Advertising
Search site

Leaving Home

Even if you are leaving home in a rush, it's best to try to make some preparations before you go though this is not always possible. This section covers some reasons you may be leaving and gives you the guidance you may need.

Relationship Breakdown

When you split up with someone, you will have to decide if you want to stay in the home or find somewhere else to live. Your options may be the following:

Staying in the home while your partner moves out - You won't have to undergo the upheaval of moving to a new home which could be away from your work, family and friends, and schools if you have children. However, the home could be too large and/or expensive for you to run without your partner. If you are a joint tenant and you want to stay in the home, you should make sure the other joint tenant doesn't end the tenancy by giving notice to the landlord.

Moving out while your partner stays in the home -  It may be that in the short-term you need to leave your home, but would like to return to it later. Or you may want to stay in the home for the time being, but move out when you've decided where to go.

You both leave and get new places - Take a look at our Finding somewhere to live section for more details.

You carry on living together in the same house - Through discussion, mediation and negotiation with your partner, or by going to court, it might be possible for you to share the home, either on a short or long-term basis. This could mean that one person stays in the home and the other has access to it, or that you both live in different parts of the home, but as separate households (i.e. not as a couple). It may be harder to make a fresh start if you are still living in the home you shared together. 

Deciding who stays

The question of who stays in the home depends on your circumstances, for example:

· whether you are married or in a civil partnership

· legal rights

· whether you have children

· whether you own or rent your home

· what other housing options might be available.

More detailed advice and information about your options and rights can be found in this Shelter Relationship Breakdown booklet.

Even though you may need to make a decision quickly, it's important to check your legal position carefully. If you want to keep on living in your home, either now or later, you will need to protect any rights you may have to it. The person whose name is on the tenancy agreement, or who owns the home, doesn't necessarily have to be the person who stays there. In the longer-term, you may be able to get ownership of the home or the tenancy transferred into your name, depending on your circumstances. Seek professional advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If possible, discussing the issues with your partner or former partner and coming to a mutual agreement can avoid a long and costly legal process. Mediation and/or counselling services such as Relate and National Family Mediation can provide a neutral third party to help you see the other person's point of view.

Financial Issues

Whether you stay/or move out of your home, you will have to think about how you're going to pay your rent or mortgage. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to claim maintenance payments from your ex-partner. 

Renting

If you're a joint tenant in your current home, both of you will be equally liable for paying the rent. It's important you make sure the full amount is still being paid, otherwise you may get evicted and this could make it difficult for you to get a new place. If you are unemployed or on a low income you might be entitled to Housing Benefit to help pay the rent. If you are already claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support  click here to use our on-line benefits calculator to see how your change of circumstances will affect your claim. If you are worried about paying your rent visit the rent arrears page.

If your name is not on the tenancy, you may want to establish the right to make rent payments towards the home. This would help protect your interest in the home. If you are a housing association or Council joint tenant and your relationship has broken down you need to contact your Housing Officer to discuss your options.

Homeowners

If you're a joint or sole owner (and in even in some cases, where your name is not on the mortgage) and are claiming income support or income-based Jobseeker's allowance, you may be entitled to support for mortgage interest payments (SMI). If you are worried about paying your mortgage visit the mortgage arrears page.

 

Asked to leave by your parent/guardian

If you are asked to leave home by your parents or guardian, depending on your age, the Housing Solutions Team would look to assist you with the following:

· Mediating with your parents to enable you to remain at home

· Seeking alternative accommodation

· Benefit entitlement - use our benefit calculator to check your entitlement

· Provision of emergency accommodation (only in some instances)

· Referrals to other supporting agencies

We will need to know the reasons why you have had to leave home and will then try to prevent, wherever possible, disputes at home leading to homelessness. Although this is not always possible, the Housing Solutions Team would endeavour to try to liaise with your family, enabling you to return home in a planned manner. Hopefully, this would avoid the need for emergency accommodation such as bed and breakfast accommodation, or homeless shelters.


Housing Solutions may have no legal duty to provide you with emergency accommodation. This will only be considered following contact with your family and all other options have been considered.

Leaving home in a planned way will reduce the chance of homelessness. Here are a few things you should consider:

· Safe to stay - friends may put you up for a few days, but probably can't or won't for a long period of time.

· Money - how will you feed yourself, pay your rent and bills?

· Belongings - what will you need to take as well as clothing e.g. bedding, maybe some furnishings, etc?

· Deposit and rent in advance - most landlords are likely to want a deposit and rent in advance.

· You should try to save up for the cost of your move.

How to get in touch with us

As from the 1st April 2018 unless you are homeless on the day we will no longer be providing a drop in service. All appointments will be pre-booked by you directly and planned using the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard (EHO), see more below.

You can complete a 10 minute online assessment (Enhanced Housing Options Wizard) which will provide advice and guidance tailored to your current situation. It will give you the next steps that you should take to address your current situation and if needed you will be able to self-book an appointment with Housing Solutions for a suitable date and time.

