Accommodation for families
Moving to Leeds with your family needs careful consideration. There are a number of things you need to know about before you arrive. We’ve put them all together to help with your decision making.
If you’re not allocated University family accommodation, you’ll need to look for private accommodation for your family.
Finding private accommodation for you and your family might not be as easy as you might have hoped. It can take a long time and you will need to be ready to live further away from campus than single students, especially if you are on a tight budget.
Landlords often ask tenants to provide a UK-based guarantor to ensure the rent will be paid, or ask for several months’ rent in advance, for those who don’t have a guarantor.
Deciding on when to bring your family, and looking for family accommodation requires preparation, flexibility and careful financial planning. Follow these steps to help you in your search.
1. Start researching accommodation as early as possible
Start researching for family accommodation as soon as possible once you receive your offer to study in Leeds.
The University has some accommodation for families. This is limited and there is always a long waiting list, so it’s best not to rely on this type of accommodation for you and your family.
If you have any questions on university family accommodation, check the University Accommodation website or contact the accommodation team.
Unipol is a not-for-profit charity that specialises in providing housing for students and postgraduate researchers. They have information on properties in the private sector specifically for students with children and details on suggested areas which are close to Leeds to look for family accommodation.
Check their pages to search for family housing, find information on average property prices and join their ‘Family Mailing List’ before you arrive in the UK to receive information when properties become available.
Take time to familiarise yourself with areas in Leeds and within commuting distance of the University where you might be able to rent private-sector accommodation. Find out about prices and contact Unipol for any advice as early as possible.
- Family Accommodation with Unipol at a Glance
- Accommodation for students with families: Private Rented Sector
2. Find accommodation first, bring your family later
We know this might not be easy to hear, but we strongly recommend you don’t travel to the UK with your family unless you have already secured suitable long-term family accommodation.
If you didn’t find accommodation before arriving, looking for long-term family accommodation once in the UK can be a time-consuming process and might involve staying in temporary accommodation while you find something that meets your needs. Temporary accommodation can be very expensive and hard to find, especially for a family.
While you're house-hunting, don’t sign a long-term contract for yourself as you’ll be legally responsible for paying rent until the end date of the contract.
Come on your own instead and bring your family to the UK only once you have secured accommodation. This will help you avoid additional financial costs once in the UK.
If you have questions about immigration or visas and the timing of bringing your family to Leeds, contact the Student Visa Advice team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Be flexible on housing locations
It’s common for families to find accommodation which is up to an hour bus journey from campus or to commute to campus from nearby cities.
Unipol has very useful information on suggested areas which are close to Leeds to look for family accommodation. The page also has information on distance to Leeds and the average cost for transport to commute to the city centre.
4. Budget carefully
Many rented properties in the UK are unfurnished. You will need to budget for the cost of buying furniture for your accommodation (tables, chairs, beds, etc). It’s also important that you budget for transport to commute to campus for you and your family, if necessary.
If you plan to travel by bus, find ticket costs on the First Bus website. If you’ll be travelling with your family:
Children under 5 travel free at any time of day – they must be accompanied by a fare-paying passenger. A fare-paying passenger can bring up to 3 children under 5 free of charge.
Young People Under 19 can apply for a MyWeek ticket for £9.00 (price per week)
If you plan on travelling by train, buy a Family and Friends railcard to get access to discounted train fares. Adults can save 1/3 and children’s tickets cost 60% less.
The National Rail website has also useful information on discounts on trains for children.
Some students and families might prefer buying a car while in Leeds. If you’d like to buy a car for you and/or your family, be aware any extra costs and the legal obligations for driving a vehicle in the UK.
Where to go for help
If you’re house hunting, contact Unipol
Unipol is your first point of contact for any questions around looking for family accommodation in the private sector. Explore the Unipol’s web pages for families or contact Unipol for advice. When you are in Leeds you can visit the team in their office near to campus.
If you’re having any difficulties with your accommodation or landlord, get in touch with LUU Help and Support
Once you’re in Leeds, Leeds University Union Help and Support team can also help you with questions and common problems around arranging family accommodation.