Getting ready to leave home can be tough at any age but there are always people who can help you make the best decision for you. There are lots of things that you need to consider before you actually leave home….However, sometimes you may not be given a choice and you find yourself homeless. Connexions can support you with this.

Below is some information that you may find useful when considering whether or not you are ready to leave home:

Living at home
This is often the cheapest option, so it’s good if you’re at sixth form, college or starting a new job and have little money. However, it can also be a struggle – you want your independence; your parents find it hard seeing you grow up, so you may need to compromise. Your parents may ask you to contribute towards housekeeping.

Leaving home

  • If you are under 16 – you cannot usually leave home because your parents are legally responsible for you and by law you are required to attend school, cannot claim benefits or work full time, unless there are serious problems such as abuse or violence.
  • If you are 16 or 17 – you can leave home if your parents/guardians agree or if you at risk of harm.
  • If you are 18 or over – you can decide yourself whether or not to leave home. At this age your parents no longer have any legal responsibility for you or legal control over you.If you’re thinking of leaving home because of stress with your family, try to sort it out before it gets out of control – work out a compromise so that you can live together.

Before you leave home:

  • Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages
  • Talk to friends and relatives about their experiences
  • Find out about your rights and any benefits that may be available
  • Work out your finances and be realistic about your budget
  • Find a place to live before you leave home

Leaving care
If you are leaving care, Social Services have a duty to help you and can make it easier to become independent. It’s worth taking advantage of all the help you may be able to get. Speak to your Connexions PA for more information.

Finding accommodation
Types of accommodation that may be available include:

  • Council property
  • Housing associations
  • Supported accommodation
  • Privately rented accommodation (flat, bedsit or studio, shared house for example).

Things to look out for:

  • Location – is it near your college or work? If not, are the transport links good? Have you budgeted for cost of transport?
  • Are the shops close?
  • Are your friends near?
  • Safety – see it in daylight and at night as places can look very different in the dark
  • Insurance

Can You Afford it?
Many people under-estimate the cost of having your own place to live. As well as rent, there are bills for electricity, gas, water, telephone etc, plus council tax, TV licence and other bills that you have to pay. Make sure you get advice; talk to your parents as they’re probably paying all these bills already.