Getting your own place

There are lots of things to think about before you get your own place. Think carefully about your options and be fully prepared before you move.

Preparing for your own place

Make sure you’re fully prepared by thinking carefully about where you want to live and who you want to live with.

Once you find somewhere, always view the property before agreeing to take on a tenancy. Print and take with you our ‘Viewing a property‘ checklist to make sure you ask the right questions and know what to look out for.

Remember to find out as much as you can about the costs of the accommodation before you agree to move in or sign anything. It is important that you will be able to afford things. Use a budget planner to help you work out what you can afford.

Use our Leaving home checklist to help you think about what you will need in any new home.

What are my options? : short-term solutions

If you need to find somewhere to stay quickly, you could consider:

Staying with friends or relatives
If it is possible, and safe, for you to stay with friends or relatives this is probably the best option. It will give you more time to look for longer term accommodation. Click here to find out more.

The council
If you need a place immediately, the council’s housing department may have to help you – you don’t have to be sleeping on the street to get help. You should contact the council and ask to apply as homeless. This is not the same as going on the waiting list.

The council might have a duty to help you keep your current home, or perhaps help you to find somewhere else more suitable. In Wales, if you are :

  • aged 16 or 17
  • aged 18 – 20 and at particular risk
  • aged 18 – 20 and been in care at any time while you were a child
  • pregnant
  • over 21 and vulnerable as a result of some special reason (for example you have been in care and do not have anywhere else to go for support)

you are in priority need, so the council should offer you emergency housing whilst they are deciding what other help to give you.

You can find your local council here and watch our YouTube video here.

Social services
If you are homeless and :

  • aged under 18
  • a care leaver under the age of 21, or, under 24 and in continuing further education
  • have a physical or mental illness or disability

social services should help you find immediate accommodation.

If you are entitled to help from both housing and social services departments, they should work together to provide whatever help you need. For example, social services can ask the housing department to house you. They are not allowed just to tell you that they can’t help you and send you to the other department. If this happens, get advice immediately.

A hostel or nightshelter
If you need a place for the night, you may be able to stay in an emergency hostel or nightshelter. They are usually run by housing associations, charities, or the local council.

For more information on these solutions, check out our pages on emergency accommodation.

What are my options? : long term solutions

Renting privately
Click here to find out more about renting privately. Remember, you’ll usually need a deposit (which landlords must protect in an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme) and rent in advance. Most letting fees are now banned in Wales, but you might still have to pay a holding deposit to reserve a place – this should not be any more than 1 weeks worth of rent.

Waiting for a council or housing association place
Council housing and housing associations are usually cheaper than renting privately, but many areas have very long waiting lists, and councils have to give priority to certain groups of people. You will need to contact your local council or housing association and ask to apply to go on the waiting list.

Supported housing
If you’d like to live somewhere where you can get help and advice, you could look at our pages on housing with support.

Student accommodation
Have a look here at the options available to you if you are a student.

There’s lots more information about housing options in finding a place to live. You can also use our Accommodation Options chart to help you.

Phone an adviser

If you have a housing problem, call our expert housing advice helpline
0345 075 5005

Email an adviser

If you have a non-urgent problem and would like to speak to an adviser
email us

We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: November 27, 2019

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.