Young LGBT people
This content applies to Scotland only.
Housing laws vary between Scotland and England. Get advice relating to England
If you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and you’re homeless or thinking of leaving home then this page explains your housing options and what you can do.
What if I'm LGBT and have nowhere to stay?
If you find yourself with nowhere to stay, call Shelter's free housing advice helpline on 0808 800 4444. Shelter can't provide you with a place to stay, but an adviser should be able to help you find a place in a hostel or refuge near you.
Can the council help me?
If you're LGBT and homeless because your parents have thrown you out or because you are scared of violence, abuse or harassment, you can get help from your local council. You don't have to sleeping on the street to get help and if you are staying with a friend or in a hostel, you are still legally homeless.
What help can the council give me?
The council will look into your situation to see what kind of help it should offer you. This may be:
- help to find a new place to live
- an offer of a permanent home.
If you are 16-17 years old or are at risk of violence or harassment because of your sexuality, you will be classed as being in 'priority need', which means you have an increased chance of being offered permanent housing by the council.
Where will I stay?
The council should offer you somewhere temporary to stay while it looks into your situation. If the council doesn't offer you temporary accommodation or if you feel don't feel safe in the accommodation provided, go and see an adviser at a Shelter advice centre, Citizens Advice or local LGBT agency (see 'support and advice' below). An adviser may be able to arrange for you to stay somewhere more suitable.
What if the council won't help me?
If the council won't help you, an adviser at a Shelter advice centre or Citizens Advice can look into your situation and help you get what you're entitled to. Find out more about help from the council and what you can do if the council won't help you.
What are my rights?
Discrimination and LGBT
Councils, housing associations and landlords cannot discriminate against you because you're LGBT. If you think this is happening, you may be able to take action. Read the page on dealing with discrimination against LGBT people to find out how.
Harassment and LGBT
Nor should your landlord or anyone else in your neighbourhood harass you or make your life miserable because you're LGBT. Harassment is a criminal offence, and you can report your landlord to the police if this happens. You may not need to go into the police station to do this. You can find out more about what to do if your landlord or anyone else is harassing you here.
Rights as a same sex couple
- If you are both over sixteen, you and your partner can register a civil partnership. This gives you similar rights to a married couple.
- Councils, housing associations and landlords cannot treat same-sex couples differently from opposite-sex couples - this is discrimination (see above).
- Same-sex couples should be treated in the same way as opposite-sex couples when applying to the council as homeless.
- When it comes to benefits, same-sex couples will have the same rights as opposite-sex couples. This means you will now have to claim as a couple instead of claiming separately. If you are already getting benefits, you should notify your local DWP office and your housing and council tax benefit department that you are living together. Read more about housing and council tax benefit and other benefits in the section on paying for a home.
Support and advice
- The Strathclyde Gay and Lesbian Switchboard offers a wide range of services to LGBT people, their families and friends. Tel: 0141 847 0447 (lines are open 7-10pm).
- The LGBT Youth has advice and information on a range of topics for young LGBT people.
- The Beyond Barriers website lists other LGBT organisations in the directory section.