Manchester City Council

Benefits & Support Local Housing Allowance

Local Housing Allowance for single under-35s and people in shared accommodation

'Shared accommodation' under the LHA rules usually means accommodation where the tenant and their partner, if they have one, have sole use of one bedroom and share one or more of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living room or dining room.

For shared accommodation, there is a shared accommodation rate of LHA that is likely to be lower than the one-bedroom rate of LHA. The rules about who gets what rate can be complicated. 

Single under-35s

If you are single, live alone in private rented property and are aged under 35, you usually only get the shared accommodation rate of LHA, even if you have sole use of more than one room. So even if you live in a self-contained one-bedroom flat, or you have sole use of both a bedroom and a living room, you still usually only get the shared accommodation rate.

Exemptions from the shared accommodation rate

If you live in self-contained one-bedroom accommodation or have sole use of both a bedroom and a living room, the shared accommodation rate does not normally apply to you if you are single, under 35 and:

  • someone else (for example, a partner, child, elderly relative, friend or grown-up child) lives with you as part of your household.
  • you are severely disabled and get the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (or either rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment).
  • you are under 22 and have been in the care of a local authority since the age of 16, or have been accommodated by a local authority since the age of 16.
  • you live in supported housing provided by a housing association, registered charity or voluntary organisation and get a package of care and support from your landlord (or from somebody else on behalf of your landlord).
  • you need an extra bedroom for a carer who does not live with you but who provides you with overnight care.
  • you are an approved foster carer. (This exemption was added in December 2013).

If you are aged 25 to 34 the shared accommodation rate does not normally apply to you if:

  • you have lived in a hostel for homeless people or a hostel that provides rehabilitation and resettlement within the community for at least three months. You must have received resettlement support to help you live in the community.
  • you are an ex-offender and your housing has been arranged for you through Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) for managing the risk posed by sexual and violent offenders. If this applies to you, one of the agencies will tell us about this, so you don't need to.

If you live in 'shared accommodation' (you have sole use of one bedroom and share one or more of a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living or dining room) you usually get the shared accommodation rate unless you or your partner:

  • are severely disabled (and get the middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance). If so, you get the one-bedroom rate.
  • are under 22 and have been in the care of a local authority since the age of 16, or have been accommodated by a local authority since the age of 16. If so, you get the one-bedroom rate.
  • receive overnight care from a carer who does not live with you. If so, you get the two-bedroom rate.

Before January 2012 the shared accommodation rate only applied to single under-25s. It started to apply to single people aged 25 to 34 from 1 January 2012.

People in shared accommodation

If you live alone, or with a partner you usually get the shared accommodation rate of LHA if you live in 'shared accommodation', which means that you:

  • have sole use of only one room in the property; and
  • share the rest of the accommodation with other households.

If you live alone and have sole use of at least two rooms (counting only bedrooms and living rooms) regardless of whether you share the rest of the accommodation with other households, you get the one-bedroom rate of LHA if you are over 35. If you are under 35 you get the shared accommodation rate unless you are exempt (see under Single under-35s above). If you are exempt you get the one-bedroom rate. 

If you live alone and have sole use of one room and sole use of a bathroom, a toilet and a kitchen or cooking facilities, you get the one-bedroom rate of LHA if you are over 35. If you are under 35 you get the shared accommodation rate unless you are exempt. If so, you get the one-bedroom rate.

Examples:

  1. A couple (regardless of age) living in a studio flat (sole use of one bedsit room and sole use of a kitchen and bathroom with toilet) would get the one-bedroom rate.
  2. A single person aged 36 living in a studio flat like the one above would get the one-bedroom rate.
  3. A single person aged 20 living in a studio flat like the one above would get the shared accommodation rate, unless they are exempt from the restriction to the shared accommodation rate. For example, if they were severely disabled they would get the one-bedroom rate.
  4. A single person aged 27 living in a shared house with sole use of one bedroom but sharing kitchen, living rooms and bathroom would get the shared accommodation rate.
  5. The person in example 4. receives overnight care from a carer who does not live with her. She gets the two-bedroom rate.

Find your LHA rate 

 

Was this information helpful?

Was this page helpful?