Moving out of home is a big change in your life and you need to make sure you’re ready and have thought things through.
The independence can be great, but you’ll also have new responsibilities and whilst it sounds obvious, it can be a bit of a shocker when you realise how much time it takes to do the shopping, cooking and cleaning!
For most people, the most affordable way of moving out of home is by renting a place. However you need to be aware that there are lots of other costs on top of your rent that you would not know of if you were living with your parents or carers.
On top of your rent you’ll probably need to pay:
- A deposit (this can be up to one months deposit).
- Council tax.
- Utility bills (gas, electricity, water, telephone).
- Clothing and socialising.
It isn’t cheap and you need to be sure you can afford to pay for everything before you make the leap! You’ll need to be organised to make sure everything gets paid when it should.
Here are some of the other essentials you should think through:
- Where you are going to live.
- Who will you live with or can you rent alone.
- What accommodation do you want or can you afford.
- Will you have friends or family near by for socialising and support.
- Do you need parking or to be near public transport.
- When do you want to move out.
- Are you entitled to any benefits or allowances.
- Are you entitled to Social Housing (Council Housing).
- Look around a few properties before making your decision, so you know you’re getting value for money.
- Find out your rights and get contracts checked at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
- Keep in touch with your family – it’s a big step for your parents/carers too and they’ll want to know that you’re safe and happy.
Remember, leaving home is a big step, so make it as fun as possible by thinking things through first so you can really enjoy your new independence.
To live independently as a disabled person you will be entitled to some help from your Local Social Services Department and others.
This support can be anything from an intercom on the front door to having a personal assistant, depending on what you require to live independently. The Disabled Living Foundation can provide you with information on disability equipment, household gadgets available, and new techniques.
Extra help for learners
If you are aged 21 or under and are unable to live with your parents or carers, you could be entitled to financial support if you’re in full time education or are about to start.
This extra help is in addition to the EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance).
Registered Social Landlords
Registered Social Landlords are the main providers of new social housing. An RSL is a social landlord who is registered with the Housing Corporation – most are housing associations. RSLs do not trade for profit they use any money left over to help maintain existing homes and fund new housing.
Who can help?
When renting or buying a house you have certain rights. Check out the Citizens Advice Bureau website to find out what your rights are and exactly where you stand. Visit them online at www.adviceguide.org.uk.
Disabled Living Foundation is a UK national charity working for greater independence for disabled people, providing equipment advice and information. For more information call their helpline on 0845 130 9177 or visit their site at www.dlf.org.uk/.
You can view the List of Registered Landlords online.