Just as you’re entitled to rights, you also have responsibilities yourself. Your responsibilities tend to grow as you get older, but as a young person you’re still responsible for certain things.
Mostly it’s common sense stuff:
- Keeping yourself and your things safe wherever you live.
- Trying to keep other young people around you safe.
- Keeping your room tidy.
- Taking responsibility for your own education by making sure you go and take part.
- Keeping the place you live nice for you and other young people.
- Trying not to get involved in anything illegal or things that will get you into trouble.
- Trying to have friends that are good for you and that won’t get you into trouble.
- Spending your pocket money on things that are appropriate to your age and won’t get you into trouble.
While you’re being looked after, your local authority has responsibilities toward you:
- Making decisions that are in your best interests.
- Placing you somewhere that will keep you safe.
- Making sure that you are placed in some form of education that meets your needs.
- Making sure that the staff that look after you are qualified and have the right training.
- Making sure that you know how to make a complaint.
- Arranging for you to see family and friends as long as this doesn’t put you at risk.
- Letting you join clubs and groups if they meet your individual needs.
- Making sure that you get a pocket money and clothing allowance.
If you get a place to stay of your own, your responsibilities increase, but again, it’s pretty basic stuff:
- Paying your rent on time.
- Cleaning the house.
- Putting out rubbish.
- Trying to avoid problems with neighbours.
- Keeping noise at a reasonable level.
- Trying to ensure that no illegal activities take place in your home.
- Asking permission for things not stated in the contract – like keeping a pet.
- Telling landlord about any damage or repair.
- Answering any letters from landlord.
- Checking your tenancy agreement to see what repairs you’re responsible for.
Living somewhere’s a two-way street though, so here’s a list of some of your landlord’s main responsibilities:
- Providing you with a tenancy agreement or lease.
- Providing you with receipts or a written record of your payment.
- Making sure property is weatherproof.
- Keeping drains, gutters and external pipes clear.
- Making sure supplies are in good working order – water, gas, electricity etc.
- Unless they’re caused by misuse, carrying out repairs to things like burst pipes, blocked toilets, damaged locks etc.
- Thanks to the Scottish Borders Housing Forum website for some of the advice on this page.