Leaving home is a big step so make sure you have secured a place to live before you go. Leaving home with nowhere to go can result in you becoming homeless, which affects thousands of young people from all backgrounds each year in Wales.
You cannot legally leave home without your parents’ or guardians’ permission until you are 18 years old. If you are 16 or 17, you need their official consent. If you are under 16, you have no right to access housing support at all, but if you are really unhappy, there are people you can talk to and get help.
If you feel it’s unsafe for you to stay at home, you should seek help immediately – you can find advice in the Domestic Violence section. You can also get advice from RCT Children Services on 01443 425006 or 01443 743665 if after 5pm. Finding accommodation in Wales can be very difficult, so don’t leave home until you have somewhere secure to go.
- Think about your reasons for leaving home and don’t make any impulsive decisions – you might regret it. Leaving home is something that you need to think through carefully
- If the reason you want to leave home is because of a family breakdown or argument, try talking things through with your family first. It might be a problem you can resolve together. If you feel you can’t talk to them, there are mediation services in Wales that can help. For example, Llamau has a mediation service that helps young people and their families to resolve conflicts or find accommodation if it’s not possible for them to return or stay at home
Think about your long-term future, not just the short-term, for example, you can’t sleep on your friend’s sofa forever and what will happen when you have to move from there?
- You can’t get a tenancy until you are 18 years old, so if you are under 18, you won’t be able to rent a place to live and will need to make other arrangements
- If you can get a tenancy, make sure you can afford the deposit and the bills before signing anything. It is always better to try and save up before leaving so you have a ‘nest egg’ to rely on for the first few weeks or months while you are settling in
- If you are planning on leaving home and have nowhere to go, call your local authority. If you are under 18, they are obliged to find you accommodation, but it may take time so try not to move until something is secured for you
If you are thinking of leaving home, here is a list of things to think about before you make a decision:
- Where will I go? You must have a long-term housing solution in place
- How will I find somewhere to live?
- Can I rent somewhere? Can I afford to rent?
- Can I share accommodation with anyone?
- Am I entitled to help finding accommodation?
- How will I pay for my accommodation?
- How will I pay for my food, clothes, energy and water bills and council tax?
- Do I have any savings?
- Why do I want to leave home? Can I resolve the problem?
- What effect will living alone have on my life?
- Is it possible I could end up homeless?
Don’t take any chances when leaving home and always have a plan in place. If you are worried, talk to your family or carers, friends or call a helpline like Meic or Childline, who can offer advice and support.
Meic Helpline – 0808 80 23456
Childline – 0800 1111
Samaritans – 116 123