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National Homeless Advice Service

Support for young tenants

Successful transitions to independence for young people who have been homeless or threatened with homelessness are likely to involve both personal and financial support.

Housing related support

A support package lasting for the first three to six months of a young person’s new tenancy can:

  • offer reassurance to their landlord, sometimes making the difference between an offer of accommodation or not
  • enable them to practice, usually for the first time, what they have been told about in terms of tenancy conditions, relationships with their neighbours and landlord, financial budgeting, care of themselves and care of their home, helping them to learn from mistakes and avoid loss of their tenancy
  • give them confidence in managing their more adult and independent responsibilities and lifestyle, enabling them to focus on training, employment and further steps towards independent adulthood.

Research by Crisis on agencies working in the private rented sector found that they offered some, but not all of the following services:

  • Prior to taking up a new tenancy, services for young people to search for suitable accommodation, advising them on opportunities, and supporting their application to and their negotiation with their new landlord
  • Where the properties are held on lease from the landlord, or where the agency has a management agreement with the landlord, services providing post-tenancy support for 3-6 months.

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Financial support

DWP guidance on Discretionary Housing Payments specifically mentions the possible use of these monies to support young people struggling to bridge the gap between Local Housing Allowance rates and the rent charged for settled accommodation. However, as such arrangements must be time-limited, and are over-subscribed, their use is not widespread.

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