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Advice for Young People

If you are a young person thinking about leaving home you should think very carefully about your decision because demand for housing is high and it may not be easy to find suitable housing that you can afford. If you are thinking about leaving home then you should plan your move to reduce the chance of things going wrong.

I have been asked to leave home

If you have been asked to leave home the Council can help you.

If you are aged 16 or 17, or a care leaver and homeless or threatened with homelessness you can seek help from the Streetwise Project. Streetwise is a housing related specialist advisory and support service for young people in Torridge. The service provides free confidential advice and support to help resolve any housing problems. You can telephone Streetwise on 07970 200033 or self refer by registering on Client self-referral portal - Housing Jigsaw.

If you are aged 18 or over and homeless or threatened with homelessness, please visit Homeless or threatened with homelessness?

If you are being asked to leave home by your parents or guardians, the Council may:

  • Talk to your parents or guardians to try and enable you to stay at home
  • Give you advice on how to find alternative accommodation
  • Advise you on your benefit entitlement
  • Refer you to support agencies

Finding suitable accommodation

Most young people leave home by moving into privately rented accommodation, which will usually be a room in a shared house or flat.

This sort of accommodation can be found through:

  • Local letting agents
  • Landlords who advertise in local newspapers
  • Notice boards
  • Online through websites and social media

It is likely that you will need to pay a deposit and rent in advance to secure this type of accommodation.

When you rent privately you may need a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who vouches for you legally and agrees to be responsible for your rental costs if you fail to make payments. A friend or relative can act as a guarantor for you.

You can apply for social housing through Devon Home Choice, but the shortage of suitable housing means you are very unlikely to be able to move straight into a tenancy with a Registered Provider (Housing Association). For more information please visit the Devon Home Choice website.

Affording your rent

If you are claiming income benefits or have a low income, you may be entitled to help to pay your rent and may be able to claim Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit. However, people who are single and under the age of 35 are usually only able to claim help with housing costs at the shared room Local Housing Allowance rate. For more information on Local Housing Allowances in Torridge, please visit Work out and claim benefits.

Further Advice and Support

Young People's Housing Advice has helpful information for young people and parents including up-to-date housing advice and law.