Leaving home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful and difficult. Research your options and plan where you're going before you leave. If you know where you're going and you know you can pay and manage your new space you'll enjoy your independence.
Getting ready to leave
Leaving home is a massive step to take, and the key to avoiding problems further down the line is preparation. Don't feel you have to move before you're ready, unless you feel unsafe at home.
Remember to consider all the down sides of having your own place as well as all the good things. If you know anyone that has recently left home, talk to them about their experiences.
You'll need to work out a budget to make sure you'll be able to afford all the new things you'll have to pay for.
Make a list of all your income and all a list of all your expenses. Your expenses will include rent, rates, utility costs, groceries, TV licence, cable or satellite subscriptions, transport as well as all your usual monthly outgoings, like your phone bill, entertainment costs, club memberships etc.
If you're moving out for the first time, you need to be realistic about what you'll spend on your living costs. When you're setting up home for the first time, you may have to spend a lot of money in the first couple of months on essential household items, such as pots and pans and electrical equipment.
If you're having a tought time at home you may feel that running away from home is the only solution to your problems.
No matter why you want to leave, getting help while you're still at home is usually a better option than running away. If you're having a tough time in your family home, it's important that you speak to someone. Talk to a friend, colleague or a specialist support agency for assistance. Things may not be as bad as they seem.
Dealing with the Housing Executive
If you have nowhere to live, you can make a homeless application to the Housing Executive. As far as the law is concerned a "homeless" person is someone who does not have somewhere that they can reasonably continue to stay in. You can be homeless if you're staying with someone short term or your current home is unsuitable.
Everyone has a right to make a homeless application to the Housing Executive, but if you don't pass the Housing Executive's four tests, it will probably take a long time to get a house. Talk to an advice agency like Housing Rights Service before you leave home. An adviser may be able to give you a realistic idea of your chances of getting rehoused quickly.
Your housing options
If you need to move out in a hurry, or you want to leave the family home but don't want your own place, there are several short term and longer term housing options available.