Living in Leeds
- Am I likely to be living exclusively amongst students?
- If I am going to be living in a community including people who aren't students, what should I be aware of?
- What about noise levels?
A: The answer to this depends very much on the particular circumstances, geography and trends in your town of study.
Leeds 6 (Woodhouse, Hyde Park and Headingley) is the main focus of student occupancy but other areas have large numbers of students and may offer you better value for money.
Click the map for a bigger version and descriptions of the areas of Leeds
Although certain areas in Leeds are considered 'student areas', they haven't always been that way and they may not really have that high a proportion of students.
Even though most students live in these areas only for a few years, there is a sizeable number of people who have lived there a lot longer and have seen many students come and go.
These people may be connected with higher education, for example, ex-students and lecturers, or they may be people who have always lived in the area.
They may be young single people, elderly people or families with or without children.
In short, they may be people like you, your friends and your family.
Unipol has produced a map of Leeds with descriptions of all the areas that students may want to live. It is well worth looking at this map.
Q: If I am going to be living in a community including people who aren’t students, what should I be aware of?
A: Sometimes friction builds up between students and their neighbours. Most tension of this kind can be avoided by simply thinking about how other people may feel about what you do. In fact, that applies even if your neighbours are students.
There are a number of things you can do to live in the community successfully. Some are general good neighbourliness and all will increase your security and peace of mind. Look at our checklist of what and what not to do to keep on the right side of your neighbours.
A: Noise can be a particularly tricky issue. It can cause deep upset between neighbours and lead people to resort to calling in the local authorities to deal with. Local Councils have legal powers to take action on noise pollution, this could ultimately result in the confiscation of equipment and/or a fine of up to £5000. If you experience problems such as loud music late at night/early hours of the morning, report it to Environmental Health. They will investigate your complaint and send a letter to the offending party. If the problem continues, noise monitoring equipment may be used. The evidence gathered from this could be used in any legal action.
A landlord/agent can take action in the courts to repossess a property on the grounds of nuisance. This covers behaviour that is likely to cause nuisance and annoyance to surrounding neighbours by either a tenant or their friends. If you experience problems of harassment or intimidation contact your owner/agent. If they take no action, seek legal advice.
- When you arrive, introduce yourselves to your immediate neighbours, find out what they are like, if they've got young children who may be disturbed by noise and ask them to pop round if they have any problems. Chances are, if you do this, they'll never come round to complain. They will, however, be more likely to look after your house while you're away which helps to improve the general security of the area.
- Tell your neighbours about any parties and remember to keep the noise down after around 10pm if you have friends round. Some people have to get up very early for work or for their children and need their sleep.
- Remember to be considerate when going home late at night by not talking loudly outdoors or banging car doors.
- Try to keep any garden or yard tidy. It may not be your responsibility to do the garden but it is to keep it clear of rubbish. If you haven't got a bin, contact the owner.
- Always put rubbish in a bin. Ask the neighbours when the bins are emptied. If you put out bin bags they may be ripped open by cats, foxes or other animals and it will be your responsibility to clean up the mess.
- If the outside of your house is looking untidy, for example if all the paint is peeling on the windows, put pressure on the owner or agent to improve things.
- Take some interest in the area, for example, if someone is tipping in an alleyway nearby report it to the council, if an empty property is being vandalised report it to the police.
- Don't throw litter in other people's gardens or yards.
- If you're bothered about issues in the area get involved in community groups, lots of students do. There are many different types. Ask your student union for details.