Keeping safe in private accommodation

Updated 6 October 2020

As we welcome you back to Leeds, we want to help you settle into 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. With the current guidelines please remember that people in Leeds cannot meet or socialise with people they do not live with either in their homes or gardens. Leeds City Council have created a simple webpage that lists all the local Leeds guidelines. Gatherings and parties with more than six people are also illegal so please ensure you do not organise, or attend any activities that break these Government social distancing guidelines. 

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 noiseWhen you are out and about, keep yourself and others safe and healthy, maintain social distancing and wear face coverings where appropriate. 

Whether you have moved to Headingley, Hyde Park or Woodhouse, 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. Watch out for our Hello Cards that will be coming through your letterbox so you can introduce yourselves to your neighbours in a safe, socially distanced way 

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. 

Keeping safe in your home

Once you have moved into your new shared accommodation e.g. a shared flat or house, this will become your new household.   

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 Coronavirus, 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 in line with guidance, unless you have a legitimate reason not to. We have face masks 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 

When outside your home make sure you:

  • Keep a safe distance from each other and follow social distancing guidelines 
  • Behave responsibly, respectably and don’t organise or attending gatherings which break laws or Government social distancing guidelines 
  • Showing 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

Additional restrictions on meeting others outside of your household are in place in Leeds  for your own safety and for the safety of members of the local community. It is  important that you understand the current rules to avoid getting any penalties or sanctions. Leeds City Council have created a simple webpage that lists all the local Leeds guidelines (https://www.leeds.gov.uk/coronavirus/local-rules) 

Some of these key rules include 

  • In Leeds you cannot meet or invite people you do not live with into your home or gardensunless they are in your support bubble, providing care or emergency assistance. 
  • You cannot visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of Leeds. 
  • Hosting or attending gatherings with more than six people (such as parties) are strictly prohibited under current guidelines.  
  • It is also advised that you should not socialise with people you do not live with in local parks, pubs, restaurants or any other public venue. 

The rules will be enforced by the Police, Leeds Antisocial Behaviour Team and the University. This includes £10k fines for anyone organising illegal parties and breaking social distancing guidelines, as well as £200 individual fines for those attending. The University will 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. 

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: neighbourhood.helpline@leeds.ac.uk 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 governments website 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 

Travelling to campus 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, use public transport or drive. 

For all 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.  

  • Find and support local and independent businesses through the Independent life website.  
  • A great place to find out about the events and activities taking place in Leeds is the Visit Leeds website.
  • Have your say by taking part in local elections, you can register to vote.
  • Explore further afield including the beautiful countryside, coast and towns of Yorkshire. Take a look at the Visit Yorkshire website for ideas.  

Other guidance on living locally