Unipol and University of Leeds Family Accommodation


Allocation Priorities and Process 

How the Allocations System Works 

When to apply for accommodation 

Renewal of Accommodation Contracts 

Transfers within the Portfolio

How to apply 

Information Sharing between the University and Unipol 


Students with Families

Unipol help to house students with dependants who are studying in Leeds at an institution that Unipol work with. 

Students with families who are registered – or have formally accepted a place (undergraduate or postgraduate) – at the University of Leeds are eligible to apply for Unipol and University of Leeds accommodation designated by Unipol and the University specifically for students with families.

Accommodation allocated by the University of Leeds is normally reserved for its own students.

A student who can demonstrate that she or his/her partner is pregnant at the point of application will also be eligible for family accommodation.

For international students, it is a requirement that you and all co-resident family members have appropriate immigration and visa status formally notified to you by the UK Home Office.

Parents / carers may or may not be married or in a civil partnership. They may be single or they may be in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship. They may be international, home (UK) or EU students.

Unipol and University of Leeds family accommodation is configured for a maximum of two parents or adult carers, sharing a bedroom. The accommodation is therefore not generally appropriate for additional members of the student’s (or partner’s) extended family. ‘Extended family’ here means family members beyond the nuclear family unit, for instance grandparents, aunts and uncles. If this is an issue for you in respect of a childcare need, you must discuss your circumstances with Unipol or the University (depending on who is allocating the property) before applying for accommodation.

None of the accommodation offered by Unipol or the University of Leeds is suitable for families with more than three dependants.

Resident children must be under 18 at the point at which you initially sign up for accommodation. If a child reaches the age of 18 during your stay in Unipol / University of Leeds accommodation, please be aware that your household may become liable for Council Tax, depending on the terms of your family’s visa status. If you think you may be affected by this, you should seek advice from Leeds City Council

Students who identify as refugees and asylum seekers are eligible for Unipol / University of Leeds accommodation and applications from them will be treated according to the allocation priorities as listed. However, it is important that students who fall within this category understand that they have longer-term housing needs and that Unipol / University of Leeds family accommodation is time-limited and therefore not an ideal solution for them. If you identify as an asylum seeker or refugee under the terms of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, you should contact Unipol / the International Student Office at University of Leeds to discuss your circumstances. Unipol / the University will be able to put you in touch with specialists in housing refugees / asylum seekers at Leeds City Council to support you in securing appropriate long-term social housing.

Students who do not study at the University of Leeds are eligible to secure family housing that Unipol offers to students with dependants directly. Get in touch with Unipol for more details, or if you have any questions about your eligibility.

Allocation Priorities and Process

Among eligible applicants, Unipol and the University of Leeds give priority to students who:

  • are disabled (or have a health condition) themselves or have a co-resident family member who is disabled or has a health condition. For these purposes, you must be able to provide appropriate evidence of the disability or health condition. Management of the disability / health condition must be something that is materially affected by where the student/family member lives
  • are new to Leeds (i.e. are not returning students and do not already have adequate longer-term residence arrangements in the city) housed. For these purposes, ‘new to Leeds’ means: up to six months after a student has registered on their course / programme of research; and/or
  • are not currently adequately housed, whether new to Leeds or not. For these purposes, ‘not currently adequately housed’ means that one of the following applies to you:
    • You are not currently living within walking distance of your place of study and you do not have ready access to an effective means of transport to your place of study (including bus routes); or
    • You are currently paying more than £1,200 per calendar month for your accommodation; or
    • You are currently living in short-term accommodation, for example, hotel, bed and breakfast accommodation or with family / friends based in or near to Leeds

Allocations are not normally made to students who are already adequately housed in Leeds. This includes new to Leeds students who have already found and are living in adequate housing.

Top priority is given to students / co-residents who can demonstrate they have a disability / health condition, where the location and/or type of accommodation is an important factor in the student / co-resident managing their disability / condition and their daily lives effectively.

In allocating places, second priority is given to new to Leeds students who are inadequately housed; and third priority is given to inadequately housed students who are not new to Leeds.

If you are offered a place in Unipol or University of Leeds family accommodation for the start of the standard letting year, you will normally be invited to sign a twelve-month contract. If your need is shorter than twelve months, you will be required to specify the period for which you need family accommodation and the contract will be tailored accordingly.

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How the Allocations System Works

  1. You need to complete an application form that is available by emailing Accommodation Services at the University of Leeds. 
  2. Your application will be assessed for eligibility.
  3. You will receive notification of whether or not your application meets the eligibility  criteria.
  4. If it does meet the eligibility criteria, you will be placed on a waiting list for family accommodation. This is a list which combines University of Leeds and Unipol family accommodation. Because there is much more demand for family accommodation than supply, no guarantees are offered as to whether you will be placed in our accommodation.
  5. Your application is assigned to one of the priority groups and you will be notified of the group to which your application has been assigned.
  6. When a vacancy comes up, the administrator will contact applicants in the top priority group, whose criteria fit the vacancy, to notify them of the opportunity. They will be given seven days to express an interest in the property and, if they are able to, to arrange a viewing through Unipol/ the University of Leeds (depending on who is responsible for making the direct allocation). The property will be offered to the first applicant to confirm that they want to go ahead and sign up for it.
  7. If no one from the top priority group confirms that that they want to sign up, the vacancy is then offered to the next priority group, and so on.
  8. Applicants normally sign up in person at either the University of Leeds or Unipol (depending on who the contract is with), but arrangements can be made for this to be done remotely if necessary.
  9. If you sign up, you will normally be given a twelve-month tenancy. However, if your contract starts during the course of the standard letting year, you will be given a tenancy to the end of the current letting year only.

New to Leeds applicants will be removed from the waiting list, when they have been a registered student for more than six months. They will be notified where this happens. Students in this position may re-apply if they are still not adequately housed and their priority status will be altered accordingly.

You will be contacted periodically to check if you are still not adequately housed. Those who indicate they have found adequate housing will be removed from the waiting list.

Existing tenants who are planning to leave before the end of their tenancy are not permitted to nominate replacements. Replacement of tenants is reserved to Unipol / the University of Leeds.

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When to apply for Unipol/University of Leeds Accommodation

If your first preference is for a place in University/Unipol accommodation, you should apply as soon as you have accepted a firm offer and have had the necessary visa/immigration clearance.

Ideally, it is sensible to view a property at first hand before signing up for a contract. However, Unipol and the University understand that for many students, specifically those coming from overseas, it is difficult or sometimes impossible to do this. For this reason, Unipol and the University aim to provide as much information online as possible about their properties so that making a decision on accommodation remotely, i.e. before arriving in Leeds, is an option for you. Video walkthroughs are available.

It is important you are aware that, if you are already in longer-term private rented accommodation in Leeds – however inadequate – it is highly unlikely that your landlord will let you out of an existing contract to move into Unipol/University of Leeds accommodation. In other words, if you took up an opportunity to sign up for a Unipol/University of Leeds property, you would be required to pay two lots of rent until your contract with your private rented sector landlord ended.

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How to Apply

To apply for accommodation allocated by Unipol/the University of Leeds complete the application form available from Accommodation Services at the University of Leeds.

Because the study cycle of students with families often does not align with the standard academic and letting years, vacancies in accommodation can arise at any time of the year. For this reason, it is not easy to give a firm answer to the questions: what are my chances of getting into University/Unipol accommodations and how long might I have to wait to be placed. This is why, if you want Unipol/University of Leeds accommodation, it is important you apply for it as soon as you know you are definitely coming to Leeds to study.

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Renewal of Accommodation Contracts

In view of the allocation priorities, tenants should not assume that having a place in Unipol/University family accommodation is a long-term housing solution for them. The end date of a tenancy is the last day on which the student and their family may remain in the accommodation, unless a formally renewed tenancy agreement is in place.

Renewals are tied to the study needs of tenants. The Housing Management Officer administrator will contact each tenant four months before their current agreement is due to finish, inviting them to apply, within one month, for their contract to be renewed. This is a formal process and tenants who do not apply for and secure a renewal within the specified timescale will not be entitled to remain in their accommodation beyond the end of their existing tenancy.

