When to start looking - Leeds

When first year students should start looking for accommodation

When returning students should start looking for accommodation for the following year

When first year students should start looking for accommodation

If, as a first year student, you are applying for university or college accommodation (or other accommodation which your intended institution directly allocates to student tenants), 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 that institution. If you are in doubt about the procedure, look on your Accommodation Office website or telephone them and ask.  For contact information for your institution please click here.

If you want to live in private sector accommodation, or if you have not been able to get a university or 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, please feel free to use the website today to take your search forward. There will also be local factors which affect when existing students start looking for the following letting year. This information can be found below.

When returning students should start looking for accommodation for the following year

If you want to remain in, or move back to, university or college accommodation then you need to contact your Accommodation Office just before you leave for Christmas and see what their system for returners is. If you want a short let, contact them at any time of the year and they may be able to help, depending on when you want to live there.

You are likely to come under early pressure from other students and the private sector to start looking for accommodation for the next letting year as early as November or December. Don't be panicked into doing this. 

Some myths about Leeds

  • Myth 1: There is a housing shortage – This is simply not true. In Leeds there is a surplus of good quality accommodation. Students who leave their house hunting until the summer before they return to university still secure good houses.
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  • Myth 2: All the best properties are snapped up early – Often students that sign up for houses too early are actually signing for properties left over from the previous year!
  • Myth 3: 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.

Top tips

  • Take your time.
  • Make sure you're clear in your own mind about whether you want to share or live on your own.
  • If your intention is to get somewhere with friends, think carefully about whether you are actually going to be happy with the people you're planning to share with.
  • Focus on settling into university life, making friends and getting to know them properly. This will give you a better basis for deciding who you genuinely want to live with. After all, a year is a long time to live with people it turns out you don't get on with.

Unipol has an official house hunting start date which works against alarmist rumours and panicked early decisions. Be clear when this is and wait for the official start date when over 15,000 bed spaces are released on to the Unipol website for students to view. You can find out more here about house hunting in Leeds.

The universities, students' unions and Unipol will all be advising students not to rent before this date.

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.