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Cardiff Council

How Housing Benefit is worked out

​​​​​​​​​​​​The amount of Housing Benefit you get depends on your income and savings.

We will calculate how much money you need to live on based on your family circumstances. If your income is higher than your needs - as determined by government figures - the amount of benefit you receive will be reduced.

Your benefit may also be reduced if you have other adults living in your home or if you live in a property larger than your household needs.

Council and Housing Association Tenants 

If you are a council or housing association tenant, your Housing Benefit will be based on your actual rent (excluding some service charges) unless you have spare bedrooms. Find out about the size restriction rules ‘bedroom tax’. 

Renting from a Private Landlord 

For most private tenants Housing Benefit is based on the Local Housing Allowance rate, not the actual rent charge. 

Local Housing Allowance 

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the maximum amount of Housing Benefit that can be paid for a property.  It looks at the number of bedrooms you and your household need and the rent charged for similar-sized properties in that area.

Your LHA rate determines the maximum Housing Benefit you could receive, but the amount you actually get will depend on your specific circumstances.


LHA applies to you if you rent from a private landlord, and:

  • you make a new claim for Housing Benefit,
  • you change address, or
  • you have had a break in your claim since 7 April 2008.


Local Housing Allowance Rates 2023 to 2024
Number of roomsWeekly rate
​​4 weekly rate

Shared accommodation



1 bedroom self-contained



2 bedrooms



3 bedrooms



4 bedrooms



These rates apply from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, and show the maximum benefit you can claim. The rates will be reviewed annually. ​

Local Housing Allowance Rates 2024 to 2025
Number of roomsWeekly rate
​​4 weekly rate

Shared accommodation



1 bedroom self-contained



2 bedrooms



3 bedrooms



4 bedrooms



These rates apply from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

The amount you receive will depend on your specific circumstances, taking into account your income and savings and whether there are any other adults living in the property.

One bedroom is allowed for each of the following: 

  • a single adult or couple,
  • any other adult (aged 16 or over),
  • two children of the same sex both aged under 16,
  • two children of any sex both aged under 10,
  • any other child.​ 

You may be allowed one additional room if:

  • you are a foster carer 
  • a person in your household has a non-resident overnight carer
  • a disabled child who is unable to share a bedroom
  • an adult member of a couple in your household is unable to share a bedroom due to their disability.


If you are single and under the age of 35 you will normally be entitled to the shared accommodation rate only, whatever type of accommodation you live in.


If you live in a shared house, for example as a joint tenant, you will normally receive the shared accommodation rate.


If the size of your household means that you would normally need a property with more than 4 bedrooms, your benefit will be based on the 4 bedroom rate. 

Cases where Local Housing Allowance does not apply


LHA does not apply to you if you: 

  • have received Housing Benefit for the same property since before 7 April 2008
  • have a registered fair rent
  • live in supported accommodation
  • live in a hostel, caravan or houseboat
  • have meals included in your rent.


If you rent from a private landlord but are in one of the above categories, your Housing Benefit will be based on a valuation of your property by the Rent Officer. 


If you need further information, please contact us.  

Contact us

  • See also
  • Housing Benefit
  • Housing
  • Council Tax Reduction
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