If you are single in private rented housing and under the age of 35, you are normally only entitled to housing benefit at the shared accommodation rate.
Restrictions on housing benefit
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.
Shared accommodation generally means accommodation where you share a bathroom, toilet, kitchen and other facilities with other renters.
The shared accommodation rate is set by the council's local rent officers. The maximum is based on the cost of a single room in a shared house in your area.
Use the LHA calculator to find local rates.
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
Housing benefit for care leavers
The shared accommodation rate does not apply until you are 22 if you are a care leaver.
Find out more about housing benefit for young people.
The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply to council or housing association tenants.
Housing benefit if you are homeless or leaving prison
The shared accommodation rate should not apply if you can show:
- you lived in hostels for homeless people, domestic violence refuges, or drug rehabilitation hostels for three months or more before moving to the private rented sector
- you live in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation
- you have left prison and your housing has been arranged under the Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA)
Housing benefit if you have a disability
If you are disabled and under the age of 25, you won’t be restricted to the shared accommodation rate if you receive the middle or high rate of disability living allowance or can prove you need overnight care.
Dealing with a rent shortfall
There are steps you can take to cover any rent shortfall: