Community Life 

This section provides key information about some of the basic things to remember when moving somewhere new, as well as local information that can ease you into living in York. Many students choose to study their course in York because it is a beautiful city in the heart of the UK, and there is some guidance here on that, but for more have a look at the Why York? page.

We have also put together local information sheets for the most popular student residential areas in the city, which can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. These include details of local facilities such as Doctors' surgeries and shops, and travel information such as distances to the universities and public transport.

As part of the Student Community Partnership we have put together a Student Community Guide, which gives many handy and helpful tips on living in York.

Interested in volunteering? There is a wide range of volunteering opportunities available, see our Volunteering Page for more information.

Moving House

Whenever you move into a new property there is always a lot to do. Whether you are a first year moving out of halls of residence or at the end of a letting period and moving to a new place we have some helpful tips to help you make sure you've remembered the most important things.


Moving in:

  • Consider contents insurance. You may find that your belongings are covered under your parents' contents insurance. If not, Endsleigh offer a good deal for students.
  • Check that the property has working smoke alarms.
  • Obtain a TV licence, register your Council Tax status and get on the electoral register.
  • Get the telephone re-connected in your name, this is needed if you want internet access.
  • Take meter readings and register with electricity, gas and water companies.
  • Make sure you know how to contact your landlord/ letting agent in an emergency.
  • Check that all the doors and windows lock securely.

Moving out:

  • Redirect your post. You can set up automatic mail redirection to your new address on the Royal Mail website. Inform people of your change of address. This should include: your utility providers (gas, water, electricity); your telephone company; your bank or building society; your credit card company; your insurers; the DVLA.
  • Clear out any waste or rubbish you have, sometimes landlords/letting agent will charge you for any left over bin bags. The universities organise end of year recycling days so contact them for more information. 
  • Inform your gas, electric, water suppliers that you are leaving the house. They will send you a final bill, ensure you give them your meter reading where necessary on the last day in your house to make sure you are not paying more than necessary.
  • Do the same for your internet provider and TV licence, make sure you tell them you are moving.
  • Get your deposit, do a thorough clean!

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The bills you are obliged to pay will vary depending on which landlord/ letting agency you are renting with. However, it's likely you will be responsible for payment of all the utilities you use, i.e. gas, electricity, water and internet. It's recommended that all housemates give their names to utility companies, instead of just one person's. This ensures all tenants are responsible for the payment of bills and if there's a problem with a late payment you will all be held accountable.

coin stackTV licence

A colour TV licence costs £145.50 a year. Any student using television equipment without a valid TV licence risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1000.

If your shared house is treated as one place shared by all (a joint tenancy agreement indicates this) then one TV licence covers all TVs within the accommodation. This can be paid yearly, quarterly or monthly.

You can claim a refund for any completely unused quarter on your TV licence. In order to obtain a refund for the summer quarter (July, August and September) you need to buy your TV licence at the beginning of your first term.

Council Tax

Generally, if you are a full time student you will NOT be liable for council tax. Take a look at the details of council tax charges in York that are up to date. You may wish to also read about how to apply for student exemption.

If you have any queries relating to your council tax, you should contact the Council Tax department York.


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Waste and Recycling

It's important to keep track of when waste collections are in your area. A pile of bin bags make for an unhappy and untidy community so make sure you dispose of them regularly. Recycling schemes take place throughout the year and some are run by the Universities at the end of the year term.

Don't go throwing out electrical products, clothes, books, pots and pans, recycle them or give them to charity!

BinsWaste collection

Use the postcode checker! Enter your postcode or street name and find out when your next waste collection dates are.

A two-weekly rubbish collection alternates with a two-weekly recycling collection in most areas in York. You should confirm with your landlord/ letting agent which day of the week this is on in your area. Alternatively contact the York Pride Action Line (YPAL) on 01904 551551. You should be aware that it is an offence to put rubbish out any earlier than 7pm the night before collection. If you have a wheelie bin this must be returned to your property no later than 7pm on the day of collection.


A kerbside recycling scheme is currently available to the vast majority of York residents. If the recycling scheme is not operating in your area, there are various recycling points around the city centre including two household waste sites. Visit the recycling waste sites find where your local recycling bank is.

Get hints and tips on how to cut down your food waste at Love Food Hate Waste.


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Additional information that you might find useful:


Specialist foodsYork city (49)

There are several small specialist food shops in York that cater for a variety of different dietary requirements and nationalities. There are significantly more based in Leeds, which you can reach by a short train or bus journey.

Many specialist food products are available in most supermarkets, but be aware that these may only be supplied in larger branches, so sometimes ordering online might be the best way forward.

Have a look at our listings for Specialist Food Shops.

Faith and ReligionYork city (4)

In York you will meet people belonging to a range of faiths and religions and so will come across various different perspectives and cultures. As long as you take the time to listen, understand and respect these differences, you will benefit from life in a diverse community.



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Visit our 'Council' page to find out information about living in a new residential area in York. 


You can find out more about the different places to live in York by reading our

Residential area information sheets