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To ask how you coped moving out independently for the first time?

(31 Posts)
Halie Mon 12-Feb-18 15:18:30

I've been looking online for practical advice about moving out independently for the first time. I'm in my 20's and single. Unfortunately all the advise I find is aimed at young people going off to university and that's a totally different situation.

I don't want to give too much detail about myself but basically I'm an adult stuck in a situation that I've been trying to get out of for years and I need to leave now. The soonest I can leave is early next year so this is when I intend to leave. I am not entitled to any benefits and do not currently earn any money but I will have a well paid job early next year so long as I keep on track, pass a few exams and make some strong early applications. But I don't know about things such as:

- Can I just secure a job and leave? How quickly does the process take from securing rented property to moving in?

- How do I get a place to live? I'm looking at renting because I can't afford a mortgage and I don't want one at this point in my life (not sure where I want to live permanently). So do I just look online and call people - how does it all work? What will I need in terms of documentation?

- How much money will I need minimum? I'm not entitled to anything and no one can help me in terms of friends/family but I've been saving over the years.

- How do I learn how to pay bills/council tax etc?

Basically, I feel like I don't know how to do this. I already suffer from anxiety and it's almost tipping me over the edge not knowing how to be independent and worrying how I'll cope by myself. I feel like most people don't deal with this (maybe I'm wrong?) because they move out with a partner and two wages or they are assisted by family. I have a very very thin safety net for the next 12 months in terms of support but it's going to vanish and then I'm alone. I feel vulnerable, alone and as if I have no practical life skills. I'm frustrated because I've been trying to be independent for years and with each year I seem to lose more confidence in my ability to be an independent adult. I cannot remain in this situation any longer, for my own sanity and also because my support network can no longer support me.

How do I do this alone? Is there anyone or anything (a guide or something??) that gives a step by step plan of doing this alone? I don't know what I'm doing, I'm worried sick and it feels as though I'm completely alone. I only have myself to depend on and I'm worried about messing up.

PickettBowtruckles Mon 12-Feb-18 15:23:18

With renting one thing you need to be aware of is being young and single, unless you have a high income you may well be asked to have a guarantor. My dad had to do this for my husband and I on our first flat. Also be prepared for the fees, it’s usually one and a half times the monthly rent for the security deposit, plus the first months fee, plus referencing and admin fees. So realistically if you’re looking at £1000pcm rent, you’ll need £1500 deposit, £1000 first month rent and £500 referencing and admin so £3000 before you’ve even moved in.

In terms of bills the landlord usually notifies them of a new tenant and they will send letters to set up payments with you. Good luck flowers

BerkInBag Mon 12-Feb-18 15:24:28

Don't be daunted. Anything you do for the first time can seem difficult but it's just a matter of doing it and it all eventually falls into place.

What part of the country are you in - just for rent figures.

WhyIsThereHariboInMyWine Mon 12-Feb-18 15:34:03

I would recommend a house share at first as typically all bills are included and it's much cheaper than your own place. Plenty of professionals do it and sometimes they don't require credit checks. Save while you stay there so you have enough for a deposit on a decent place, by then your credit rating should be much improved.

You may only have yourself to depend on for now but you'll make it through the other side and be stronger for it. Good luck

Dragongirl10 Mon 12-Feb-18 15:42:18

Op you are really worrying far too much, thousands of young people move out on their own.

I had my first flat and mortgage at 21!

So this is what you need to do,

Get familiar with, on this site you can identify an area by town or postcode, to find properties to rent ( or buy)

Start looking online now, start looking at the cost of rent where you want to live, consider whether you want to share a flat with 2 bedrooms or be part of a house share, or live alone in a 1 bed flat. Some houseshares include bills, other rentals don't. Each ad will specify. Think about furnished as you do not want the cost of kitting out a place.

Usually you will need to be permanently employed, for at least three months, with a deposit of 6 weeks rent and one months rent paid upfront. A decent credit history is essential, check yours through Experian, you have lots of time to improve it by using a Credit card and paying off the full amount each month, don't forget!

