Housing Advice

We are here to help with all your housing queries and use the term ‘housing’ to refer to all types of property, including flats. For example, if you want to know your rights, need help resolving an issue with your landlord/housemate or need to leave a property, come and see us for some advice.

Leicester has lots of housing available so there is no need to rush into signing for a house. There are many different types of housing available to students: University Halls of Residence, Private Halls of Residence, Private Housing and Lodging. You have different rights and responsibilities in each situation. We can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of each option, as well as checking your contract to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

Our role in providing you housing advice

  1. Listen to you explain your situation and provide you with advice and support on living in rented housing and recommend next steps e.g. accessing further services.
  2. Liaise with other services and departments on your behalf where needed, with your consent.
  3. Review and provide further guidance on any documentation you need to collate before you submit it.
  4. Continue to provide advice on any outcomes you experience and anything else you’d like advice on during your student journey. 

We recommend that you

  1. Read through our step-by-step guides on housing processes to help you increase your knowledge of renting. In the meantime, contact us on the form below with any housing queries you may have and we’ll provide you with direct advice.
  2. Get in touch with us by either filling in the online form or dropping in and speaking with us.
  3. Visit our Signposting and Wellbeing -Housing support page, to get details on further services that can support you in the meantime, that may be helpful to you. 


What are the options of where to live as a student?

 The following areas surrounding the University of Leicester, as they are fairly popular with students. 

• Clarendon Park/ Knighton

• Stoneygate

• North Evington/ Evington

• Highfields

• Aylestone Parks/ Knighton Fields

• City Centre

• Oadby

What should I consider when choosing a student property?

Other than the area, you may also want to consider:

• Your financial budget and what you can reasonably afford to pay in rent and bills

• Whether you wish to live on your own or with others

• How far away is the property from campus and local shops, services and facilities (including parking)

• Is there good access to local transport?

• What kind of property you wish to live in; see below for more information about this.

 University owned accommodation: 

The University has two main accommodation sites: The City and The Village

University accommodation in  The City  are purpose-built student accommodation blocks within ten minutes’ walk of campus. As well as being close to campus, they’re convenient for access to Leicester City centre and Leicester railway train station too. Most of the rooms are en-suites. All the rooms are self-catered.  The Village  is situated within Oadby, which is a 10 minute bus ride or 45 minute walk from campus. There are eight halls of residence here and it is popular for its converted buildings (mostly Edwardian villas and lodges) and access to green spaces. During term time there are regular buses that run every 10 minutes from the university (University Road bus stop) to Oadby.

If you choose to live in university accommodation, it can be a great way to meet and get to know other students. Plus, costs such as your bills will be included in your rent.

However, it is important to remember that if you choose to live in university accommodation you may not get a choice of who you live with which is something to be mindful if you are happy to be living with people you do may not know. You will, however, always have the university accommodation team on hand for support, should you need (accommodation@le.ac.uk).

 Private student flats, houses or student halls:  These are run by private companies, letting agencies and landlords. Properties may be similar to university accommodation, like university halls and flats or you may live in a house with other peers. It is important to be mindful that unlike university owned accommodation, because these types of properties are not owned by the university, the university have no jurisdiction or authority over these type of accommodation, therefore, you can only be advised about any issues you may encounter. You may wish to seek advice from our Students’ Union Advice service if you do.

 Living at home/commuting:  This can be an option for some students who wish to live with their family during their time at university, which can be a way to save money and remain close to your support network should you choose. However, remember, if you are a full time student, you will need to live local to Leicester or within easy commuting distance during semester times as there are university expectations regarding attendance to your course.

What should I do once I have moved into my student accommodation?

• Ensure you have a copy of your tenancy agreement

• Have been given the keys you need to access the property

• Complete the inventory checklist you may be given and record state and condition of the property. By doing this you are keeping record of what the property was like upon you moving in. This may be helpful as evidence should your accommodation provider try to charge you for any damage to the property and it wasn’t you, therefore is good practice to do. Take pictures of anything you want to keep for your records.

What is a tenancy agreement?

You will likely be asked to sign a tenancy agreement when you move into a property. This is an agreement that outlines the terms of your stay and includes rights and responsibilities of the landlord and you as the tenant; it should also include information about rent price and your deposit. We would always advise that you read and understand your tenancy before you agree to the tenancy agreement. Important tip: Sometimes you may feel like to must rush to sign an agreement however, please make sure you understand what you are agreeing to. It can be difficult in leaving a tenancy once it has been agreed by both parties and it is a legally binding document.

Should I bother with a house viewing?

Yes, we would always recommend that you go and physically visit the property to check you are happy with the state and condition it is in as well as happy with the local area. Once a student signs and agrees to their tenancy agreement it become a legally binding contract therefore you want to be sure you know what kind of place you are signing up to live in. In the world of online convenience, we know some accommodation providers will offer to do a virtual or online viewing of the property but this may not give you a full insight to what the property is like!

