Your living situation is a huge part of your time at University and it's important that things are right for you to settle in - we've provided some information below about different types of accommodation you may end up living in and tips for getting set up.
Should you need it, you can get independent help and advice on all aspects of private accommodation, including utility bills, contracts, maintenance and repairs from our own Help and Support service in your Union.
And remember, it takes time to find your feet in a new living situation - especially if it’s your first time living away from home. During your first couple of weeks, it’s completely normal (and totally okay!) to feel like you’re struggling to fit in and make friends.
If you do find yourself in this situation, our advice is to simply hang on for a couple of weeks and see what happens - from the experiences of many students before you, we know it’s really likely that you’ll feel much more at home by then. If you’re still having trouble, come and have a chat with our Help and Support team, who will do what they can to help you.
Living in University Halls
If you're based in University accommodation, you can read more about each Halls of Residence at the University's official Halls pages, including what to expect in your room, what else is nearby, and safety and security info. Your Union also appoints student Halls Exec, who represent people staying in each Halls and organise a calendar of events for them. You can find out more at https://www.luu.org.uk/halls/
Moving into University Halls
If you are moving in to University accommodation, go straight to your residence when you arrive to collect your key. You can then complete an inventory to record the condition of your room. For more information visit the University's halls pages linked above, email email@example.com or phone 0113 343 7777.
Living in a shared house
If you’ve opted to rent a room in a shared house in Leeds, you may have questions about living by yourself for the first time or any potential issues that might arise when moving in. Why not use our self help tool, Knowledge Owl, or get in touch with Help and Support for advice?
Finding a room in a shared house
Unipol is a student housing charity that rents properties directly to students and provides help and assistance to students renting privately, as well as acting as a watchdog to ensure local landlords and agents are meeting certain standards & codes.
SpareRoom is a free to use website full of listings of rooms to rent in shared houses. It allows you to directly contact landlords and future housemates to ask questions and declare your interest in the room, set up a virtual or physical viewing, and decide whether or not it's for you.
Leeds Uni Tickets is a Facebook group used by students across the five universities in Leeds. Not only is it a place to procure discounted club tickets, random items of furniture or a place to reclaim missing IDs and keys, Leeds Uni Tickets is often used by students to market spare rooms. Through Leeds Uni Tickets you can go straight to the source and reach out to potential housemates yourself, and ask fellow students who may be more familiar with private letting agents, areas and roads for their advice and opinions.
If you’re planning to rent private-sector accommodation, it’s important to check several things before you sign a contract. Once it is signed you cannot usually cancel and will be legally bound to pay rent until the end of the contract, even if you move out before.
Make sure you visit the property, calculate all your costs and get your accommodation contract checked by Student Advice or Unipol before you sign it. Never pay a landlord any money before you sign the contract.
You can find out what former tenants have to say about landlords and properties you’re considering at rateyourlandlord.org.uk.
Living outside the city (commuter students)
If you’ve decided that the best option for you is to commute in from home, your travel time can be put to great use by listening to lecture recordings, reading or reviewing your notes.
And if you’re concerned about making friends as a commuter student, don’t worry -
joining our clubs and societies is a brilliant way to make connections with those who share your interests, and we even have a dedicated Commuters Society where you can meet other people in the same situation.
Plus, if you’re a student with children, there are plenty of childcare options for you to think about. The Family Information Service Leeds can help you explore your options, or you may want to consider the University’s own nursery, Bright Beginnings. Find out more here.
You can find the university's schedule of key dates, including teaching dates and holidays, here.
When you're getting set up in your room with your computer, it's important you think about your physical health and safety - the University has specific DSE guidance which we'd recommend you have a look at.
Moving into private rented accommodation
As soon as you move into the property, check it thoroughly (cross referencing with the inventory, if you’ve received one) and take photos of the rooms, including any wear and tear, so you have proof of its condition upon moving in. Should there be any disputes at the end of your tenancy, this will form your evidence so it’s very important. Make a note of the meter readings too.
Contact the landlord or letting agency straight away about any concerns, such as missing or damaged items. If there’s a burglar alarm, get the code from the landlord so you can use it.
Budgeting your money and paying your bills
If you’re living by yourself or adapting to a student budget for the first time, controlling your finances and looking after utility bills can be a daunting responsibility.
Luckily, there’s plenty of advice about creating and sticking to a budget on LUU’s self help site, and if you need more personalised advice surrounding this our advice team are well-equipped to help you.
If it’s utilities and bills that are your concern, you can explore our frequently asked questions here or get in touch with the team for advice. Think of it this way - uni is a great opportunity to get familiar with these ‘adult’ processes while there is still help at hand.