Where to live in Leeds

Students live all over Leeds, in some cases choosing to live close to their institution and in other cases choosing the location of the property for its amenities and favourable location rather than its proximity to their place of study.  Although recent research has shown that students are moving closer to the city centre, Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse remain the most popular areas and clearly have the largest student populations.

Find out below about the various areas of Leeds.  The description will give you information on travel times to the city centre, amenities and the £ sign will indicate typical rental costs ranging from £ to ££ to £££. If you see a (+) this indicates that prices in the area are above average for its banding.

This map is intended to give you an overview of where there is rented property and young people living so that you can make an informed decision about where to live.

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Living in Leeds

Leeds is now by population the third largest city in the United kingdom with an estimated population of 757,700 with approximately 37,000 resident full-time students attending the four Universities -  University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Arts University and Leeds Trinity University.  There are also a further significant core of students attending the various Colleges situated in Leeds including Leeds City College, Leeds College of Music and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Although many students choose to live in the traditional 'studenty' areas some students have ventured out to other areas too and these include Little Woodhouse, Kirkstall, Burley, Horsforth, Chapeltown, Harehills, Holbeck and Armley. Other students have moved to areas of Leeds that have normally let to young professionals and keyworkers such as Chapel Allerton, Oakwood and Roundhay.

All in all, most areas of Leeds with accommodation to rent have many young people with thriving communities, shops, supermarkets, pubs, parks and sports centres. Public transport in Leeds is regular and widespread so getting around is easy.

Think lifestyle

When choosing a place to live, the decision is not just about a roof over your head it is as much about deciding on the type of lifestyle you want.  You are lucky to be studying and living in Leeds as there is so much choice in the type of accommodation available so whatever you are looking for Leeds will be able to deliver.

Once you’ve decided on your budget and who you want to live with try thinking about what else is important to you, everyone is different but some of the most important to consider are:

  • location
  • the local amenities on offer
  • the social environment you want

Most of the areas mentioned have local shopping parades, pubs and even sports centres, with a larger supermarket within walking distance.  Leeds has a lot of independant shops, which add character and variety to local shopping areas. 

For example, Headingley has a local farmers' market and a great variety of local shops from health food to grocers to cake shops to jewelry and craft centres such as Heart and Craft

Decide what you want from an area and check to see if the local amenities meet your needs or you may prefer to live in a quieter area and then shop and socialise in the city centre.

Visit areas by day and by night to make sure you feel comfortable as each area will have a different feel at different times.

Until properties have been let, rent levels cannot be accurately predicted. The price code used here is an indication of the difference found between areas with £ being the cheapest and £££ being the most expensive. Check the Unipol website for average rent levels for a shared student house.

Remember there is a surplus of accommodation for students so this is a good time to negotiate.

This is a difficult issue to discuss and statistics can often be misleading e.g. a high incidence of burglaries may be cause by a single ‘gang’ over a short period who have been apprehended and are no longer active. The other factor is that in one street there can be some crime and the street adjacent to it can be peaceful and crime free and this information is not accessible. It is worth visiting the Police UK website for up-to-date crime statistics by postcode and www.knowledge-leeds.co.uk the latter a local project run by the Police, universities, student unions and council to provide students with practical advice on safety and crime prevention.   

Remember - the important thing to consider is how you feel in an area.  Visit the area you are considering during the day and at night.  If you do not feel safe then do not rent there.

Leeds has a good bus transport network and frequent buses. It also has a number of inner city railway stations so traveling in and around Leeds is easy.

If you choose to not live within walking distance of your place of study make sure you build transport costs into your budget and look at this together with rent levels. Visit the metro website for information about student travel cards. When looking at travel times by public transport compare this to how long it would take you to walk the distance – it can often be the same as a bus journey from a property further away from the University. You can even plan your journey online.