Housing benefit rates are determined by calculating average rents for each category of property (such as shred room, one bedroom etc.) in accordance with the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit Functions) 1997 or the Rent Officers (Universal Credit Functions) Order 2013.

From April 2014, the maximum rate which will be payable to a claimant is set to be either an increase of one percent from last years averages or the 30th percentile of the listed rents in the area whichever is the lower.

From 13 January 2014, the Rent Officers (Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Functions) (Local Housing Allowance Amendments) Order 2013 amends this to allow for limited exceptions reflecting specific market conditions which can be increased by up to four percent (for example one bedroom accommodation in Leeds).