There’s a problem with the place where I live

  • The place where you live should be in good condition. This includes the house or building as well as the area where your house is
  • As long as your parents are looking after you properly, you shouldn’t be separated from them so that you can live somewhere that’s appropriate – you should all live together
  • You shouldn’t have to worry about where you are living – this is something your parents should do, with help

Every child in Wales has the right to live in good conditions. This is somewhere where you can develop physically, mentally, spiritually, morally and socially. You may live with your parents, with another family member or friend, with foster parents, or in a children’s home. Wherever you live, it should be a place you can grow up safely. Sometimes the problem with where you live might be to do with the building itself, or with other people living around you.

Where is ‘home’?

Home is usually tied up with who you live with and who looks after you. If you’re under 16, you will probably be living with at least one of your parents, or in a ‘family’ environment with someone else – a relative, a family friend or a foster family. The place where you live should be appropriate for you to live and develop healthily. If the people you live with can’t provide this for you, then the local authority should help them find somewhere to live that is appropriate for you.

This section of the website is about your rights to live in good conditions with your family.

What happens if we don’t have a home?

There are lots of reasons why your family might not have a home. Your rights as a child to live in good conditions mean that if your family loses its home, the local authority should help your family and make sure you have somewhere to live. If you’re under 16, or under 19 and in full time education and living with your parents (or a parent), the local housing authority has to treat your need for somewhere to live as a priority.

What can I do if the place we’ve been given to live isn’t good for us?

If you are living in housing provided by the local authority or a housing association, there are standards that the accommodation has to meet that have been introduced by the Welsh Government. These standards cover all aspects of the house that you live in and should mean that if you are renting a house from the council or a housing association, it will be in a good condition for you.

Can we do anything if our landlord is causing us problems?

Even if you are living in a house or flat that is rented privately (not with the local authority or with a housing association), the landlord has to keep it in a good state of repair. The landlord also has to let you use the house without being disturbed. If he or she wants to come and inspect the house, they have to tell you in advance.

‘Private’ landlords in Wales have to be on a register. People who look after privately rented houses (which could be the landlord or it could be someone the landlord pays to look after the property) have to have a licence.

You can check if a private landlord, or a person (an ‘agent’) who manages the property you are renting, is registered or licensed by going to the Rent Smart Wales website.

If a landlord or an agent is causing you problems, you can report them through Rent Smart Wales too.

What can I do if a private landlord isn’t keeping where we live in good condition?

If the place where you are living is in a poor condition and your landlord isn’t repairing it, you can report them to the local authority. If the problems could have an impact on your welfare or your health or safety, the council can tell your landlord to make improvements to the building.

What if there’s a problem where I live because of other people round and about?

There may be other people where you live – in your block, on your estate, down the road, who make it hard for you to live where you are living. If anyone aged 10 or over behaves in an ‘anti-social’ way, a court can make an order called an Injunction to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance. If there are people behaving in an anti-social way in the area where you live, you or your parents can call 101, or get in touch with the local authority who can help deal with this.

Can I do anything about gangs where I live?
If there is a gang in your area, it can make life very difficult for you and stop you enjoying some of your rights, like the right to play and relax, and the right to meet up with your friends. If you are worried about gangs where you live, you or someone in your family, can talk to the police. Find out more in our section On the Street – Gangs.
Can I do anything if people where we live make life difficult for me and my family because of our race or religion?

You (and your family) have the right to be protected from bad treatment because of your race or religion. If you’re being threatened or bullied, your property is being damaged or you are being hurt or otherwise targeted because of your race or religion, it could be a race crime which should be reported to the police. If you are having to live with this sort of behaviour happening regularly, you can tell the police every time it happens.

Even if the police can’t prove that what is happening is because of your race or religion, it can still be a crime. If it can be proved that it is happening because of your race or religion, the person (or people) who is behaving like this could get a tougher punishment from the court.

What happens if I can’t live at home because of what’s happening to me there?
Your right is to live with your parents as long as they are caring for you properly, and you are not being neglected, abused or hurt in any way. If there is no one who can care for you, the local authority should provide you with somewhere to live. If your parents don’t agree to this, the local authority can step in and ask the court for a care order. Although decisions about where you live will be made by a judge, your views and feelings will be taken into account. An organisation called CAFCASS CYMRU will help make sure your voice is heard. Find out more about your rights if the problem with where you live is to do with the way other people in your home are treating you.