What should I do if I have a repair that needs fixing?

Check your tenancy agreement and/or speak with your accommodation provider for details of how you should officially request help with maintenance or repair issues. You should be provided with details of how to report emergency or out of hours issues with the property also- keep this information stored where you can easily find it, should you need (e.g. useful telephone or contact details).

If I am unhappy about an aspect of my housing, can I withhold rent?

This is not something we would advise. Your obligation to pay rent is separate from the landlord’s obligation to carry out repairs. Your landlord can evict you if you withhold rent, even if there are repairs to be done. You should consider seeking advice.

What should I do if I want to make a complaint about my housing?

We would always advise in the first instance to speak with your landlord, letting agency or accommodation provider to try and resolve issues informally so that the issue can be hopefully resolved quickly. However, it there continues to be an issue you may wish to pursue a formal complaint with them. For university accommodation, there is an  Accommodation Complaints Procedure you can follow. If you have a private landlord or letting agency they may have their own procedure you should follow. We would advise that you find and familiarise yourself with your accommodation provider’s complaint process, if they have one (you can request this from staff or check out their information webpages). If you cannot find a complaints process, you could start by putting in writing your formal complaint to the landlord and seeking advice about your situation.

 Escalated complaints if you have accommodation through a private letting agency: 

Letting agents by law, letting agents are required to join a government regulatory body and/ or an authorised consumer redress scheme. The purpose of this is to give consumers an escalated complaints procedure if they are unhappy with how their complaint has been dealt with by the agent. The schemes give a good indication as to how a letting agency conducts its business, as they must pay a fee to be a part of one and comply a certain code of practice.

•  Association of Residential Letting Agencies (ARLA Property Mark)

•  The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

•  The Property Redress Scheme (PRS)

•  Ombudsman Services

 Escalated complaints for private landlords: 

If you do not have luck with your formal complaint to your landlord, you may be able to complaint the Local Council. Your local council can only help with complaints about:

• repairs that cause a risk to your health and safety not being done (e.g faulty electrical wiring not being fixed)

• illegal eviction

• harassment

• dishonest or unfair trading behaviour

I no longer like my housing and want to live elsewhere, can I leave the contract and property?

Unfortunately, it is not always as simply as deciding to leave the contract and property, if there is an agreed tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract therefore you should seek advice about your situation before you act.

What is a replacement tenant?

If a student no longer wishes to live in their privately rented student property and they are unable to leave their tenancy agreement, their provider may agree to them finding a replacement tenant. This would be another student who agrees to live in the property and take over the contract for the remainder of the tenancy agreement. We would advise always speaking to your accommodation provider about this as there may be additional considerations and charges for this.

If you are a student in university accommodation you should speak to the university accommodation team about your concerns.

What is a ‘guarantor’?

A guarantor is an individual who agrees to cover the cost of your rent (and perhaps other costs) if you are unable to pay. This may be something that an accommodation provider may ask for; the guarantor will need to agree and sign this agreement if they do. They will need to sign a guarantor agreement. Landlords will usually request a guarantor who lives in the UK, as it's easier for them to take legal action against a UK resident if they need to. This may present a problem for you if you're an international student, so if you cannot get a UK-based guarantor, you may be asked to pay more rent in advance. Being a guarantor is potentially risky – if you don’t pay your rent, the guarantor may be taken to court for it. However, as long as you always pay your rent on time, it shouldn’t cause your guarantor any problems. For more information from Citizens Advice, please read:  Using a guarantor - Citizens Advice

Do I have to pay council tax as a student?

Full time enrolled students at university are exempt from paying council tax. Therefore, if you are full time student, you should inform the local council of this; they may require you provide evidence but you can simply provide them a university letter to prove you are in studies full time. For more details on how to get such a letter, see the university webpage here. However, if there is at least one non-student or part-time student in the property, the property will be liable for council tax.

Can I leave feedback about the property I have lived in?

You can leave a review of a Leicester property that you have recently lived in to let future tenants know more about the accommodation on  Rate Your Student Home. This a platform being run as a partnership between Sulets, De Montfort Student Union and University of Leicester Student Union and is available to all students in Leicester. The platform is intended to be used as a way for students to view and make informed decisions about where they live based on other students’ experiences.

 Please note: This platform is not meant to be used as a platform to lodge complaints or current disputes with accommodation providers. 

How can I contact the Students’ Union Advice Service for housing advice?

You can contact our service in a number of ways: e-mail us, telephone, drop by our Advice Service desk (Level 2 Percy Gee building) or make contact through one of our online forms. Our link  here provides you our contact details and opening hours, should you have a housing query or need advice.


Sulets are a proud sponsor of this section of the Union site. Sulets is the only Leicester student accommodation & lettings agency recommended by Leicester Students’ Union.

Please note the Students’ Union Advice Service is an independent service and any queries relating to Sulets will be represented exactly as all other accommodation providers.

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University of Leicester
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