Keeping safe in private accommodation

Updated 14 April 2021

We want to help you live in your neighbourhoods safely and harmoniously with the wider Leeds community. More than ever, it is crucial that the community that we are all part of respect and care for each other. 

With new laws in place it’s essential to act responsibly, respectfully and with consideration to others when on campus and in the local community. We have created the following guidance to help you make informed decisions to keep yourself and others safe.   

This guidance is applicable for students living in private accommodation locally. For specific guidance on living in University accommodation, see the Residences webpage on creating a relaxed and safe environment. 

Your local community

It is important now more than ever for us all to be mindful and considerate of the people around us. Living off campus in our local community brings about additional responsibilities and expectations on how you conduct yourself and your actions reflect on the University and its reputation 

Please help us to keep your community clean, safe and an inclusive place to be. Please do not attend or organise large gatherings in the community. It’s also important to be respectful of your neighbours who may be working from home or self-isolating by ensuring you do not create too much noiseIf you do leave your home, keep yourself and others safe and healthy, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate. 

Whether you have moved to Headingley, Hyde Park, Woodhouse or other areas of Leeds, you are joining an already established and diverse community. Although many areas have large numbers of students living there, no area is an exclusively student area. 

Help when you need it

We know this is an uncertain time for many people and wellbeing support is available for all students through the Leeds University Union (LUU) Student Advice team, or the University Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service, who provide free professional and confidential counselling, wellbeing and mental health support. 

If you are unwell then please stay at home and access this support virtually to keep yourself and others safe. 

If you are in financial hardship, consider applying for assistance from Leeds Hardship Fund. 

Leeds University Union has also set up an Emergency Hardship Fund to offer shortterm support for students in immediate financial difficulty.

Keeping safe in your home

Households form an important part of the government’s social distancing measures, therefore it is important that you familiarise yourself with these. If one member of your household has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, then all household members will all need to self-isolate. You can read government information on symptoms and why you need to self-isolate on their staying at home webpage.  

Keep yourself, your housemates and your neighbours as safe as possible by following the guidelines below: 

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser 
  • Wearing a face covering off campus in line with government guidance and on campus in line with University guidance, unless you have a legitimate reason not to. We have face coverings available on campus for anyone who needs one 
  • Washing your towels and bedding on a hot wash (at least 60 degrees) 
  • Strictly avoiding contact with someone who has symptoms or has been in contact with someone with symptoms 
  • Keeping your room as ventilated as possible by keeping a window open when you’re in your room. Please remember to keep the noise down and lock your window when you’re out 
  • Don’t share crockery, glasses and cutlery and keep your equipment away from others 
  • Remember to use a separate tea towel for drying everything 
  • Clean surfaces before and after use with your normal cleaning products 
  • Limit your social interactions with people outside your household and bubble in line with government guidance
  • Try to avoid close contact with a person who has had a positive coronavirus test. Where possible try to maintain 2m between this person and other household members. Where this is not possible, wearing a face covering during close contact can help reduce transmission risk.

Only leave your home as permitted under government guidelines. If you are leaving your home, make sure you:

  • Keep a safe distance from each other and follow social distancing guidelinesHands. Face. Space. Fresh Air
  • Behave responsibly, respectably and don’t organise or attend gatherings which break laws or government social distancing guidelines 
  • Show kindness and support for classmates and neighbours, especially those who are at home, self-isolating or vulnerable. 

Please be considerate, respectful, and look after one another to create an environment where you will be comfortable and safe together. 

Socialising with others

It is  important that you understand the current rules to keep everyone safe, and to avoid getting any penalties or sanctions. Visit the Leeds City Council website to find out the local guidelines for Leeds.

West Yorkshire Police are now taking a zero tolerance approach with the minority of people who continue to breach COVID restrictions in our communities. Fines will be imposed for all and any breaches in restrictions. This could include:

  • £200 for attending illegal indoor or public gatherings
  • £800 for anyone attending or hosting a house party of more than 15 people
  • £10,000 each for organisers holding large illegal gatherings of more than 30 people

The University will also take reports about any students involved with breaching government guidelines very seriously and may take disciplinary action against those involved, resulting in fines, suspension or exclusion from the University.

What if others around me aren’t following guidelines?

It is important to recognise that not everyone can wear a face covering. Certain people are exempt, such as those with a disability, health condition or for communication needs with someone who relies on lip reading. If you are exempt, we would be grateful if you could wear a badge or a lanyard when you’re on campus. Exemption badges are available from LUU if you require one. 

However, if it is clear that others are breaking government guidelines, such as having house parties, then you can report it to the Universities Neighbourhood Helpline: or you can call the Police on the non-emergency number: 101. 

Coronavirus symptoms and when to self-isolate

If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus such as a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell it is vital that you:  

  • Stay home and self-isolate. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service for advice and see the government guidance on staying at home. 
  • Arrange to get a coronavirus test as soon as possible. There is a testing site on campus, at the Gryphon Centre next to the Business School. You can book an appointment through the NHS national booking website or calling 119 
  • If you test positive, inform the University immediately by completing the COVID reporting form online or email: or by calling 0113 343 8777 and follow government and University guidance. Check our reporting you have COVID-19 page for more information
  • Check the student advice page for more information. 

Travelling safely

When travelling to campus, please follow  government guidance on safe travel, travelling safely by walking and cycling if you can. Where this is not possible, drive in your own vehicle or where necessary use public transport. 

For more information on travelling to campus including active travel route advice, visit our webpage on local transport and finding your way around.   

Events and social activities

We want you to love your time at Leeds and there are lots of opportunities to socialise, have fun and enjoy your time as a student. A list of activities and events can be found on Leeds University Union’s Events page and the University events page. Clubs and societies are also a huge part of life at Leeds and there are over 300 to get involved with, take a look at the clubs and societies webpage to find one that suits you. 

 There are lots of green spaces and parks in Leeds to explore, please remember to be respectful of others by keeping your distance, not disturbing others and leaving the spaces clean and tidy 

Get involved with the local community

There are still many ways you can get involved with and integrate into the local community in a safe and enjoyable way. Many charitable organisations and schools need volunteers, both virtually and in person. Through helping these and other organisations, you can make a positive impact on the communities that have been most impacted by Coronavirus.  

Other guidance on living locally