Leaving home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It's not a good idea to rush into it or just because you have had a row with your mum or dad. However, things can get that bad at home you just have to leave. Ideally you should stay with your family until you can move out in a planned way. There a lot of things to think about before you leave home and it would help you to think things through.
Things to think about:
• Can you really afford to leave home?
• Are you really ready to live on your own?
• Will you get lonely?
- You will have to pay rent.
- You will have to pay your own bills, eg gas, electricity, water rates etc.
- You may have to live on a benefit which means you will have to budget very carefully. You will need to pay your bills before buying things like clothes or CDs and other things you want.
- You may not be able to continue your education.
- You may not be able to afford to go out with your friends as often.
- You might not be able to live where you want - close to friends and family.
- You will have to do your own washing and ironing, shopping and cooking.
Private rented accommodation is the most common type of housing you live in when you leave home for the first time. There are many different types of private rented housing available based on your needs, e.g. self contained accommodation or facilities (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) shared with other people. The standard of accommodation can also vary greatly.
While living on your own can give you independence, there are also some downsides to it. Rent can be high, money needs to be paid upfront (deposit and rent in advance in most cases), and landlords might be unwilling to let their property to young people and those who claim benefits.
Before deciding on moving out you will need to think carefully about what you can afford, the type of accommodation you need and is available to you, what it may be like sharing a home with others, paying things like council tax, water rates and what you will need to ask the landlord or letting agency.
You may be able to get help with rent if you are not working or you are working but on a low income. The benefit office can let you know how much benefit you may get before you agree to take a tenancy.
Things to remember:
- Single people under 25 (without children) are expected to find a single room in a shared house and will not get enough housing benefit to cover the costs of a self contained flat.
- Housing Benefit will only cover the amount of rent they think is right for properties of the same size and location. This may be less than the landlord is charging. You would be responsible for paying the difference.
- If you sign a tenancy agreement and then only get part of the cost of the rent in housing benefit you may build up rent arrears and debt.
If you have to leave home in an emergency
Unless you are in danger it is better to stay where you are until you can plan your move with help and support.
- Have a think about why you’re leaving. If it’s because you feel restricted by other people around you, remember that wherever you live you’ll have other people to consider, whether it’s parents, flatmates or neighbours.
- If you have family problems, think carefully before you go as it may be better to try and sort things out if you can. That way, you can plan your move and leave at a time that suits you. Mediation may be available to help in this situation.
- Talk to a friend, relative, teacher, counsellor, doctor or anyone you trust.