Skip to content
Home » What you need to know about student accommodation in Leicester

What you need to know about student accommodation in Leicester

A lot of first-year students discover that their halls of residence offer an ideal base for making friends and living close to the campus. But there are other options to consider in particular as you become immersed in the university experience

Leicester uni accommodation for students in a glance

You can choose to reside in halls or private accommodations or in a your own home.
In deciding where you want to stay, ask for assistance from family members and friends and also try to go to accommodation open days.
Do your research on the advantages and costs of each option prior to making an informed choice.
Begin your application for accommodation once you’ve accepted a place on an educational course.

Find out what options are available

Heidi Cooper-Hind is the director of student experience and employment within Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) states, ‘Choosing the place you’ll live is one of the most exciting and important choices you’ll make while during your time at university.’

In general there are four options. You can choose to live:

in accommodation that is managed by the university (typically in halls of residence)
in halls owned by private owners of residence
along with other students in private rented apartment or house
at in your home.

If you decide to use the accommodation offered by your institution of accommodation, it is possible to begin your application for accommodation once you’ve accepted an invitation to a course – but check with your university for specifics on how to proceed.

‘It’s always wise to do some research before you make a decision in advance,’ advises Claire Henshaw, accommodation services team leader of the University of Northampton. You should begin this when you can, since most universities operate on a first come priority basis and rooms that are popular can be gone fast.

We announce the dates when applications open and offer instructions on how to apply as well. The university’s website is a good resource for information and make sure that you’re fully informed,’ says Claire.

If you prefer, contact the accommodation department at your university, and never be afraid to ask questions in the event of something you’re unsure about.

University accommodation open days provide the opportunity to talk to staff members and learn about what’s available. Claire advises that even if you can’t make it in person, make sure to look up the university’s site because they’ll likely have photos, descriptions, floor layouts and even video tours that are interactive.

Halls of residence

“Living in residence halls in a university setting allows you to become fully immersed in the student community from day one,’ explains Rebecca O’Hare, assistant director of the residence life and accommodation office for the University of Leeds.

‘Moving away from home is an extremely difficult transition, but it’s important to consider that a lot of your fellow students will be in the same situation and living in university accommodations gives you access to assistance from the residence and campus teams.’

To clarify, halls of residence are large blocks of flats housing thousands of students, and have individual furnished bedrooms organised around corridors or apartments with the kitchen shared by all. Sometimes, bathrooms are also shared, although en-suite rooms are becoming more frequent.

They are typically managed by the university or in partnership with a private firm The quality is generally good, as they must be in compliance with laws and regulations of the country. Privately owned halls of residence offer all the benefits of halls, however they are not connected to the university – you book your room directly with the halls you’re looking for – they usually are accessible online for booking.

A lot of universities offer a spot in halls for full-time, first-year students and international postgraduates, providing you’ve met the application deadlines. However, this may differ between institutions – for example you might not be eligible for admission if you’ve been through Clearing.

Halls are particularly popular with students who have never lived in a different location for the first time, says Heidi. The bills are generally included, so you’ll know exactly what you’re spending your money on and it’s simple to find a suitable accommodation through direct application to the school – usually through the internet.’

Since they are usually within or near the campus or within a short distance of the campus the living space in halls puts you in the center of student life. It’s an excellent way to make friends and be involved in social activities. Although your room may be tiny, the facilities you’ll need (for instance, a laundry) are generally available on the premises and the accommodation team is always available with regards to maintenance.

A number of universities also provide catered accommodation. This is a good option in case you aren’t sure or equipped to cook on your own, but it can increase the cost of your rent.

In exchange for the convenience of halls it is possible that you will end up paying more than in a private dwelling or flat. You can’t choose who you live with – this can be a problem if you don’t get on with the other people in your apartment – and with so much going on halls aren’t a good most ideal option if you want peace and tranquility.

Bear in mind that you’ll have to purchase your own TV licence. Heidi says, ‘Be aware that you’ll be responsible for any damage in your halls, which means you may have to contribute to repairs.’

To determine how much you’ll pay in rent, visit your university’s website, as costs vary substantially based on the location and facilities.

To make the most of your time living in student accommodation, Rebecca advises students to connect with their roommates on the Facebook pages of residences prior to welcoming week, and attend activities on campus and in the halls, and get involved in residence life activities at the university you attend.

Private rented accommodation

You may prefer to live in a privately rented house that typically accommodates four or five people. This is a path taken by most students from the second year onwards however, there are some of the first year students.

One benefit is that you can decide who you’d like to reside with (for second-year students, this typically means moving in with acquaintances) this can make the experience better.

Another benefit of living in the city is having a greater option in terms of where to reside. It’s a bit further from university, but there are excellent transport connections, and numerous bars, shops and restaurants serve the student-friendly areas in the majority of university cities.

Your university accommodation office can help you find available houses. ‘It’s a good idea to view the properties you are considering before signing up”, says Heidi, to ensure everything’s up to par. The accommodation team will likely have lots of useful advice on what to search for and the best questions to ask during viewings, for example.

There are a few more crucial points to be aware of. ‘Usually, the rent is less expensive than halls, but there are additional costs to pay that,’ says Heidi. It’s up to you to sort your payments to cover things like Wi-Fi and utilities as well as insurance for contents and the TV licence. However, the moment that the entire household is a full-time student, then you don’t need to pay council taxes.

While you’re managing your finances with care In addition, you’ll have to be comfortable getting in touch with your landlord or letting agent in order to resolve any issues or make repairs. It is important to read and understand your contract and know your rights as a tenant.

For example, Heidi explains that landlords should use a deposit protection plan, and that the local council is able to insist on repairs if your landlord isn’t maintaining reasonable standards.

Living at home

Many people find that getting away from home and the feeling of liberation that it brings is among the major reasons to go to university.

However, if you’ve opted to study in a local university, staying at home may be a great alternative. It can save money on rent and bills it’s convenient and it will help you avoid the hassle of having to move out and living with new people.

But you’ll be removed from your student life and it’s more difficult to find friends from the social hub of halls or a student house. In order to make it work be active, join activities such as sports clubs and societies.

Making your decision

It’s not an easy decision to make, so get assistance from all the sources that you can. Family and friends who’ve gone to university before are a good starting point.

‘Many universities, including AUB, invite applicants to attend a day of application prior to the start of term. During these days, you will meet fellow students and check out some of the local rental properties available,’ Heidi says.

Claire advises you not to be afraid to contact campus staff with any questions about halls or private accommodation. There is more information on University of Northampton – Our Accommodation.

It’s never too early to start making financial preparations. If you’re planning to stay in halls or private housing while studying it is essential to save some money in order to save,’ says Claire. Many universities will ask you to pay an upfront rent payment or deposit when you apply for housing.

Also, saving money now to get ready for university is a great way to ensure you’re covered in the first few months, particularly if you’re moving away from home.