If a student living in University of Leeds or Unipol family accommodation wishes to renew their contract, they must submit a written application to the University or Unipol, as appropriate, together with documentary evidence from the University Registry about their continuing study status for the period ahead.

Unipol/the University of Leeds will review the student’s residency on the basis of their application and will, within three weeks of receipt, make a decision on whether to grant renewal of the contract. Renewals are also considered on the basis of a tenant’s track record in keeping up to date with rent payments and in using the accommodation appropriately.

Normally, renewals will be available on the following bases:

  • Students registered on a doctoral programme are allowed to be resident in Unipol/University accommodation for a maximum of three years.
  • students registered on an undergraduate course are allowed to be resident in Unipol/University accommodation for a maximum of three years (four, if it is a four-year course).
  • Students undertaking an MPhil are allowed a maximum of two years.

Tenants on Masters courses or on an introductory or preparatory course for a subsequent research degree are given a maximum of twelve months in Unipol / University of Leeds family accommodation. For this reason, they are not normally allowed the opportunity to renew a tenancy (unless their existing contract began during the course of the letting year and they have formal study time left at the end of their part-year tenancy).

Renewals are considered on the basis of the applicant’s continuing study needs and status. If you know that your continuing study needs are for only a part of the following letting year, you should apply for renewal only for the months that you need to compete your studies/research.

It is possible that students may have additional residence requirements at the end of their studies (for instance, to cover a short period for writing up a thesis). If you have such an additional requirement, you must apply to Unipol/the University of Leeds no later than four months before the end of your standard residence allowance. Applications should be made in writing and should include supporting documentation (including confirmation from the University Registry of the relevant academic arrangements necessitating the applicant’s extended stay).

When applying, you must specify a clear end-date, by which you commit to moving out of the accommodation. Unipol and the University require this level of certainty about the date that a student and their family leave their accommodation in order to have clarity on when they can re-allocate the property.

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Transfers Within the Portfolio

Transfers within the combined Unipol/University portfolio of family accommodation will not normally be permitted. Unipol/the University of Leeds may make an exception to this rule where the student can demonstrate a material change in their circumstances, for instance if they or a co-resident member of their family have developed an enduring disability, health condition or mobility problem while in their existing accommodation, or the family is due to grow beyond the capacity of the accommodation they currently live in.

In this connection, it should be noted that moving to a different location within the portfolio will not result in the local education authority automatically transferring any school-age child to the new nearest school.

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Information Sharing between Unipol and the University of Leeds

Unipol hosts the online facility for students submitting applications. Personal information provided by students in support of their application for a place in Unipol/University of Leeds accommodation or for a renewal is automatically shared by Unipol with the University of Leeds. This is done to support an integrated application and allocation process.

When you apply for a place in accommodation or for renewal, the application form contains a statement on the reasons for sharing your personal information between Unipol and University of Leeds administrators responsible for operating the application and allocation processes, and the limited purposes Unipol and the University of Leeds will use your personal information for. The form also asks for your consent for the uses of your personal information as described and for your personal information to be shared with the University of Leeds for these purposes. Without your consent for your personal information to be used and shared for the purposes of supporting the application and allocation processes, Unipol and the University of Leeds will not be in a position to take forward your application.

Additionally, application forms ask applicants to consent to the use of their personal information for the purposes of communicating with students about Unipol/University of Leeds and other social events and opportunities for families that arise. If you do not give your consent for the use of your personal information for these purposes, this will not prejudice your application for accommodation.

Unipol and the University of Leeds hold, share and use your personal data securely. They do not use it is for other purposes or share it with third parties – other than with each other. (There is, however, an exception to this: if you have an outstanding debt with a third-party supplier of services to your accommodation, we are required to share your home address details with them.) Unipol and the University of Leeds destroy your personal information when they cease to have a legitimate reason for holding it, ie when unplaced students are no longer applicants; or when placed students cease to be registered students of the University and/or University / Unipol tenants (whichever is longer) and all contractual matters (including payment of rent and deposit returns) have been concluded.

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