Many private landlords are reluctant to let to younger people, especially if you will be claiming housing benefit. You may have a low income and no savings, which can make it very difficult to pay for accommodation. Yet even with all these issues, it is possible to find suitable and affordable accommodation. But to do that you will need to do some thinking.
Where do you want to live?
Do you want to be near family, friends, work or college? What are the travel costs if you move further away?
What can I afford?
Your main housing option is likely to be renting, but you have to be 18 or older to hold a tenancy. If you're 16 or 17 you may be considered by a landlord if you have an adult who will act as a guarantor. A guarantor must agree to pay the rent if for some reason you cannot pay it.
Finding a privately rented place
There are many different types of housing available to rent privately. You might be looking to rent a self-contained flat or house, or just a room. Information about private rented accommodation is often available:
Private landlord or letting agency?
It will depend on the property. But which ever route you take make sure you understand what you are responsible for as the tenant, and what your landlord or the letting agency is responsible for.
How much would I have to pay in advance?
It is usual to have to pay a deposit and rent in advance, before or at the same time as you sign the tenancy agreement. Landlords usually ask for one month's rent in advance and one month's deposit, although it can be more than this, especially if the property is of high value.
If you find a home through a letting agent, you may have to pay agency fees. Some charge tenants and some don't, so it may be worth shopping around.
What are my rights?
You need to fully understand your rights as a tenant. This means reading the tenancy agreement, checking the property and arranging things like insurance if it is required.
Leaving home to move away for uni is a big deal, and can be really scary. It's important that you feel prepared for this change, and that you know where to go for support if you need it.
Take a look at the film below which follows a group of young men on their journey to uni, and the impact this can have on your emotional wellbeing.
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