(Add in Link to EHO here)

If you are unsure what you should do in your situation you can call us on 01206 282569, we will be able to advise you on who can support you in your situation and how to access this support. You can also come in to the Colchester Borough Council offices at Colchester Community Library which are open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday to use the self-serve portal.

 

Asked to leave by your landlord

Most private tenants can only be evicted if the landlord follows specific legal procedures. These usually start when your landlord gives you notice that you will have to leave.   

More information about notices can be found on the Shelter website by clicking here.
Click here to go to the Gov.uk website which has information and advice about private renting and settling disputes.


As from the 1st April 2018 unless you are homeless on the day we will no longer be providing a drop in service, all appointments will be pre-booked by you directly and planned using the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard (EHO), see more below.

You can complete a 10 minute online assessment (Enhanced Housing Options Wizard) which will provide advice and guidance tailored to your current situation. It will give you the next steps that you should take to address your current situation and if needed you will be able to self-book an appointment with Housing Solutions for a suitable date and time..

(Add in Link to EHO here)

If you are unsure what you should do in your situation you can call us on 01206 282569, we will be able to advise you on who can support you in your situation and how to access this support. You can also come in to the Colchester Borough Council offices at Colchester Community Library which are open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday to use the self-serve portal.

For further information visit the Housing Advice page.

Victim of Violence and/or Harassment in your home

If you are in Immediate Danger call 999

Nobody should live in fear at home because of someone else's behaviour. Though most reported violence is done by men towards women, it happens throughout society. Men and same sex partners suffer violence too. Your safety, with or without children, is of the utmost importance.

If you are thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, or have left, find out your rights and where you can get help. If you are worried about your safety, or the safety of your children, there are people who can help you stay safe. It will help to talk to someone or read about practical steps you can take to sort things out. 

If you are being frightened, hurt or abused by a partner or a family member, please consider calling one of the following telephone numbers:

· In an emergency, call 999

· Domestic abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247- this phone number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls to this number are free from both landlines and mobile phones.

· Colchester & Tendring Women's Refuge- 01206 500585 or 01206 761276. Weekdays 8am-5pm

· Safer Places-Domestic Abuse Support Services-03301 025811 this phone number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Where you can go for advice and support

· Colchester Sanctuary Scheme, this scheme makes it possible for you to remain in your own home and feel safer. The scheme enhances a person's property with physical security measures which helps you to feel safe. This can range from basic additional security to a property such as windows, door locks and external lighting up to (and only in suitable situations) the creation of a sanctuary room. This scheme may be an option for any high risk or repeat victim of domestic abuse. It covers those residents living in Colchester Borough only; this includes Housing Association Tenants, privately rented or privately owned properties. This is an option for anyone who is threatened with homelessness and would like to attempt to remain in their current home. Other support services below can also assist with this. For further information on this scheme please contact; Nevina Williams on 01206 282851 nevina.williams@cbhomes.org.uk or Kelly Vanderson on 01206 508965 kelly.vanderson@cbhomes.org.uk.

· Supportline offers confidential emotional support on a range of issues

· Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge are a local support and information service,

· Women's aid gives independent advice on how to cope with domestic violence

· Refuge helps women and children who are experiencing domestic violence

· Men's advice line provides advice and support for men in abusive relationships

· Victim support can offer help if you have been affected by a crime

· Rights of Women (link to http://rightsofwomen.org.uk/, a charity working in a number of ways to help women through the law

· SAFERPLACES; Domestic Abuse Support Services link to:

Help for women and children

· Contact Colchester Police on 0300 3334444 if you are at risk now.

· If you are a child and frightened you can also call the Police or ring Childline on 0800 1111. 

Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge provide a 24-hour helpline. They provide excellent support and accommodation in modern surroundings. You could arrange for someone to come and see you wherever it's safe to talk. Their number is 01206 500585. The Colchester and Tendring Women's Refuge website allows you to hide your visit.

Help for men

Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members). They help by giving you time to tell your story; offering emotional support; providing practical advice; signposting you to other services for specialist help. They will support men of any sexual orientation.

Call freephone on 0808 801 0327 Monday-Friday 9am-5pm or email info@respectphoneline.org.uk

Housing Options

As from the 1st April 2018 unless you are homeless on the day we will no longer be providing a drop in service, all appointments will be pre-booked by you directly and planned using the Enhanced Housing Options Wizard (EHO), see more below.

You can complete a 10 minute online assessment (Enhanced Housing Options Wizard) which will provide advice and guidance tailored to your current situation. It will give you the next steps that you should take to address your current situation and if needed you will be able to self-book an appointment with Housing Solutions for a suitable date and time to you.

EHO

If you are unsure what you should do in your situation you can call on 01206 282569, they will be able to advise you on who can support you in your situation and how to access this support. You can also come in to the Colchester Borough Council offices at Colchester Community Library which are open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday to use the self-serve portal.