Some estate agents will charge additional fees, this varies, identify the most popular agents for the properties you are looking at on Rightmove, call and ask their move in fees.

Now assume you know what type of accomodation you are looking for and the approximate upfront cost, open a seperate bank account to save for this cost, start asap.

Do some searching online to find out estimated utilities costs ie gas, electric, water, council tax for the size of property and location.Get a rough monthly figure, add to rent cost and you will have your monthly outgoings covered for the property.

Add in travel,TV, broadband, phone, food, clothing, socialising cost and any other bills (work out per month)

Make sure the jobs you are likely to get cover the costs comfortably or reasses the type /location of the accomodation and start again.

Property rental websites are your new hobby! learn to read and compare.
Deciding how you want to live, where and what you are likely to be able to afford is the first thing.

Identifying utility costs, and how much you spend in addition, next creating a budget.

Saving next.

l'ts a big adventure, please don't be anxious.

PaperdollCartoon Mon 12-Feb-18 15:43:06

If you’re not earning why don’t you think you’re entitled to any benefits?

You’ll need 3 months of payslips and bank statements showing your pay going in, you’ll also need a financial reference from your employer, so you may have difficulty getting a tenancy agreement until you’ve been in your job for a few months.

As a PP said you’d also possibly need a guarantor to co-sign with you if you have no history of renting and don’t earn loads. A house share is likely a better option and will be cheaper, you also won’t be in the deep end having to learn it all at once as bills and council tax will be pooled. is a great place to find flat mates.

How much money you need will vary massively depending on where you are and what property costs. If you’re renting a whole property you’re not usually allowed to rent somewhere where your rent is more than 40% of your take home income. But as well as rent, council tax and bills, you also need to consider food, transport, saving for surprise costs etc.

You can do this - you sound like you’ve got your head screwed on and you’re asking all the right questions xflowersx

PaperdollCartoon Mon 12-Feb-18 15:44:22

Also deposit of 6 weeks minimum and a months rent up front.

dangermouseisace Mon 12-Feb-18 15:54:01

I moved out at a young age.

I'd recommend a house share/lodging. Go to

Benefits of sharing- cheaper and other people to 'show you the ropes'. Just make sure that if you are sharing that everyone's name is on the bills- don't ever just have your name on a bill as if others don't give you money you are legally responsible.

Motoko Mon 12-Feb-18 16:32:34

If you rent somewhere on your own, you'll get a 25% single person's discount on the council tax.

Check out the Shelter (housing charity) website and learn what you rights as a tenant are, as there are a lot of dodgy landlords out there.

It's cheaper to get a rental with a landlord who advertises privately, rather than using an agent, but you do need to be careful not to fall for a scam. Make sure you're shown around the flat before paying anything. Again, check to see what Shelter have to say about scams.

If somewhere sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Have a look at for advice on getting the best deals on utilities.

cjferg Mon 12-Feb-18 19:39:34

It's not as daunting as you think. You do learn best from experience and making mistakes in many cases, but it's worth it for the freedom, and having a space that is just yours. Below is some of what I have learned from my experiences renting. The main problems I've come across are actually securing a place, and getting the security deposit back on moving out.

Beware of letting agents as well as landlords. Have never had a positive experience. They are money grabbing bastards. Will try and take you for a sucker and keep as much of your deposit as they can.

Make sure they keep your deposit with a proper deposit keeping company (actually not sure if this is law in England, but it is in Scotland)

When you move in take photos of EVERYTHING. How clean the property is, anything that is broken, even down to nails in the wall and scuffs on skirting boards. Make sure they are date stamped (usually should be in the photo's metadata on any digital camera, phone, etc) When it comes to getting your deposit back if they try and charge you for ridiculous stuff you have evidence to back yourself up and you never know how harsh they are going to be when you move out.

Also keep all correspondence with agent/landlord, again for evidence purposes. Letters, emails, that sort of stuff. Email them rather than call (or do both ideally) if you have any repair issues so you have proof in writing that you told them about it.

