where would i want to live?

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1 Section 4 57 The first move for a young person when considering moving out is to draw up a budget. It will help you work out what kind of accommodation you can realistically afford, not just the rent but bills, food etc. You will probably learn very quickly that you will have to save money before moving into a new place it s always more expensive than people think. You should also try and find out a bit more about how housing works try this quiz for starters. 4.1 Quick quiz True or false? 1. It s easy to find a suitable flat or house to rent if you are a young single person 2. The name of a person who owns property to rent is a landlord 3. Electric, water and gas costs are included in the rent 4. Private landlords want a deposit and one month s rent before you move in 5. All rented flats and houses are provided with furniture 6. You can put your name down on more than one Council housing list 7. You can apply for a mortgage when you are Universities have to provide accommodation for their students.org.uk

2 58 Section 4 Answers to 4.1: 1. FALSE young people may face discrimination. They are also likely to be on a low income and may find it difficult to secure suitable and affordable accommodation 2. TRUE and the name of a person who pays rent to a landlord is a tenant. The contract between the landlord and the tenant is a tenancy agreement 3. FALSE bills are not usually included in the rent unless stated otherwise 4. TRUE sometimes the Benefits Agency will make loans to cover rent in advance but not deposits. Deposit or bond schemes can help with paying deposits 5. FALSE as a rule, private rented accommodation is sometimes furnished but Council and Housing Association properties are not usually 6. TRUE you can put your name on lots of lists although you re more likely to get housing in your local area. The rules may be different if you re applying as homeless 7. FALSE normally, mortgage lenders only give loans to people aged 18 or over. If someone else can act as a guarantor, you may be able to get a mortgage before you re FALSE some do, but there s usually not enough places for everyone. Student halls can be a good place to live but they re expensive Answers to 4.2 (next page): Full gch The flat has full gas central heating No DSS The landlord won t take on people claiming housing benefit 100 pw excl The rent is 100 per week excluding bills, so you ll have to pay these separately 250 pcm inc The rent is 250 per calendar month, and this includes your share of the bills Owner-occupier The person living in the property is the owner Tenancy agreement An agreement between the landlord and the tenant stating each person s rights and responsibilities Refs reqd The landlord will want to see references from a previous landlord and/or your bank.org.uk

3 Section Understanding advertisements for accommodation 4 5 An advert for a flat to rent says Full gch. What does this mean? An advert for a flat to rent says No DSS. What does this mean? An advert for a flat to rent says 100 pw excl. What does this mean? An advert for a flat to rent says 250 pcm inc. What does this mean? What does owner-occupier mean? What is a tenancy agreement? An advert for a flat to rent says refs reqd. What does this mean? 4.3 You want to move out and are looking for somewhere to live. Answer the questions below and compare your answers with other students Would you move away from the area you live in, or stay in the area when you leave home? 2. Why would you stay/move away from the area? 3. Name the five most important people or places you would want close to your flat? 4. What type of housing would you choose to live in? (e.g. house, flat, bedsit, hostel) 5. Why would you choose this type of accommodation? 6. Would you want it to be furnished or unfurnished? 7. Would you choose to live on your own or share your accommodation? Why? 9. Name five places to look for accommodation 10. How much do you think your chosen accommodation would cost per week? Suggested activity: compare answers with 10 fellow students and show the results in graphs, pie charts (may not be possible for all questions).org.uk

4 60 Section Accommodation options available to young people 4 5 Private rented accommodation Most common type of housing occupied by young people when they leave home for the first time Different types of private rented housing: self contained or facilities (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) shared with other people Standard of accommodation can vary greatly The law protects all private tenants whether or not they have a written contract Difficulties for young people in the private rented sector: rents can be high, money up front is needed (deposit and rent in advance in most cases), tenants may be able to get help paying the rent by claiming Housing Benefit but this does not always cover the full rent, landlords may be unwilling to let their property to people who claim benefits and also to young people Can provide quick access to accommodation, particularly young single people and students Finding private rented accommodation Estate Agents Most Estate Agents have residential letting departments and print a list of properties for rent as well as posting them on their websites. It can be costly because Estate Agents take a percentage of the rent before it gets to the landlord. The landlord may increase the rent to cover this. Estate Agents may also charge a one-off fee when the tenancy begins. The advantages of having an Estate Agent come into play if the tenant has any disputes with the landlord or if repairs need to be carried out. Newspapers and Newsagents Private landlords sometimes advertise properties for rent in the small ads of local newspapers or on cards placed in shop windows. These landlords usually let directly without using an agent so their accommodation can be cheaper. Social rented housing Accommodation let by Councils and Housing Associations is called social rented housing Tenants have better rights and usually pay lower rents than those in private rented accommodation No deposit or rent in advance required Anyone over the age of 16 can apply You can apply to your local council to go on the waiting list for a Council or Housing Association home Some housing associations may have their own waiting lists whilst others just take people referred from the Council.org.uk

