If you are 16 or 17 and you want to leave home, you will need your parents' permission. Even with your parents' permission, you won't be legally entitled to a tenancy until you turn 18. This could mean you find it difficult to find somewhere to live. You can arrange for someone to hold the tenancy on trust for you until you are 18. This can be a relative or other adult or a social worker if you have one. If you are under 18, a landlord may require a guarantor, who would be liable for the rent if you failed to pay it.
You may be able to claim Housing Benefit
If you find somewhere to rent, you may be eligible for Housing Benefit. This helps pay the rent. Housing benefit for people under 25 will usually be restricted to the average amount for a single room in a shared house in your area, unless you fit into certain categories, for example, if you have a child or live with your partner. Other restrictions could be made, for example, if the rent is considered too expensive, you will have to make up the difference yourself.
- If you are studying on a non-advanced course, for example, for GCSEs or A-levels, then you can claim housing benefit until your 19th birthday. If you go to university, you might no longer be able to claim housing benefit
- If the housing benefit department says you are not entitled to housing benefit, you may be able to appeal against the decision
Your rights to other benefits would depend upon your personal situation. Your local Adviza centre will be able to advise you. To talk through your options visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or call Shelter's free national helpline on 0808 800 4444.
There are other reasons why you might be considered legally homeless, for example if it's not safe for you to stay at home.
- If you're suffering violence or abuse at home, it's best to leave your home quickly, and get some advice if you can. If you are in this situation, call us on 0118 974 6756 / 6752 for advice
- If you have been in care call 0118 974 6000 for advice
- If your parents ask you to leave home, you may be able to make a homeless application find out more on our homelessness page
If you were living with your parents, we may be able to arrange a form of mediation to enable you to stay living at home, if it's appropriate.
If the we decide that you are homeless, in a priority need category and that you haven't made yourself homeless deliberately, then we can try to find housing for you.