Just thank your lucky stars Sheffield wasn't a pilot area for the new "Local Housing Allowance" - intended to replace HB soon, possibly 2008, causing chaos in Leeds and many other places.
LHA is determined by "average" rents - set by The Rent Service. If your rent is less than average, you "pocket" the different. If your rent is more than the average, cough up the difference yourself. No wonder the BTL crowd are selling up!
I have just been paying £75 a week it should have been £80 but the housing benefit decided to knock it back so we have to pay the extra every week and this is for renting private as waiting for a house with the council we have got another 15 years to wait. but when I move to scotland this year I am still renting private and the council up there should pay all my rent as I wont be working straight away I am going back on the alcohol program when i am up there and it can take anything from 6 months to 18 months. this is something that as got to be done but also the council waiting lists in scotland are very long, we was told because of the place where we want to live the waiting list is about 25 years. so we are going to rent private i think the going rate in sheffield for renting a house is between £420 and £450 a month unless you want a bigger house because there is a house near to where I live and the rent on that is £800 a month. I think it goes on the size of the property what they rent will be and how much the DSS will pay so if i was you I would ring them in the morning and see what they say.
How much housing benifit you are entitled to depends on your personal circumstances, family size and rent the landlord is charging.
Contact Howden house as they can do a pre tenancy determination of housing benifit. Be warned though you will have to do one for every tenancy you consider as it is almost unheared of for housing benifit topay thye full rent for any private tenancy. if you are going for a private tenancy be prepared to make up the short fall yourself.