Leeds Forum

Feature Student Property Uncovered

Essential advice from experts in the Leeds lettings market to help you find your new student home

Nicola Brown, Unipol

Finding the best student property for you and your housemates can be a nightmare. Not only do you have to find the right place, but you have to make sure you’re in the right area and that you are not going to get ripped off. With that in mind, we ask student lettings professionals for their advice and tips.


This unique Leeds charity was established in 1975. We spoke toNicola Brownabout how they have been successful in raising standards of student accommodation in Leeds.

What is it that Unipol do and how do you benefit students?

Unipol is a not-for-profit housing organisation with charitable status. Unipol are part funded by the universities and student unions and our trustees are drawn from them, ensuring we keep students’ interests at the centre of what we do. We are all about quality and promoting standards through the Unipol Code and are committed to keeping students safe and offering them an excellent selection of quality landlords, agents and properties.

We want students to be able to access our website easily, which is why we launched a special mobile version of it. So now students can house hunt on the go. We are always trying to find new ways to give students the best advice, so we have produced a number of short videos on The Unipol Code, Deposit Protection, getting ready to house hunt and tips on avoiding being a victim of burglary. All these are available via Youtube or our website. We are also working hard nationally to promote professionalism in student housing through training and accreditation.

What kind of properties do Unipol offer?

Unipol offers everything from single rooms in shared properties and large developments to whole properties ranging from one bed up to 15 beds. Advertising over 15,000 bed spaces a year means there is plenty of choice. We advertise properties from our own portfolio and many more from quality landlords acrossLeeds.

What should students do to try and ensure that their house hunt is successful?

Be prepared, take their time and get their contract checked before signing anything. Look at plenty of properties and make sure they choose a property covered by the Unipol Code which will offer peace of mind and advice if anything goes wrong.

How can they avoid the pitfalls associated with house hunting?

Follow the advice above and don’t forget there is not a housing shortage inLeedsthere is a surplus of good quality accommodation. Students who leave their house hunting until later in the year can still secure good houses. All the best places don’t go first. Often students that sign up for houses too early are actually signing for properties left over from the previous year! Wait for the official house hunting start date (14th January) when over 12,000 bed spaces are released on to the Unipol website for students to view.

What should students take into account when viewing a house? What questions should they ask?

Students should take a copy of the house hun

Posted on Tuesday 3rd January 2012

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Comments on Feature: Student Property Uncovered

Comment by Lizzie Buxton

Posted on Mon 27th Feb 12 2:33 pm

I used to use Unipol when I was a student and it helped us out a lot. We made a lot of mistakes with our first house and suffered for it (no boiler, mold, break ins). Of course it made us really question whether we wanted to go it alone or move back into halls (which are expensive). Unipol was great and since then have only used landlords listed under them. I would say one thing to look out for (and this applies mostly to those who stay in Leeds over the summer) is to find a solution before hand to conflicting moving dates. It happens every year students are left out with all their stuff and nowhere to go until midday the next day when you can retrieve your keys. Last summer my housemates and I where in the same situation and wound up putting our belongings in a self storage facility. We searched for student storage uk and found some pretty cheap student deals. It is definitely something to think about. It is cheap and generally makes moving day that little bit less stressful.

Hope this helps some more Leeds students.

Comment by Rasel Rahman

Posted on Tue 18th Mar 14 3:01 pm

Thank you for your time and effort to summarize everything for the audience. I am truly learning from your experience. Thanks again for useful resource.
student accommodation Leeds

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