Young people leaving home

Leaving home

If you do not have to leave home then you should consider your options very carefully before doing so. If you are not at risk of harm where you live then you may not be entitled to help from us. If you have not planned your move you may also not have money for the deposit and rent in advance you often need to secure private rented accommodation.

If you are at risk of harm you should seek help immediately and will be offered support.

Some 18 to 21 year olds claiming Universal Credit are not entitled to help with housing costs. You can read rules about housing costs for 18 to 21 year olds on GOV.UK.

Things to consider

Explore your options first

When you are ready to leave, you will need to decide the type of housing that will suit you best. A big factor in making this decision will probably be your financial situation. The cost of running a home is rising and many young people decide to share with others at first to share the rent and bills. Unless you are at risk of harm, you should seek advice before you decide and do not rush into anything.

If you are having problems at home, help and support is available. Try to find someone you trust to talk to, such as friends, extended family, or a teacher at your school or college. If the situation becomes worse, see if there is a place you can go to for a night or two to let everyone cool down.

We may be able to provide mediation in your home with your family to talk about the problems. Remember, if you leave home when you did not need to and without preparation, you may find yourself in an even worse situation.

If you feel unsafe at home or have no choice and have to leave home immediately, for example because someone is being violent or abusive towards you, you must seek help right away.

Your options

Our accommodation self-help pack contains practical help and advice on how to find suitable accommodation and how to work out what you can afford.


If you are staying with friends or more distant relatives, you may be able to claim help with accommodations costs. Our housing options service will be able to tell you more about living as a boarder or lodger and what costs you may be able to claim.

Room renting

Many young people chose to share accommodation to split costs. You can search online for rooms to rent or shared houses.

Other help and support

There are a number of organisations that you can contact for further help:

Childline: Free 24 hour support helpline for children and young people. Tel: 0800 1111

Womens Aid: Free 24 hour helpline for victims of domestic violence. Tel: 0808 2000 247

Shelter: Free 24 hour helpline giving information on housing. Tel: 0808 800 4444

Centrepoint: Free helpline giving information on youth housing and homelessness (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm). Tel: 0808 800 0661

Up in Poole: Youth support and advice in Poole.

Places to live


Dorset Reclaim offer low cost furniture for those on benefits.

Freecycle matches people needing items to those giving them away.

Benefits help and advice

Page last updated: 20 May 2019
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