Sharing flats is great cost wise and for the atmosphere if it's with people you get on with. However, I ended up in a very nasty situation with an ex flatmate/friend once. Won't go into details but she ended up telling the safedeposit company that I was owe her money and they paid back some of my deposit to her without telling me.

Actually read the tenancy agreement properly so you can be aware of any dodgy bits, charges for not paying rent on time, etc. A good part to be aware of is how clean they want you to have the place when you move out. Some will say it only has to be the way it was when you moved in, which is why having pictures of that is good. Others specify that they want it professionally cleaned and they may want receipts for this.

Can't say how much it will cost you, as not sure the area, but in my experience, if you live near any universities the rent will probably be more than you expect and you'll be competing for similar properties as students who generally have more money (from loans or otherwise) and therefore are considered more desirable tenants. It's all about money basically.

Some places will be let out on a first come first served basis so you may need to get in there quick with your deposit to secure it. Others will require you to fill out an application form with your circumstances, etc. I've never had much luck with the latter because it means the agent/landlord can cherry pick their favourite potential tenant.

I've found it's good to look for properties available before the main rush of students come back. June-September probably isn't the best time to get a good deal (only if you are in a studenty area though).

I hope I haven't put you off and please remember these are just my experiences - not gospel truth. I realise I'm making this sound grim. There were so many good parts too though and It was still miles better than living at my parents.

Just remember, lots of people will take advantage if they can. If you let them treat you like a mug, often they will.

Good luck, I hope everything goes well for you.

OwlinaTree Mon 12-Feb-18 19:43:01

Another vote for a house share from me. Gives you company and usually loads cheaper. I met my husband in a house share!

Allthewaves Mon 12-Feb-18 19:47:28

Most people I know move into house shares. Much cheaper and less stuff to sort out

TheHobbyKing Mon 12-Feb-18 19:48:40

Make sure deposit goes into a deposit protection scheme, it’s illegal not to. If you rent you should be told which utility companies the bills are with and you’ll find in your contract you may not be allowed to change it. You just phone them up to take over, and they’ll ask for meter readings so make sure you take them when you move in.

Take photos of everything, and any damage or wear and tear. You’ll need at least six weeks rent plus deposit and potentially agency fees. Get on right move to see what’s out there and rent costs.

If you live on your own you should get a 25% discount on council tax.

GeorgeTheHippo Mon 12-Feb-18 19:50:29

Yes, house shares are usually where people start - much cheaper and easier to arrange as your bills are usually included, so no need to budget for them. Also you have company which sounds good if you are anxious about the whole thing.

MincemeatTart Mon 12-Feb-18 19:55:44

I think most young people do it in stages and always have. A bit of freedom and responsibility at university but still dependent and answerable to your parents, then first job and probably renting or sharing unless accommodation is provided. Parents probably set you up with essentials still pay some of the bills, sort you out and pamper you if you’re ill and maybe still pay for car/holidays etc.
Then if you’re lucky, they help with a deposit, help with furniture and you find yourself on the ladder. Parents may be backing out a little at this step and decisions are yours but you might still want their advice.

In your situation I’d think a house share step,was a good idea.

HobnobBob Mon 12-Feb-18 20:05:24

I loved living on my own. It was probably easier that I lived with my ex boyfriend first then he moved out when we broke up. Loved the sudden independence and I grew up a lot. You learn to deal with stuff because you don’t have a choice.

brownmouse Mon 12-Feb-18 20:19:39

You sound rather lost but you are taking a brave step.

Do you have anyone who can sit you down and explain things to you and help you budget? Maybe an aunt or older adult who you trust? I'm sure it would be really helpful.

fireflame Mon 12-Feb-18 21:27:45

I suggest house share for starters my lovely
This will be a start to build your confidence up
I know this is one big step
But you can do 👍
Am sure this will help to build your confidence
Good luck on your journey
Any advice needed along the way am sure MN will be happy to ans many questions 👏🏻

teaandtoast Mon 12-Feb-18 21:45:23

And in between now and then, work on your practical life skills, if possible. Cooking, cleaning, budgeting, laundry etc.
Something like WikiHow could help. BBC Good Food website for recipes and step by step cooking demos.

