Coronavirus (covid-19) FAQs

We know that the current situation with coronavirus (covid-19) raises a lot of questions. We’ve gathered some information below to answer frequently asked questions about your accommodation. 

Information published is correct at the time of posting. This is a rapidly changing situation so please keep checking back for updates. 

Updated 17 November, 11am

Moving into University accommodation

Changes to your requirements

Living in University accommodation

Moving into University accommodation

When will I be able to move into my accommodation?

Your accommodation offer will include a contract start date – you will be able to move in at any time from this date onwards.

If you’re an international student whose contract start date begins before 4 January 2021, we will provide you with up to two weeks’ accommodation rent-free before that date. This will allow you to arrive early to begin your period of self-isolation in the UK. Once you have confirmed your travel arrangements please get in touch with accom@leeds.ac.uk to advise when you will be arriving.

If I’m required to self-isolate after travelling to the UK, what will happen? 

If you have travelled from or through a country that does not have a travel corridor with the UK you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. You can find a full list of countries who are exempt from having to self-isolate on arrival on the UK government website here.

More information on how we will support you is available here, and information on what self-isolating when you travel to the UK involves is available from the government. Please inform us as soon as you know that you will need to self-isolate on arrival through our online form.

What happens if I’m prevented from moving to Leeds by changes to local or national regulations? 

If you are a UK or an international student and are prevented from moving into your accommodation because of new government travel restrictions, then we will amend your contract dates so that you will only have to pay for the new agreed occupancy period. 

Can I move into accommodation if I have symptoms of coronavirus (covid-19)? 

No if you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell) then you will not be able to move into your accommodation. 

How will the moving in process work? 

Before your tenancy is due to start we will provide you with up to date moving in information either via our website or through email. You will need to take account of this information as you make your moving in plans. 

Changes to your requirements

Will you refund my accommodation deposit if I cannot study with you due to coronavirus (covid-19)?

Every student who accepts a contract for University of Leeds accommodation must pay a deposit within 4 days of the offer of accommodation. We will refund your deposit if your accommodation contract needs to be terminated due to government restrictions that are put in place to control the pandemic, or as may be necessary in other circumstances where there is a provision in the contract for it to end (contract terms and conditions apply). 

Will my accommodation arrival date and contract be flexible if the start of my course is postponed? 

If the start of your course is postponed, the University will contact you to let you know. If this happens, please get in touch with accom@leeds.ac.uk to advise the new date you will need your accommodation from. We will then amend your contract so you only have to pay for the time you need your accommodation for. 

Will I be able to delay my planned arrival date if I was originally planning on moving to Leeds in January? 

If you are a postgraduate student who has already applied for accommodation, then you will receive a letter from us with an offer of accommodation by the end of November. If there are no regulatory barriers to travel but you still wish to delay your arrival in Leeds, please see the information contained in this letter for further guidance or contact the Accommodation Office via email accom@leeds.ac.uk or phone +44 (0)113 343 7777.

Living in University accommodation

What welcome activities will be available? 

Our Residence Life team is providing a tailored series of welcome and induction events, training and guidance to support you. There will be a whole host of activities both in person and virtually to ensure that you can still make friends and socialise in a safe and enjoyable way. These will be a mix of virtual activities (which you can get involved in regardless of your start date in Leeds) and in-person events (as and when it is safe to do so). You can find out what great activities are going on in your hall by following the Residence Life Facebook page and joining your hall Facebook group or using the event calendars found in your flat.

What support services are available in residences? 

Our dedicated Residence Life team will provide personalised online, telephone and face-to-face services to support you in situations when you might need some tailored help to manage a problem like reporting illness or taking care of yourself if you can’t go out.

There is also other support available to you in the University.

What can I do to follow social distancing guidelines? 

You will be required to follow the government’s rules on social distancing. You will also be required to follow University rules and guidance.

It is also particularly important to remember to wash or sanitise your hands as often as possible. You should wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser as soon as you enter your accommodation, and before leaving your room even if you are only going to a shared kitchen or bathroom. You should also take extra care to keep kitchens and bathrooms clean and tidy after you’ve used them.

For the most up-to-date advice, visit the NHS website.

How will social distancing be implemented in University accommodation? 

We will be putting arrangements in place to enable you to move into your accommodation whilst observing social distancing including a phased and contactless arrivals process. We will also provide you with advice and guidance on social distancing within your residence at your virtual welcome talks.

Our staff and contractors will take care to observe government guidance whilst working in your flat and throughout the residences.

Once you move into your flat you will become part of a new student household. Please be considerate and look after one another to create a household and an environment where you will feel comfortable and secure together. 

We will continue to monitor government guidance and advice, and we may need to introduce further social distancing measures if required. Failure to follow University rules on social distancing may lead to you being subject to action under our disciplinary regulations. This could lead to a fine, termination of your accommodation contract or even suspension/expulsion from the University. If your actions break government regulations on social distancing this could put yourself at risk of prosecution. Both the government regulations and University guidelines are there to keep you and others safe.

Will I have to wear a face covering in residences? 

As in the rest of the University, face coverings are to be worn in all indoor communal areas of residences. This includes reception areas, main public corridors, in stairs and lifts and in those communal toilets located outside of your flat. This does not include inside of your flat. Exceptions to this rule may be made in some social spaces and gym facilities; if this is the case signage at the entrances to these spaces will say so. Wearing a face covering is also encouraged outdoors if you aren’t able to keep a safe distance of two metres.

Will I be allowed visitors to my residence?

In many parts of the country, the government has relaxed some restrictions around people visiting other households. However, in University accommodation we know that you want your health and wellbeing to be our primary concern. We therefore have a responsibility to do all that we can to keep you and all other residents safe. This means that at present we have taken the difficult decision not to allow you to invite visitors or guests from outside of your new student household into your room or flat at any time.

However, as long as social distancing is maintained you will be able to see and meet a limited number of guests in the public social space (such as common rooms) and outside areas of your residence. You must make sure when doing so that you adhere to the current government guidelines.

We will keep this rule under constant review and will let you know at any point if there are any changes that may allow you to have more freedom to have guests or visitors to your new student household.

Please be aware that currently England is in a national lockdown from 5 November to 2 December 2020. This means you should not socialise with anyone from outside of your household (either indoors or outdoors) until new government regulations allow you to do so.

What should I do if I think I have to self-isolate in University accommodation? 

The current government advice is to self-isolate if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
  • you're waiting for a coronavirus test result.
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus.
  • you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive.

For further information and guidance please see the government advice in the link above. 

If you live in University accommodation, you will need to let us know if you have to self-isolate through this form. Our Residence Life team will then get in touch and support you throughout your period of self-isolation. This will include regular checks on how you are doing, arranging for deliveries of meals and anything else you need.

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service will also offer free professional and confidential counselling, wellbeing, and mental health support if you need their help.

We would also advise the following:

  • keep in regular contact with friends and family by phone.
  • avoid using common areas in your accommodation (apart from your shared kitchens & washrooms).
  • in the event of a fire alarm, please evacuate the building as you would normally, but where possible, keep at least 2 metres away from other people.