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Housing advice for young people leaving home

Leaving home  

If you do not have to leave home, you should carefully consider your options before doing so. If you’re not at risk of harm where you live, we may not be able to help you. If you’ve not planned your move, you may not have enough money for the deposit and advance rent you normally need to rent private accommodation.

If you’re 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.

Read rules about housing costs for 18 to 21-year olds.

Things to consider

Explore your options first

When you’re ready to leave, you’ll 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’re at risk of harm, you should seek advice before you decide, and do not rush into anything.

If you’re 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’s 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’re 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 choose to share accommodation to split costs. You can search online for rooms to rent or shared houses.

Other help and support

There are organisations that you can contact for further help.


Call the Childline free 24-hour support helpline for children and young people on 0800 1111.

Womens Aid

Women's Aid have a free 24-hour helpline for victims of domestic violence. Call 0808 2000 247.


Call the Shelter free 24-hour helpline giving information on housing on 0808 800 4444.


Centrepoint have a free helpline giving information on youth housing and homelessness (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Call 0808 800 0661

Up in Poole

Up in Poole is a youth support and advice service in Poole. 

Places to live  

Organisations that can help you find accommodation include:


Organisations that can help you furnish your home.

Dorset Reclaim

Dorset Reclaim offer low-cost furniture for those on benefits. 


Freecycle matches people needing items to those giving them away.  

Benefits help and advice  

For help and advice about benefits to which you may be entitled, see the and websites.