5 Section 4 61 How long a person has to wait will depend on the numbers of properties to let, the policy of the local Council and the young person s particular circumstances; their health, whether they are living in overcrowded conditions at home, whether they are pregnant or have children, are care leavers, unemployed or are living in that area already Difficult for most single people without children to get a Council or Housing Association flat Policies vary across the country and between local areas, but some places may have schemes aimed specifically at young people Buying your own home (for more information, see section 7) This is the most common form of accommodation in the United Kingdom A property is not owned until the mortgage has been paid some people might say I have bought a house but what they really mean is I m buying a house Not necessarily the best option for everyone as it involves a long-term financial commitment (up to 30 years) Normally requires a deposit to be paid Often not a realistic option for the majority of young people Short-term accommodation and supported housing There are many different types of hostels catering for people of all ages. They vary enormously in terms of standards, size, if they have disabled access and the level of support offered. Emergency hostels and night shelters provide accommodation for just a few nights and usually only have beds in single sex shared rooms Women s refuges for women who have to leave home because of domestic violence or threats of violence usually ordinary houses shared by women and children Accommodation providing support aimed at preparing residents to move on and be able to manage their own tenancy: 1. Most Councils and Housing Associations run supported housing projects. These might be blocks of flats that are dedicated to young people where support workers are based and are available to work with the young people. 2. There are a number of foyers in Wales run by a variety of organisations (Trothwy Cyf has the largest number of foyers in Wales). Foyers provide temporary supported housing for young people aged between who want to obtain and maintain education, training, volunteering or employment opportunities. Lengths of stay vary but are usually for one or two years. Each type of accommodation has its own system of admissions. Some may take people straight away, if they have room, whilst others may have long waiting lists and interview potential residents..org.uk

6 62 Section 4 Student Halls of Residence Most colleges and universities have halls of residence Students usually get a single room and share cooking, bathroom and toilet facilities with other students Some halls provide meals and bed linen but most are self-catering Most first year students are offered a place in halls before they start their course Students are not usually allowed to stay in halls for the duration of their course Rent in halls of residence are usually a little cheaper than private rented housing and conditions tend to be a lot better If you want to move into halls of residence you will have to contact the accommodation office of the university or college Students usually have to apply for accommodation well in advance but in some colleges and universities, halls of residence are not available to everyone Suggested activity: Produce a booklet explaining the different types of housing options available to young people. Look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type of accommodation and how to get a place in each one. You can also use the Internet to carry out more research.org.uk

7 Section To share or not to share Write down the advantages and disadvantages of the following types of living arrangements: Living on my own Living with my partner Sharing with friends Group activity - Imagine you are a group of friends sharing a flat. One of the friends has left and you now have a spare room to rent Design an advert to try and find a new flat sharer and decide where you would put the advert. Decide on the questions you would ask potential applicants when they come to view the flat. Imagine you are someone looking for a flat which questions would you ask another group if you were going to live in their flat? Your group should interview a person from another group and decide whether you would like them to share your flat. Consider the following when working on this activity: Is it easy to decide which words to use in the advert? How much will it cost to place the advert? Will this affect how many words you use? How do you decide what questions to ask potential flat sharers? Is it difficult to agree? Is it easy to find out what it would be like to live with someone when you have met them only once?.org.uk

8 64 Section Where would I like to live? Fantasy v Reality We might dream of living in a big house in the countryside or a trendy penthouse flat in the city centre. But for the majority of us, this is just a fantasy. Salaries: A job advertisement will normally show how much you will earn per hour, per week or per annum (every year). This is not the amount of money you will get in your pay packet. There will be deductions for tax, National Insurance, pensions, student loans etc. The National Minimum wage for people over 22 is 5.52 per hour* The National Minimum wage for people between is 4.60 per hour* The National Minimum wage for people between is 3.40 per hour* *Figures correct on October 1st 2007 dti.gov.uk If your salary is 10,000 a year, you will take home approximately 560 a month If your salary is 12,000 a year, you will take home approximately 800 a month If your salary is 20,000 a year, you will take home approximately 1,200 a month If your salary is 25,000 a year, you will take home approximately 1,500 a month If your salary is 40,000 a year, you will take home approximately 2,700 a month.org.uk

9 Section 4 65 Think about what your home, budget, and your lifestyle might be like when you first live independently. Fill the table below, adding as much detail as you can, so that you can start to get a clear picture of what you want and what you don t want. Type of home Ideal situation Would be fine No way! Unless it was a real emergency Location Job and earnings Furniture and household appliances Food Entertainment Clothes Other.org.uk

10 66 Section Finding out about accommodation locally. Ask students to think of various sources of information in your area. Draw a spider diagram on the board Suggested answers: Look on the Internet for supported housing in your area Estate agents printed brochures or via the Internet Friends and family contacts The Council or Housing Associations Sources of information Adverts in shop windows, supermarkets University/college accommodation offices Local newspapers advertisement pages Word of mouth.org.uk

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