Staying on a friend’s sofa might be a good short-term solution if you have to leave home and you have nowhere else to go. However you may start to feel that you are getting in your friend’s way. This could affect your friendship in the future.

Top tips:

  • Always go and get some housing advice and support. Some local councils can refer you to Nightstop if you’re aged 16-25. There may not always be a place available, a place is not guaranteed but it’s worth a try. To find your local housing authority click on this link www.getconnected.org.uk/ www.themix.org.uk/get-support/find-local-services
  • Try to sort out where you are going to stay the day before you need it. If you leave it too late to contact a mate then you could find yourself with nowhere to go.
  • If you are staying in the home of your friend’s parents you must ask them yourself whether it’s ok to stay, don’t just rely on your mate’s say so.
  • If your friend lives in supported accommodation and you want to stay with them, check with the staff first. Some young people who don’t ask permission get asked to leave their housing project so both you and your mate will be without anywhere to stay. Also you may want to live in that accommodation and are waiting for a vacancy, staying uninvited could lose you the opportunity.

You will need to find somewhere of your own eventually. Staying with friends doesn’t mean you have found a home. You could still be classed as homeless and you may be entitled to help from the council, which could include housing.

Even if the council does not accept you as homeless, they may be able to help you find affordable accommodation. Homeless people have the right to ask for housing advice from their local council’s housing options and housing/homelessness department. A local housing adviser can check why the council will not accept your homeless application, or give you any advice on housing.