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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Local Housing Allowance

If you are on a low income, you may be entitled to benefits to help you pay your rent. Most people who rent privately have their entitlement to benefit worked out under a system called Local Housing Allowance.

Almost everyone will experience difficulties paying their bills at some point. If you are worried about falling into arrears or missing a payment of rent, you should talk to your landlord about the problem. Free debt advice is available from a variety of local advice agencies.

A set of rules is used to work out how much help private tenants can get with their rent. These rules are known as Local Housing Allowance and are used by Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.  The LHA rules have been used since April 2008. Almost all private tenants have their rent help worked out under this system, but there are a few exceptions. 

The amount of benefits you will get depends on your personal circumstances, such as your income and savings, the size of your household and the area you live/wish to live in.

You should apply for help to pay your rent if you are on a low income or are struggling. For most people this means claiming Universal Credit, but you may still be able to claim Housing Benefit if you are a pensioner or if you get a severe disability premium in your other benefits. 

Your Universal Credit is normally paid directly to your landlord, but you can ask for it to be paid to you instead. If you get Housing Benefit, you can choose whether you want the money paid to you, to the landlord or to the estate agent. 

Private tenants can apply for extra housing benefit if the amount they are getting doesn't cover their rent. This is known as a discretionary housing payment. The Housing Executive decides whether you are entitled to extra benefit and how much you should get.

The amount of housing benefit that is paid to single people aged under 35 who rent privately is often restricted. There are some exemptions that apply.

Dacă aveți un venit mic, s-ar putea să obțineți ajutor social pentru plata chiriei pentru a vă ajuta să acoperiți costurile cu locuința. Începând cu aprilie 2008, drepturile chiriașilor din domeniul privat la ajutor social cu plata chiriei (Housing Benefit) este calculat pe baza Alocației de Locuințe Locale - Local Housing Allowance. 

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