Accommodation FAQ

Q: As a first-year student, when should I start looking for accommodation?

A: If you are applying for College accommodation, then you need to return your application forms by the relevant deadline. An application for accommodation will normally be sent to you when you have confirmed that you intend to study at the college.

If you want to live in private sector accommodation, or if you have not been able to get a College provided room then you can start looking immediately.  Students who are reliant on A-level results will have to wait until mid-August before they can look, but others don’t. So if you’re in a position to look for a house before mid-August, do.  The college recommends that if you are thinking of private accommodation that you go to the UNIPOL website.

Returning Student FAQ

Q: As a returning student, when should I start looking for accommodation for the following year?

A: You are likely to come under early pressure from the private sector to start looking for accommodation for the next letting year as early as November. This pressure will largely involve alarmist messages that all the good properties are snapped up at this time of year for the following year. Beware – this is not true.  There is a surplus of good accommodation in Leeds and signing too early can often lead to paying over the odds. Although there is some element of local custom and practice, the bona fide house-hunting season doesn’t get going until January, and we recommend that you hold off signing up until at least this time.   

About a quarter of returning students finalise their arrangements with the owner (including signing the contract) in January and February  to come in to effect on 1 July for a full 52-week let (although sometimes there are summer rent concessions made). The rest of those who commit themselves to a full year’s let (about the same number again) sign an agreement in April, May and June (but mostly May) before the third term.

There is a surplus of accommodation in Leeds and therefore there is no need to rush in to making a decision. 

We would advise that any decision you make about accommodation is based on sound information.

Every year some students fall foul of various housing myths and rumours such as: 

  • There is a housing shortage – This is simply not true. In Leeds there is a surplus of good quality accommodation. Students who leave the house hunting until the summer before they return to University still secure good houses.
  • All the best places go first – Often students that sign up for houses too early are actually signing for properties left over from the previous year! Wait for the official house hunting start date when over 10,000 bed spaces are released on to the Unipol website for students to view.
  • Everyone pays sign up fees – Many property owners do not ask students to pay admin or sign up fees, if you don’t want to pay choose an owner who doesn’t charge them. Unipol will not expect you to pay for setting up a contract. 

Q: So why have a start date to house hunting?

A: Having a start date:

  • stops confusion between students wanting to rent properties now and for next year;
  • gives all owners (both large and small) an equal starting date for marketing their properties;
  • allows advice and information delivery to be given to all students at all institutions;
  • ensures that there is a decent amount of comparable property for student to choose between;
  • increases choice and transparency in the letting market;

Will always fit in with the inter semester system and enable students to look for housing after they have taken their inter semester examinations.