As a young LGBTQ+ person, moving into student accommodation may have been a way to live life on your own terms.  

Once you have finished or withdrawn from your course, the prospect of having to move back in with family or becoming homeless is understandably unsettling. 

We've put together some advice and resources for if you're worried about life after uni.

If you are worried about becoming homeless in the next 56 days you should contact your local council to make an application under Part 7 of the Housing Act which states that you require housing advice and assistance to find suitable accommodation. Find your local council 

Further advice on making a homeless application is available from Shelter  

Moving out of student accommodation 

Check your contract (tenancy or licence agreement) - this should state the date you need to move out. 

More advice on moving out is available from Citizens Advice

Money matters 

In order to get accommodation, you will usually need some form of income. If you haven’t yet secured a job after uni then you may be able to make a claim for Universal Credit from the day after your course officially ends.  

It can take up to five weeks to receive your first UC payment, so you may need to budget in order to make your last student loan instalment last (if you receive one). 

The best way to work out what you could claim is to complete the EntitledTo benefits calculator

More advice on claiming benefits and other financial information for students and graduates is available from Save the Student 

Housing options 

Once you know the date you have to leave your student accommodation you should start thinking about where you’re going to stay.  

You could ask friends or a partner if they are able to accommodate you in the short-term, or if they are also looking for housing you could buddy up and find somewhere together. 

If you have a planned income (wages or benefits) then you should work out how much rent you will be able to afford.  

The best way to do this is to check the Local Housing Allowance rates for your area (generally if you are under 35 you will only be entitled to the Shared Rate of LHA.)

If you are in a position to be able to rent a room then you should start looking as soon as possible. Your local Housing Options service will be able to provide you with a list of landlords and letting agents. 

If it’s important for you to live with other LGBTQ+ people then there are many Facebook groups for LGBTQ+ housing, such as Homes for Queers Manchester, Homes for Queers London and Homes for Queers Leeds – there may be similar groups for your area so it’s worth searching and posting a ‘room wanted’ ad! You can also select the ‘LGBT’ option on Spare Room.  

If your homeless application has been accepted by the council and they have confirmed that you are threatened with homelessness then you should be eligible for the Private Rented Sector Deposit scheme and may be able to get help with a deposit and first month’s rent for your new accommodation. 

Once you have found accommodation you may need to provide references – you should contact your previous landlord or student accommodation provider for this. 

You may also be required to provide a guarantor – this is usually someone who owns their own home and will be liable if you don’t pay your rent or cause damage to the property. If you don’t have a guarantor then you should speak to the Housing Options officer dealing with your case.  

You can also pay a Guarantor Company, but you should only do enter into this agreement if you can afford to. 

Further study 

If you have decided to continue studying, for example you have been accepted onto a Masters course, then you should speak to your university as you may be able to remain in student accommodation over the summer until the new academic year starts.  

International students 

We know that many LGBTQ+ international students may be financially dependent on family, and that you may only have student visa meaning you are legally required to return to your home country once your course has finished.  

If you are in fear of abuse or persecution in your home country and want advice on staying in the UK then you can contact the UK Council for International Student Affairs*

* Only people or organisations regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) can provide immigration advice. 

Care leavers and care experienced students 

If you are a statutory care leaver and have a Personal Advisor you should ask them for support around your housing options.  

If you are a care leaver or care experienced you can contact: 

The Rees Foundation - supporting care leavers and care experienced people and communities across the UK. 

The Become charity - providing advice, support and opportunities for care experienced children and young people. It also has a coronavirus advice page for care experienced young people. 

The Propel website (run by Become) - providing care leavers with information on the support available to them from colleges and universities offering higher education courses across the UK. It contains named contacts for care experienced students. 

The Care Leaver Covenant - a promise made by private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently. They have compiled a directory of organisations supporting care leavers during the pandemic. 

Further advice and support 

If you need to talk about your situation you can contact akt via our live chat service which is available Mon-Fri 10am to 5pm.

You can also get advice and support from: 

  • Your university’s student welfare team 
  • StandAlone - support for adults including students who are estranged from their family 
  • NUS - read about the NUS/StandAlone campaign to support LGBTQ+ estranged students 
  • Student Minds - mental health support for LGBTQ+ students 
  • The Unite Foundation offers scholarships to some care leavers and estranged students. 
  • Buttle UK provides grants and support to vulnerable young people. 
  • The This Is Us at Uni podcast is a podcast by and for care leavers and estranged students
  • The Mix - essential support for under 25s 

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