Leeds uni accomodation -- James Baillie Park: review

As a first year at Leeds Uni, choosing from all of the little housing options was a tough choice. I eventually settled on James Baillie Park. (although no one says the 'Park' bit)

It's located 15-20 minutes walk from uni, has buses every 2-3 minutes going past the main road (but then it's a 5 minute walk up a hill to the residence from there).

It's also the most expensive of all non-catered accommodations. JBP is managed by Unite instead of the Univeristy of Leeds, but run in partnership.

It has a 24 hour laundry room (though they really need to invest in the key card system for this as needing exact change for washing machines and driers is very frustrating), a common room (which was always empty but has a TV) and BBQ point around the site.

Almost all the rooms at James Baillie are ensuite. I lived in the basement (aka the dungeon) which wasn't the most social of environments and was pretty much freezing if I didn't have an electric heater with me (the one in the room isn't the best).

It doesn't have a shop, a village feel or a gym.

I met so many people on Otley runs, block parties and birthday parties and I don't regret meeting any of them and I imagine that living in a house next year is going to be less social than this which will be a shame. At James Baillie there's a party going on EVERY night and ive heard it's defo the most social of all the accommodations.

It also has secure bicycle storage and Unite has probably the most helpful staff I've ever met!

I cannot fault the staff at unite. They are brilliant - Roger in particular at the office is great and he even knew me by name as he ended up signing for dozens of parcels for me. When I lost my keys I called the 24 hour hotline and they had someone out to me in less than 20 minutes and they gave me new keys the day after in the office (albeit at £20 per key x 3 keys).

In summer it was lovely sitting on the grass revising and chilling and they were great fun for when it snowed too. However neither happened too often, most of the time it's just windy and cold in Leeds.

The residence has a handy contract length though - it ends on 3rd July and as I live in London it means that I don't have to take all my stuff home and bring it back up as housing contracts (not halls, private houses) start on 1st July. It's also the most request accommodation so if you want it you do have to put it as your first choice.

Would I stay again? I think I'd go for something on site and cheaper next time. Sharing a bathroom really isn't that much of a problem really and the ensuite costs about £10 extra per week.
So unfortunately not, as nice as it was. It was just too expensive for what it was (over £500 a month). However, having said that I don't regret choosing it. I've had a great first year.


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