Scottish Borders Council

Local housing allowance

How many rooms am I allowed?

Except for people who get the shared accommodation rate, the LHA rules say you are allowed one bedroom for each of the following:

  • a couple
  • a single adult or young person (aged 16 or over)
  • two children under ten of either sex
  • two children under 16 of the same sex
  • any other child
  • a carer who provides you or your partner with regular overnight care but doesn't live with you
  • a child with a severe disability who is unable to share a room
  • an approved foster carer who is between placements but only for up to 52 weeks from the end of the last placement
  • a newly approved foster carer for up to 52 weeks from the date of approval if no child is placed with them during that time
  • a former non-dependant (usually a son or daughter) who is a member of the armed forces and is away on operations and intends to return to live with you.
  • a former non-dependant (usually a son or daughter) who is away because they are a student and intends to return to live with you

The maximum allowance is four bedrooms.

No other rooms are taken into account when this is worked out. For example:

Examples of how many rooms are allowed
Household No. of Bedrooms in the Property LHA
Family A - Couple with one child 2 2 room LHA
Family B - Couple with one girl aged 6 and one boy aged 8 2 2 room LHA
Family C - Couple with one girl aged 6 and one boy aged 12 2 3 room LHA

Family C are allowed three bedrooms as their children are different sexes and one of them is aged over 10. If they choose to rent a property with two bedrooms, their benefit will still be worked out using the three room LHA, however they will not receive more than their actual rent.  For example, if the 2 room rate is £80 and the 3 room rate is £110 but their actual rent is £90, if they are entitled to the 3 room rate their benefit will be worked out using £90 as the maximum amount they are entitled to. 

To work out how many rooms you are allowed, try our LHA Room Calculator.

Single people over 35 years old and couples with no children

If you are single and over 35 or a couple with no children, you will get the one room LHA but you must rent a property with at least two rooms or less than two rooms if it is self contained. This means that the accommodation has its own bathroom/toilet and kitchen. If the property has less than two rooms and is not self contained you will be entitled to the shared room LHA only.

Single people under 35

If you are single and under 35 you get the shared room LHA no matter what size of property you rent unless you qualify for a Severe Disability Premium.

Joint tenants

Joint tenants are people who are not a couple but share a property and are named on the tenancy agreement. Joint tenants will get the LHA for their own family in the household not including the family of the other joint tenants.


Scottish Borders Council

Council Headquarters Newtown St. Boswells Melrose TD6 0SA

Tel: 0300 100 1800


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