There are a lot of things to think about before you leave home such as: can you really afford to leave home, are you really ready to live on your own and will you get lonely? 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.
- 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 music 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.
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 housing benefit office can let you know how much benefit you may get before you agree to take a tenancy.