Find out about what housing support and information there is out there for you.

Finding your own place

For most people this is literally the key to independence, and you need to plan way ahead. Much will depend on your specific circumstances but we’ve outlined a few options below with information from some of our YACs who have been through it…

Private rental

If you are earning a low income, the best option to gain independence quickly is to look at rooms for rent in a shared house.  This might be with a private individual who wants to earn an income from a spare room.  It could be a landlord who doesn’t live in the house and rents the individual rooms to people who don’t know each other.

If you can, try to save money while you are living at home with relatives or friends.  Landlords will require a deposit and rent in advance.

When I started my full time job, I looked ever so hard to find something I could afford in Guildford. I found a room in a house with a couple who put a notice up on the staff board at work. Eventually when I got near the top of the housing register list, I went back home to avoid being in a rental contract when I got to the top of the list. That was difficult. But I did get my own Council flat. My salary has gone up and I can now save money because the Council rent is cheaper than I was paying to share.


Property Guardianships

If you’re fully employed as a key worker or young professional it may be possible to get lower rent by applying to become a Guardian of an empty property.  These can be family homes, disused factories or office blocks that have been made fully liveable. Specialist property management companies provide this service to ensure that empty properties are kept safe.

So I’ve lived in two guardianship properties now in London, and the savings on rent really kick-in when needing to help my mum out etc! As all bills except internet have been included, I probably saved about £300 a month in comparison to other private rents.


Social Housing

Council Housing Policy is slightly different in every local council in Surrey. They all have information on their websites.  Some allow you to join the Housing Register at 16. It’s worth getting on it as early as you can. Once you join the Housing Register and you are 18, you can ‘bid’ for properties. This means applying for a property – it doesn’t mean offering money.

Being on your Council’s Housing Register is never a guarantee of getting housing in the future. However, it at least gives you a chance.

Be sure to reply to the renewal letter every year, or you will be dropped off the list!

I went on the housing register as soon as I turned 16. I went to university in London when I was 19, living at home the whole time. After I graduated, I was working part time and I got to number 1 on the housing list. But I couldn’t afford any properties until I started doing 2 part time jobs. I saved for the deposit and now I’m 25, have my own place & I can manage the rent and the bills as long as I don’t go out too much.

Myths and Facts about social housing

You can be on a Housing Register for 10 years and never get a property, so don’t bother.


  • It’s worth getting on your local housing register NOW. You could be in a good position in 3-5 years when you are earning a salary.
  • A rough idea of the cost of renting in a shared house in Surrey is about £500-£600 a month plus bills.
  • If you are employed on a low wage, you might qualify for Universal Credit. The amount of rent-support you might get within Universal Credit depends on where you live in Surrey.
  • Single people under 35 who receive Universal Credit cannot get rent-support for private self-contained flats – only for shared accommodation.

Your experiences

young woman opening door“I moved out to get my own independence and have a better relationship with my family. Things were always a little tense at home with all the stress life can throw at you.  I didn’t have a place I could escape any responsibility, because being at home I would still be stressed about my brother’s school or my mum’s illness.”

Read Charlotte’s full story

Useful links

Spare room has lots of private rental listings.

Shelter has specific advice for young people.

Reuse network matches people in need with household items which would otherwise end up in landfill.

Furniturelink Surrey offers pre-loved furniture and white goods at a discount.

Find your local council in Surrey where you’ll get all the info you need on social housing.

More info for you

Have a look at some other areas which can help you with your caring role...

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Your rights

As a carer (regardless of your age) you have certain rights that are protected by law.

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Working and caring

Juggling work and caring might need a bit of thought but we've set out some helpful tips to get you on your way!

Find out about…

housing, returning to learning, higher education issues, working, apprenticeships, your health, planning your future, financial help and managing your money.

Click here

Can we help you?

The 18-24 team offers free specialist support to young adult carers across Surrey. Text us on 07723 486730 and we'll come back to you as soon as we can!

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