Support for students who have issues with where they live
This section includes information about support and guidance available for students who may be struggling to pay their rent or bills, having issues with housemates or who might be finding it difficult to secure accommodation.
This section covers support for students who are having difficulties paying rent and/or bills and information about Council Tax.
For many students their rent agreements are high than their Student Finance award so it is not unusual for students to receive additional family support, need to work part time or use savings to cover their living costs.
If a student is struggling to pay their rent or already has some rent arrears it is important to ensure that they get the right support quickly. For students with dependants this risk can be greater as they may be in social housing where eviction for rent arrears can happen more often.
There are usually additional admin charges in contracts for late payments, so the amount a student owes can increase and cause additional stress and worry, impacting their wellbeing and studies.
Support for students in rent arrears or concerned about their payments-
- Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) - For Students | University of Leeds
- Help if concerned about eviction or longer term ability to make payments – LUU help and Support - email email@example.com or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
- University Accommodation – students can talk with their Residence Life Assistant – this link helps to identify who their Assistant is - Residence Contacts | Accommodation | University of Leeds
Many housing contracts, private and university, will have bills included in the rent. However difficulties can arise if a household exceeds the ‘fair useage’ policy so they get a bill asking for additional money for the bills or they may have issues with someone in their house using more energy and they feel it is impacting on them.
Some students use a company that organises the bill payments for them with the household paying an agreed monthly sum.
Students access help with any problems arising out of disputes or additional requests for money by chatting to LUU Help and Support. If they gather the information and evidence they have and get in touch with the team - email firstname.lastname@example.org or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
Students may have queries about Council Tax as whilst most full time registered students don’t have to pay – it does depend on who they live with and then nature of their course.
Help for students with Council Tax queries - Do I have to pay council tax? (luu.org.uk)
University guidance on Council Tax - For Students | University of Leeds
Support for students having household disputes
Living independently for the first time or moving into a property with new friends or starting a relationship – can bring many different challenges. Disputes about financial demands in the property, cleaning rota’s, arguments, and fallouts – are all normal and part of developing social living and relationship issues.
Challenges that arise can be made more complicated by the fact that there is likely to be a legal responsibility to continue rent payments, even if someone wants to move out – or wants someone else to move out. Internal household disputes are not normally the result of any landlord or agent involvement and therefore are not normal grounds for a student to be released from paying their rent.
How you can help
In a nutshell - listen to what is happening and help refer the student to the best place for support. It can be complicated with legal responsibilities and wider relationships, so it is important that the student accesses the right support for a holistic approach to helping them find a resolution.
Suggest they chat with LUU Help and Support, they can advise on the legal implications of their situation and help direct them to financial support if needed - email@example.com or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)
Household disputes can be very distressing, especially if someone feels they are dealing with the brunt of it. It might help for the student to check in and have a chat at one of the same day drop in service run by Student Counselling and wellbeing
If there are any concerns harassment, assault or behaviour that is intimidating or upsetting, the Harassment and Misconduct team can help – the student can email firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at Report and Support
Finding or moving accommodation
Leeds has a range of accommodation for students including university and in the private sector. Finding the right accommodation can take time and help is available for students including checking contracts before they sign. Sometimes things don’t always work out and a student wants to move or transfer properties, this is possible but it is essential that students receive advice before agreeing to move somewhere new or they could find themselves paying for two rents.
For some undergraduate and postgraduate students new to Leeds, the university has a accommodation guarantee and most students will have been allocated accommodation before they arrive. Students with families can also apply for accommodation through the university. If you any students getting in touch about accommodation availability who are due to start their course, you can find out more about university accommodation
Students unhappy in their university accommodation (sub heading Before signing for a new contract elsewhere, please refer the student for advice from one of the teams below. It may be possible to be transferred to another room or be released form their contract, depending on their situation.
Students can talk with their Residence Life Assistant – this link helps to identify who their Assistant is - Residence Contacts | Accommodation | University of Leeds
Whilst the majority of students new to Leeds move into university accommodation, most returning students choose to rent in the private sector. There are many different providers, types of accommodation and rent levels. If you have any students looking for accommodation, they can do an online search for the type of property they would like with Unipol.
Students needing help with their private accommodation
A student may have come for a chat with you because they are having difficulties with their private accommodation.
How you can help
For students experiencing financial difficulties please refer to need to link to financial page
For students who have experienced a serious incident, assault or harassment please refer to them to Harassment and Misconduct team email email@example.com
For help with wanting to move out, difficulties finding a guarantor, disrepair or any other housing relation concerns please refer students to LUU help and Support - email firstname.lastname@example.org or see Help & Support - Leeds University Union (luu.org.uk)