Help with housing costs for private tenants
There are several options available for private renters who are having difficulty paying their rent.
Make a claim for local housing allowance
Local housing allowance (LHA) is the benefit that private tenants receive to help pay their rent. Tenants can make an LHA claim from the housing benefit department of their local council. There are different rates of LHA depending on how many tenants live in the property. View local housing allowance rates for your area
One room can be claimed for each of the following who lives in the property:
- adult couple
- any other adult aged 16 or over
- any two children of the same sex up to the age of 16
- any two children regardless of sex under the age of 10
- any other child (foster children are not included)
- a carer if the tenant or their partner are disabled and require overnight care.
The maximum number of bedrooms that one household can claim for is four. In some circumstances LHA can be paid directly into landlords’ bank accounts, speak to your local council for more information.
Local housing allowance for under 35s
Private tenants who are single and under 35 will get the local housing allowance (LHA) rate equivalent to a room in a shared house in their area. This is called the ‘shared accommodation rate’. View the local housing allowance rate for each area on the Scottish Government’s website.
Make a claim for a discretionary housing payment
Tenants who are finding it difficult to pay their rent can apply for a discretionary housing payment (DHP) from their local council.
Speak to a money adviser
As well as checking whether they’re eligible for local housing allowance and/or discretionary housing payments, tenants who are in financial difficulty could also speak to a money adviser. They may be able to help with budgeting and debt advice. Advisers can be found through Money Advice Scotland or through your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau.