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Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element - Universal Credit (UC): How much will I get? I'm a private tenant

Universal Credit (UC) housing costs element can help with rent and some service charges if you are a tenant. If you are a homeowner you can receive help with your mortgage interest payments in the form of a Support for Mortgage Interest Loan.

Universal Credit (UC): How much will I get? I'm a private tenant

Your housing costs will be calculated using the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for your area.

There will be a LHA rate set based on rental prices in your area and the number of rooms you need based on who lives in your household. Your LHA rate might not match the number of bedrooms you have in your property.

If you are single, don't have any dependent children and are aged under 35, you will only be able to get the Shared Accommodation rate of LHA. This won't apply and you will be entitled to the one bedroom rate if:

Otherwise, you will be entitled to one bedroom for each of the following:

  • You (and your partner if you have one)
  • Any other person over 16, as long as they aren't living with you as your tenant
  • Two children under 16 of the same gender
  • Two children under 10
  • Any other child under 16.

Example

Siobhan (34) lives with her partner Aaron (40) and their four children. Their children are a son aged 17, two girls aged 13 and 15, and a boy aged 4. They get one bedroom for Siobhan and Aaron, and one bedroom for the boy aged 17 because he is a person over 16. They also get one bedroom for the two girls to share (two children under 16 of the same gender), and one bedroom for the 4 year old boy (any other child under 16). They are entitled to the 4 bedroom rate of LHA. 

You may be able to get an additional bedroom if you, your partner or your child has a disability that means they can't share a bedroom and they get a qualifying disability benefit. The qualifying disability benefits are:

You won't be entitled to any more than four bedrooms, however many people live in your household.

This could mean that your housing costs element will not cover all of your rent if your home is too expensive.

You can visit the LHA Direct website to find out what your Local Housing Allowance is.

Updated December 2019

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