Got your own place but need some help?

You've moved out and have your home, now you need to keep it!

Being a good tenant and neighbour is important if you want to keep your tenancy.

If you have a garden, it is your responsibility to keep it neat and tidy, including removing litter, and keeping the grass and hedges cut.

You should get rid of your rubbish carefully by putting it in the appropriate bin.

Do not move extra people into the home without permission this can be against your tenancy conditions and could affect what benefits you are entitled to.

Be courteous of your neighbours by not making too much noise especially late at night, between the hours of 11pm and 7am. You will also need to ensure that any visitors to your property stick to these guidelines.  This includes not having regular parties or coming home drunk and making lots of noise!!  Also consider who you allow to come in - don't feel pressure to let certain people in if you don't really know them as they could cause unwanted problems.  Please see information below about Anti-Social Behaviour as this could result in you being evicted.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) is any behaviour that is aggressive, intimidating or destructive that damages or destroys another person's quality of life.

Examples can include:

• Rowdy, noisy behaviour including shouting and yelling close to people's homes
• Littering and fly-tipping rubbish
• Groups of teenagers hanging around the streets, paths and shops
• Drinking alcohol, being drunk or rowdy in a public place
• Playing loud music
• Climbing on rooftops or property that does not belong to you
• Riding mopeds or scooters through estates and on paths
• Abandoning cars on the street
• Vandalism and graffiti

Many of these are criminal offences resulting in prosecution or arrest.
People of all ages become involved in ASB; it doesn't just make life unpleasant but can ruin lives and make areas feel unsafe.

If you want to report someone else displaying ASB get in touch with your Landlord or Police/PCSO

If you're feeling lonely and you live in supported accommodation it would be an idea to speak to your Independent Living Worker about how you're feeling.  If it's more than just feeling lonely and you think you may be depressed or something similar there is plenty of support out there for you.  Your Independent Living Worker can help you access support; otherwise you could make an appointment with your GP and discuss your feelings with them.  If you're working with one of the Early Help Officers in Youth Homelessness on an Early Help Plan they can help you access the right kind of support. 

It's important to remember that no matter how lonely you feel, only let people you know well and trust into your property.  If you begin to let people in who you don't know, you run the risk of having them invite others in, damage to your property and possibly theft.  All of these things YOU would be responsible for, would be billed for and possibly face police charges.

There are also some new online counselling services.  If this is something you would be interested in, check out the links below:

I'm under 18 - Kooth

I'm 18 or over - Qwell

Managing your own front door means deciding on the right people to let into your accommodation and ensuring they behave appropriately whilst there.  Something to remember is YOU are responsible for the people in your property so it's important you consider who you let in.  Think carefully about who you give your address to and don't ever advertise parties on Facebook etc as the wrong kind of people may get word and turn up expecting to be let in.  It's not always easy to turn people away and they can become quite aggressive and threatening if they are refused, particularly if they have taken alcohol or drugs.  If this does happen it's important that you contact the police or your Key Worker for help.  Any damages or thefts which happen when other people are in your house or flat could be down to you to pay for.  This isn't easy when you're on a low income.   Never allow anyone to stay in your property without you being there and never let them use your key.  If this happens, it could be up to you to have the locks changed and for new keys. This could cost around £100!!

Pay your rent on time. Setting up a direct debit from your account will ensure that your rent is always paid on time. You must make sure there is enough money in your account. ALWAYS get a receipt for rent paid, and remember your landlord must give you a rent book if you pay weekly.

Keep your home in a good condition at all times. Some landlords may conduct regular inspections and this could be part of your tenancy agreement.

Let your landlord know when you need repairs. Not reporting repairs straight away could mean that something small turns into a much bigger problem—that dripping tap in the bathroom could soon be pouring through your ceiling!!! You should get advice straight away if your landlord doesn't do the repairs you need, but definitely don't withhold your rent until the repairs are done, as this would be breaking the rules of your tenancy and you could be evicted for it.  The Citizens Advice Bureau website is

Do not make any changes to the home without permission; you could face an expensive bill to change them back!

Give proper notice when it is time to move on. Check your tenancy agreement, it will tell you how much notice you are expected to give.  Leaving your tenancy on good terms is also very important to your relationship with your landlord. You never know if you may want to rent from them again or need to use them as a reference.  Housing Associations in particular will require a reference from a previous landlord and if there have been any problems such a rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, this could affect your application or stop you making one.