehabilitation or support services to help you settle back into the community 
  • have left prison and your housing has been arranged under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)

Read more about housing benefit for prisoners.

Housing benefit if you have a disability

If you are disabled, the shared accommodation rate won't apply if you:

  • need overnight care 
  • qualify for the severe disability premium
  • receive the middle or high rate of disability living allowance, or the daily living component of a personal independent payment (PIP), or the armed forces independence payment 

Dealing with a rent shortfall

There are steps you can take to cover any rent shortfall. For example you could look for ways to increase your income or decrease your costs.

You could also ask your council about a discretionary housing payment.

Last updated:

  • Print this page
  • Email this page