Hello! We are Anastasia, Atiyah and Conall, here to give you some tips about renting privately in Leeds and an overview of the experience. We all live in a different set up, Conall with roommates in the Hyde Park area, Anastasia alone in a house in the Woodhouse area and Atiyah lives in a private student flat called Symons House. We hope the below helps you in your selection 😊
Where in Leeds?
When looking into private accommodation a vital aspect is assessing which neighbourhood fits your needs as a student the best. Some of the most popular student house areas are:
- Woodhouse: located to the north of campus; this area is popular for students who prefer a short commute, particularly for the engineering buildings.
- Hyde Park- the perfect place if you’re searching for the quintessential student experience. Situated on the other side of Woodhouse Moor from the University, this also allows for quick access to reach campus. When walking through this neighbourhood one can feel the energy- multitudes of students populate the area which creates a uniquely vibrant and vivacious place to live. Myriad colourful graffiti, iconic pubs (such as Brudenell Social Club) and restaurants like LS6, Dutch fries and Nan’s Thai café make Hyde Park an incredibly diverse and exciting place to live.
- Headingley: an elegant and orderly neighbourhood located past Hyde Park to the north west of the city centre. Headingley makes up for this with more affordable housing costs without sacrificing the quality of the accommodation- this is due to the fact it is a suburb of Leeds instead of a central neighbourhood. Headingley also boasts several great bars and restaurants, If you don’t mind taking a quick bus into the city then Headingley may be the place for you.
This is a short video where you can get an idea of all the different kinds of accommodation in Leeds, staring yours truly- Anastasia!
When searching for accommodation, the university recommends beginning on Unipol but you can find some on house/flat searching engines like RightMove and Zoopla. With a quick Google search, you’ll find many private letting agencies such as YPP, RedBricks, Spencers, LetLeeds and so much more…these are third parties between a landlord and a property. They all have their own websites with photos and descriptions.
You also have the option of private apartment living, which looks a lot like university accommodation. They have private facilities too that includes anything from gyms and security but can come with the price tag to include this! They have a range of room options and are normally en-suite. For example, Atiyah gives you a tour of hers below!
When looking at accommodations, a lot of preferences will be based on your desires. Often refurbished properties are very appealing because they boast new appliances and fancy utilities, but these will cost significantly more than other residences. While Leeds is generally a safe city, it is important to look for housing which has robust security and safety in mind. These include heavy deadbolts on exterior doors, locks on bedroom doors within houses and windows and if in a large building, fire doors. You should also make sure you have burglar, fire and carbon monoxide alarms. In private accommodation, you will be responsible for your belongings.
When applying for private accommodation there are a couple of things which will almost always be needed:
- Proof of residency. This will be your BRP, and it should have an expiration date after the end of your tenancy.
- Rent. Private landlords usually expect their tenants to pay monthly, but this may vary and can be done often in quarterly, semi-annual or annual payments.
- A Guarantor serves as someone who will pay rent in your stead if need be. Many landlords require one in order to sign for properties. A guarantor must live in the UK and sign a contract which states they are willing to be liable if you fall behind on payments. Many students use family members, but if you have no such option sometimes landlords will allow the tenant to pay up front or contract a separate company to act as their guarantor.
What to consider?
Overall, private accommodation can be cheaper, give you more freedom and consists of a bigger space. But you do have to be cautious that they usually don’t come with bills. You’ll need to consider wi-fi, water, gas/electric and personal possession insurance. If something breaks, you have to get in touch with your landlord/agency to fix it, which can often mean pretty consistent calling!
You also need to consider other things when renting privately like:
- Do you want a housemate? If so, how many?
- Consider house mate resolutions and tasks for paying bills & cleaning
- Grocery shopping- most shops deliver but sometimes it’s nice to be close by to your favourite shop!
- C-H-O-R-E-S: there will be more cleaning!
- Bathrooms and personal space- often, UK houses come with 1 to 2 bathrooms for the whole house!
- Gym- out of university accommodation you will need to pay for access. You can consider other means to working out or gyms in Leeds.
If you want to learn more about our personal experiences, get in touch with us! We will be happy to private more tips and advice before you begin your renting journey.