Shared accommodation rate for under 35s

Many single private renters under 35 can only claim the shared accommodation rate of housing benefit. Some young people are exempt from this rule. 

Shared accommodation rate for private renters

The shared accommodation rate is the maximum amount of housing benefit you can get when renting a room in a shared house from a private landlord.

It's set under local housing allowance (LHA) rules and the rate varies depending on where in the country you live.

If you're under 35 and single, you can usually only claim the shared accommodation rate even if you don't share your home with others.

Check the local housing allowance (LHA) rates on Gov.uk

If you live with other family members

The shared accommodation rate doesn't apply if you live in a self-contained private home with any of the following people:

  • your partner
  • dependent children or foster children 
  • adult children or other adult family members

You're also exempt if you've been approved as a foster carer or had a child placed with you within the last year, even if you don't have a placement currently.

Your housing benefit is calculated according to the number of bedrooms you're entitled to under LHA rules.

Care leavers

You can usually get the 1-bed self-contained LHA rate (even if you live in shared accommodation) if you're a care leaver under the age of 22.

If you have a disability

You can usually claim the 1-bed self-contained LHA rate (even if you live in shared accommodation) if you get any of the following benefits:

  • personal independence payment (PIP) - daily living component 
  • disability living allowance (DLA) - middle or high rate care component 
  • armed forces independence payment

This doesn't apply if someone else gets carers allowance or carers element of universal credit because they're your full-time carer.

Overnight care

You can claim the 2-bed LHA rate if you can show that:

  • someone stays on a regular basis to provide you with overnight care
  • there's a bedroom available for them when they stay 

This could be a paid or unpaid carer.  

If you've lived in a homeless hostel

You can claim the 1-bed self-contained LHA rate when renting privately if:

  • you're 25 or over 
  • you've lived in a homeless hostel for at least 3 months 

You must have accepted support and resettlement services while living at the hostel.

Former prisoners

You can claim the 1-bed self-contained LHA rate when renting privately if:

  • you're 25 or over
  • your release from prison is managed under multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA) - Level 2 or 3

Dealing with a rent shortfall

If housing benefit doesn't cover your full rent, you must make up any shortfall from other income.

Discretionary housing payments could help.


Last updated 31 Jul 2018 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Was this advice helpful?

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.