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House Hunting for International Students

Your bags are packed, and you’re all ready to move to Leeds, but what about housing? Sorting out your accommodation before you arrive in Leeds is essential to make sure you can start off your academic year stress-free, so we've compiled some tips to help you navigate finding a student house in Leeds.

A stretch of houses in Leeds

You’ve been accepted onto a course at LBU, your bags are packed, and you’re all ready to move to Leeds.

But what about housing? Sorting out your accommodation before you arrive in Leeds is essential in making sure you can start off your academic year stress-free and on the right foot, especially with a shortage of family housing here in the city. 

We’ve compiled a few tips to help you navigate finding a student house in Leeds.  

Choosing The Right Type Of Accommodation  

Consider your wants and needs in your student house. Will you be finding a shared house with friends or course mates or are you looking for a studio flat?  

When considering what kind of accommodation you want, you should consider how close you want to live to campus, if it’s family friendly, and what the financial commitment will be. There is currently a shortage of family housing across Leeds and the region, and this may make finding family housing more difficult.

It is also important to make sure that the contract length works for you and covers your time at university, not leaving you house hunting again mid-year, if possible.

If you are looking to live in halls click here. 

Leeds Beckett has just re-opened their Kirkstall Brewery Halls ahead of the January Intake, find out more about the halls here and book one of their 1100 rooms here!

If you are looking for private accommodation, click here. 


Scams and Fraud

If you’re looking for private accommodation, be cautious and use your common sense to look for signs of a scam. Is the house and price too good to be true? Is it a social media advert through a new profile with no history? Unfortunately, we have been made aware of some of our students losing thousands of pounds in scams. 

If you’re in any doubt or anything looks suspicious, reach out to the Students’ Union Advice Service before paying any money or signing a contract. Unipol have also shared their top tips for spotting a housing scam here. 


Family Accommodation  

We are not aware of any family accommodation available in Leeds and the Students’ Union Advice Service is aware of students that have brought their families with them only to be unable to find any suitable family accommodation.  

We would urge any student thinking of bringing their families with them to reconsider. It might be best for you to come alone and stay in short-term accommodation until you have found suitable accommodation for your family to stay in. 


What’s a guarantor and do I need one?

Some private landlords may ask for a guarantor to co-sign your contract. This is a UK-based person that will take responsibility for paying the rent for the property if you cannot.  

If you are asked for a UK guarantor and don’t have one, then you may be asked to provide more rent upfront.


Planning for Bills

Once you have found housing that you like, you need to plan for the bills like utilities, a TV license, and renters’ insurance.  

When planning a budget, you will need to know if your rent includes utilities like water and electricity. Additionally, if you have a TV in your home, you will need to pay an annual TV licensing fee. 

If you’re a full-time student living in Leeds, you can register your exemption from Council Tax on the Leeds City Council website. The University will provide verification for all students directly to Leeds City Council in November and March each year so make sure you keep your address up to date with the University.

If you need an exemption certificate, you can download one from Online Welcome. Once logged into your account, select ‘Council Tax discount/exemption letter’ and download a pdf version of the Council Tax exemption certificate. 

If you live in a household where everyone is a full-time student, your household will be exempt, but will each need to provide evidence. 

Some student contracts have a ‘bills inclusive’ offer that includes the price of rent, water, gas, and electricity in their monthly bills. You should read your contract closely to check all the details and make sure that you are budgeting the correct amount for everything. Check out the Students’ Union Advice Service’s guide to understanding all-inclusive contracts and their limitations to learn more. 


Right to Rent  

As an international student, you may be asked to prove that you have the right to rent a property in the UK. This is done through sharing a share code issued by the government online. Details on how to access your share code can be found here.  


Finding Support  

Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Advice Service is a great first stop for any questions or queries you may have. Before you sign your tenancy agreement or put money down for a deposit, be sure to get your contract checked by Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Advice Service. A good landlord will allow you the time to do this.  

If you have any issues during your tenancy, you can seek advice from Leeds Beckett Students’ Union Advice Service who can make you aware of your responsibilities and your rights within your tenancy agreement. They can also advise on disrepair and deposits. You can contact them here

You can also find lots of useful information about House Hunting on our website. Leeds Beckett University also has lots of helpful information on housing on their website.  

Unipol is a student housing charity based in Leeds. They have full guides and checklists to help you find your perfect student home.  

UKCISA, or United Kingdom’s Council for International Student Affairs, also has a guide on looking for housing as an international student.  


Good luck making all your final preparations and we can't wait to welcome you to Leeds!