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When everyone has a home

Housing advice for Northern Ireland

Video guide to Housing Benefit for private tenants

If you rent your home from a private landlord or through an estate or letting agent your entitlement to Housing Benefit will be calculated under the Local Housing Allowance rules.  This video explains how this system works and what other help is available if your Housing Benefit doesn't cover your full rent. 

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.

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.