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…
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.
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.
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!
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.
“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.”
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.