Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Leaving home

Hi, I'm 17 years old and I will be 18 in five months and I'm wanting to move out of my parents house, but they won't let me. Do I need there permission?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

From the age of 16 you can leave home without your parents’ permission. But it’'s important to think carefully about doing that and whether you have somewhere else that’s safe to live.

There are a lot of practical things to think about. It can be really difficult to be able to rent or take out a mortgage on a property until you turn 18. If you have enough money, it can be possible to rent somewhere once you'’re old enough.

Often to rent you'll also need to put down a deposit, so you would usually need some savings for that. Then you’'d need to think about how to afford bills, council tax and other expenses you might not be used to paying.

Lots of young people have different kinds of problems at home that make it feel hard for them to live there. Sometimes it's possible to find ways to improve relationships with the people that you live with and find compromises. But I understand this isn’t always easy to do. It's also important to have a think whether leaving home could affect your relationships with family members and how you feel about that too. 

If for any reason you feel unsafe at home, there's support out there through social services. They can look at your living situation and what might be best for you. You can contact your local social services through your local council. If your situation means you’d be better off elsewhere they may be able to refer you to other services such as Foyer.

Sometimes people can also find it easier living with extended family and some agreement can be worked out.

You may also like to take a look at the Shelter website. And remember, whatever's happening at home our counsellors are always there to listen and to help you to think through your options.

Thanks for the letter, take care.

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