What do I need to know?
No one should ever treat you badly because of your sexuality or gender identity.
There are laws in place to protect you.
If you feel that you are being harassed or discriminated against it is important to get advice.
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Being forced to leave your family home because you have come out to your family can be very upsetting.
Sometimes talking through the issues may help to sort problems between you.
There are specially trained people known as mediators who can help families work through the issues. A mediator is a sort of referee. They don’t take sides, they don’t decide ‘who is right’ and they don’t tell you what to do. Instead, they help you work things out for yourselves. You can find out more about mediation here.
If you are afraid of remaining in the family home, you might feel that your only option is to leave quickly. Read more about some practical steps you can take if you are leaving home in a hurry.
If someone in your home is being violent or abusive, get help immediately.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
If you have nowhere to stay, you should contact your local council’s housing department and ask to make a homelessness application. The council may have to help you find temporary accommodation, whilst they look at your application.
Take a look at our step-by-step guide to find out what will happen when you make a homelessness application.
Any emergency or temporary accommodation the council give you must be suitable.
It is really important that you tell the council about your needs and any concerns that you have. If you do not think the accommodation is suitable you can ask the council to look at it again but you should not refuse an offer without getting advice first. Otherwise they may not have to offer you anything else.
If you find it difficult to talk about your concerns with the council, try to take someone you trust with you to any appointments.
Read more about how the council can help you if you are homeless here.
In the meantime, you could ask a friend if you can stay with them while you sort out a place. If you do manage to stay with a friend, you should still be classed as homeless, find out more about sofa-surfing here.
It can be really frightening to experience harassment.
Landlord harassment is a criminal offence and it is unlawful for a landlord to evict you without following the right legal process.
Harassment can be anything that your landlord does intentionally or indirectly to upset your life or to make you leave your property. It can include:
- cutting off or restricting gas, electricity or water supply
- visiting your home regularly without warning
- interfering with your post
- threatening you
- threatening to evict you
- sending builders round without notice
- entering your home when you are not there, without your permission
- beginning disruptive repair works and not finishing them
- harassing you because of your gender, race or sexuality
- making homophobic or transphobic remarks.
There are practical steps you can take:
- Write to or email your landlord or letting agent to tell them to stop harassing or threatening you
- tell them that they are acting unlawfully and if it continues you will take legal action
- have a friend or adviser with you whenever you have to deal with your landlord in person.
Contact the police if your landlord makes you feel unsafe in your home, threatens you with violence or is violent.
If you are in need of help, get advice as soon as possible.
Read more about harassment by a landlord here.
Same-sex cohabiting couples are treated in the same way as cohabiting opposite-sex couples. This applies whether or not you have registered as civil partners.
This means that both registered civil partners, and unregistered same-sex couples who are living together are treated as making one joint claim, and will have their income combined when benefits are calculated.