Leaving home if you are under 18

Finding housing when you are under 18 years old is not easy.

You cannot legally hold a tenancy until you are 18 years old and the amount of Housing Benefit you may get towards your rent will be restricted to the cost of a single room (normally around £54 per week). This means that you will need to look for a room in a shared house and many private landlords are reluctant to accept young people.

Getting council accommodation

You cannot hold a tenancy until you are over 18 years old, therefore if you submit a housing application, sadly this will be suspended until you meet the age criteria unless you are a young people leaving care.

Acceptance on the housing register following your 18th birthday also does not guarantee you would be housed immediately and it is unlikely you will be given a council flat.

Instead it may be more suitable for us to refer you to a supported accommodation scheme. Living by yourself for the first time can be a bit hard if you’re having to cook, clean, do shopping, pay your bills and handle difficult neighbours and supported accommodation will give you the skills to deal with these things.

Staying at home

It is often the best option to stay at home while you plan your move.

If you are having problems at home, please complete the housing assistance referral form as soon as possible so we can advise you or arrange a mediator if that would help:

A mediator is a sort of neutral referee who can help you and your parents sort out your problems. They don’t take sides, decide ‘who is right’, or tell you what to do. Instead, they’ll help you work things out for yourselves. Most family difficulties and disagreements can be sorted out, without the need for you to leave home.

If you cannot stay at home

If you are having difficulties at home, or have lost your accommodation, you should contact the Children’s Duty Team on 01942 828300 or the Homeless Solutions Team on 01942 487732 immediately.

These departments will work with you to identify a solution to the problems your experiencing.

Where should I go for help?

You might get help from ourselves or from the council. To find out if you are entitled to help and what you need to do next, you can:

© Wigan Council