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What should I do before I leave?

Whether you’re moving out into a university halls of residence or a place of your own, you need to make sure you've thought through your options and are prepped before you make the change.

One of the first things you should think about is what works best financially. For example, if you're studying at a university or ITP then halls of residence might seem more expensive on a weekly basis. However, the cost does include things like heating and internet.

Location also plays a part, as living closer to where you work or study will reduce what you spend on transport. Thinking about the bigger picture is a good way to cut down on your costs.

There are also several things you'll want to make sure you've prepared before you move. These include:

  • Talking through the move with your parents or caregivers/guardians.
  • Putting aside some money and budgeting for expenses.
  • Making sure you’ve got everything sorted for your new place (checking whether you need a bed, a fridge etc).
  • Having someone help look through any documents you need to sign.

Getting these in order ahead of time will make the whole process a little bit smoother and help you avoid any last-minute worries.

If you're looking for more information on how to apply for accommodation at a university or ITP, check out our link below.

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What will I need?

Deciding what you need to be taking with you largely depends on where you’re going and what’s important to you. It’s part of learning to live independently, as you start to take responsibility and make choices yourself.

Examples of things you should be taking include:

  • your driver licence
  • your debit and credit cards
  • your passport
  • birth certificate
  • any necessary medication.

Again, a lot of what you take will depend on what you want to have in your home and what you own, whether that’s an Xbox or a new guitar. Some places will also come more furnished than others, with halls of residence normally supplying a bed, wardrobe, desk and so on. The above are just examples of items you'll need whatever your plans are.

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Will I have rights and responsibilities once I’ve moved in?

Yes, you certainly will! Before you make the big move, you’ll want to make sure you’ve gotten to grips with what’s to be expected of you and what you’re entitled to in your new home.

An example of one of your responsibilities would be to make sure you pay your rent on time, whereas one of your rights is that you can expect the house to be kept in good condition.

For more information on your rights and responsibilities while flatting, check out our article on the topic by clicking on the link below.

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Where can I look for help?

Even if you’ve done everything right and are enjoying living independently, there can always be things that go wrong. If you find this happens, there are some websites you can look at and people you can ring to ask for advice.

These include:

  • Work and Income – aid you financially if you’re looking for work, in a low-income job, or need some help with topics from housing to general living expenses.
  • Youth Service – provides aid in a range of ways, including financial assistance.
  • Youth Law – provides information and help regarding your rights.
  • Tenancy Tribunal – helps with issues relating to tenancy agreements. This is a paid service, but it can help sort disagreements with landlords that can't otherwise be solved.

Remember: Moving out and living on your own can be a stressful time. If you feel overwhelmed, or lonely, try talking to someone. If that doesn't make you feel much better, check out our post on mental health for more information on how to deal with the stress.

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Key websites

  • Human Rights Commission - The Human Rights Commission works to help protect the rights of all types of people in Aotearoa New Zealand. It looks at rights both in work and in your everyday life.
  • YouthLaw Aotearoa - YouthLaw Aotearoa is a community law centre which provides free legal help to children and young people under 25. Their website contains useful information in relation to your rights.