And if you do know all this, not sure from your op, then you do have practical life skills. You just need to learn a few more, as we all need to, from time to time.
Good luck.

G120810 Tue 13-Feb-18 00:13:04

Contact a few estate agents and explain ure circumstances and what area etc u are looking for and they will match u with property's don't get a credit card just to get a property having no credit is actually a gd thing to landlords as it shows u won't leave debt at address and u will pay rent also check out gumtree were u will go private and most of the time they don't ask for guarantor go to citizens advice and ask what charitys out there that u can go to for support on bills etc but I started with a renting a room and loved it it was cheaper and allowed me to save for my own property plus renting a room is more relaxed than getting a private let as they don't ask for guarantor and usually it's just first month rent x

GeorgeTheHippo Tue 13-Feb-18 07:38:12

OP, if you're still here, does look good. I had a look at it for my local area and the houses and locations seemed good. And there were quite a lot (I'm in the suburbs of a major city).

Halie Tue 13-Feb-18 15:45:33

Thank you everyone for your advice, it's much appreciated.

@paperdollcartoon I'm a full time student. I've the DWP and I've been told that I'm not entitled to anything. I can't work alongside studying as my course is practical (nursing) so I already work full time without pay + studying. My NHS bursary is less than what I'd get if I was on the dole as a single person.

@cjferg Thank you! Lots of really good advice there - I will print off this thread and stick it in a 'moving out file'.

@WhyIsThereHariboInMyWine Thank you. Lots of people have suggested a house share and it is a really sensible idea and would cut the costs considerably but there's a problem with that which is causing me a lot of worry. I have a dog that I'm not willing to give up at all. I know this is going to make things even more difficult for me and I think that is heightening my worries of being able to live independently as I know that a lot of landlords don't take people with pets. He's getting on a bit now and I walk him regularly - morning and evening each day - so a big garden isn't a huge worry, but a small garden/yard would be ideal for mid-night wee's. The pet issue has really made me consider the help to buy scheme and just getting a mortgage in order to bypass the problem that landlords have with pets but it seems like a massive step I don't know if I'm ready to do that.

mikesh909 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:01:21

As you know, landlords don't like dogs as a rule but there are exceptions. You might have to be willing to compromise on other aspects (e.g. Ideal location or style of property) to find somewhere that will take your dog. How did you find your current place? In your situation, I would start networking, asking around for anywhere that might work. You'll have to cross your fingers and hope that someone who loves dogs as much as you has either a room or a whole place that they'd consider renting to you. All the stuff about letting agents, rightmove etc is unlikely to bear fruit if you won't consider rehoming your dog. Being in a good financial position, and so able to pay a deposit etc without delay, will help. Even though I expect you would have more success through informal channels, you should still ensure a proper tenancy etc is drawn up.

Dragongirl10 Tue 13-Feb-18 16:07:53

Op l am a Landlord and it will be much more difficult to get a rental with a dog, however l am currently renting a house to a young couple with a small elderly dog.

When applying they immediately gave details of breed, size, age and assurance that they would pay and extra fortnights rent as deposit to give extra security.

I trusted them as the dog was small and quiet and l met him ( l have dogs so know what l would NOT want in a rental) and they have just renewed for a third year. So it is possible, but a lot of LL will not even consider a dog.

But if l were you l would try and buy, if you move elsewhere you can always rent it out, and if you buy carefully you should make rather than lose money should you have to sell. If you can get a deposit together, mortgage payments are usually less and you have control over your home.

I struggled very hard to buy my first flat, but it was the single best financial decision l have ever made, even though it was many years ago the same applies if you are earning enough to buy in your area.

Good Luck

NerrSnerr Tue 13-Feb-18 16:14:37

@Halie if you want to earn a bit have you considered doing some HCA work on the bank or agency? As a student nurse I’d do one night shift a week and then do full time over holidays. It was also useful as I could work whilst waiting for my pin. It’s how I afforded to live independently. It’s hard work but I learned a significant amount about working on the wards.

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