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  • Pancake Day is almost upon us, and as students we don't always have the time to carefully plan and prepare our meals. The likelihood is that, even if you have the time to cook pancakes tomorrow, you probably won't have all the right ingredients in your fridge anyway. If you want to stay traditional on Shrove Tuesday and devour a nice tall stack of pancakes, here are the best places to head in Leeds. Notes Located in the heart of Leeds Trinity shopping centre, Notes Cafe is the first location under this brand name to venture out of its London origin. A speciality coffee shop and wine bar, the selection of food and drink on offer is fairly diverse, meaning that even if not all your party are in the mood for a traditional pancake, you can still head here and satisfy everyone.  Listed on the breakfast menu, the substantial pancake offering costs £5 and comes served with seasonal berries and maple syrup. Enjoy this dish with a fresh coffee as a hearty Shrove Tuesday breakfast. Crepe Hut If you're a fan of thick and fluffy American style pancakes, this might not be the option for you, however if you enjoy your pancakes European style, then The Crepe Hut, nestled away in Kirkgate Market  is the place for you. You'll have the option of going for either sweet or savoury dishes and with heartily sized portions, The Crepe Hut will leave you full this Pancake Day. Greedy Pig This homely Leeds cafe has seen a real growth in popularity over recent years, and a quick search on social media shows you just how good the food is - with many diners choosing to vocalise their great dining experiences onto the web. Located on North Street just outside the main hustle and bustle of the city centre, the independently owned cafe is a great place to head before 3pm to grab a bite. Their signature pancakes are so good that they recently featured in an Independent online article on the expert's guide to pancakes, which includes their bacon & maple syrup and nutella menu options. Primo's Hot Dogs are a true American Classic, and if Primo's are specialising in one American delicacy, it's hardly surprising to see that the restaurant is also an expert  in another American favourite - pancakes. If you;re looking for a cheap price for Leeds pancakes, Primo's is the perfect place to head to enjoy, and with both sweet and savoury options available you can enjoy your 'short stack' however you like them. Topping options are plentiful, and whether you opt for syrup, bacon or fruit, you'll undoubtedly leave the restaurant satisfied . Make sure you plan your trip to Primo's, as the American Pancakes are listed as part of the breakfast menu, meaning that you'll need to order before midday to avoid disappointment.   Image used under creative commons license courtesy of
  • We are an award winning lettings agency in Leeds. Last year, we won the Sunday Times Letting Agency of the Year Award. Since then we have dominated the Leeds letting market, becoming the number 1 estate agent in Leeds City Centre. We have interviewed some of our staff to give you an insight into our work, and the talented experts who help us to deliver a first class service. Find out what it’s like to work for us and more about the work that we do from Jade Neville and Jamie Hilsden. Jade Neville – Property Consultant Jade Neville Please tell us a bit about yourself and your job role at Parklane Properties? I have been working for Parklane Properties as a property consultant for just over a year. My job as a property consultant requires me to oversee a portfolio of Leeds City Centre and North Leeds properties. I manage these properties on behalf of our clients, and strive to deliver a first class service. My day to day work as a property consultant involves a wide range of tasks, from dealing with property maintenance issues and regular inspections to managing move-ins and move-outs. Why did you choose to work for Parklane Properties? Prior to working for Parklane I worked in the retail sector. I wanted to enhance my customer service skills and work for a more challenging industry where I would be tested more. I decide to take the leap, and I applied for a job at Parklane. I wanted to work here because it’s such a prestigious and highly respected letting agency in Leeds and feel it’s the right company to progress my career at this point. Why would you recommend living in Leeds to people? After living in Leeds for a year, I have fallen in love with the city. It’s a vibrant, exciting city with so much to see and do. The city is constantly being enhanced with new developments, which means it has excellent facilities. Even though Leeds is a major city, everything is surprisingly close together. You can easily get to everything on foot, which obviously makes my job a lot easier! Based on your expert knowledge of the city, where do you think is the best place to live in Leeds? I would say Leeds Dock is a popular area in the city, many professionals live in this area as it’s conveniently located. Personally, I also like West Point. Both of these locations are close to the bustling city centre, and are within easy reach of popular bars and restaurants, and close to transport links. What sets Parklane apart from other letting Agencies? I think the main reason why so many people chose us over other agencies is due to our reputation in the area. We pride ourselves on the high level of customer service we offer our customers, and this is reflected in the awards and reviews that we receive. We work extremely hard for our clients to get the right rental price for their property and the best possible tenants for landlords. What’s the best thing about working at Parklane? I love working at Parklane because it’s a family run business, and it shows. Everyone here is very friendly and welcoming, and they make me feel like a valued member of the team. Having this support and being in a job I thoroughly enjoy has made moving to Leeds much easier. I particularly enjoy working in a small, close knit office where everyone if prepared to help each other out. Jamie Hilsden – Sales Negotiator Jamie Hilsden Please tell us a little about yourself and your job role. I am the Sales Negotiator, which means I look after our sales portfolio. My job mainly consists of helping buyers to find the best possible place to live, or invest. I spend a lot of my working day out on viewings, which gives me a first-hand view of the property market in Leeds. Why do you like working in this industry and in particular, at Parklane? One of the main reasons I enjoy working at Parklane and in the property sector is the people I get to meet. My job enables me to interact with a wide range of different people, which means every day is interesting. I love meeting new people and the satisfaction that finding them the perfect property brings me. I really get to know buyers and take on board their specific needs, it’s an important part of my role. I also work in a small team which allows me to give a personal service to all of our clients and customers. Why would you recommend your company to people over others? Again, I think the main reason why someone would choose us is the personal service we offer. People really do notice the high level of service that Parklane Delivers, which has been a key ingredient to our success over the years. I work hard to find out exactly what customers want, so that viewings can be tailored to their specific needs. Why is Leeds such a great city to live in? I, like many other people, studied at Leeds University and after graduating, I never left the city. It’s the kind of city that leaves its mark on you, because it has so much to offer. I particularly like the selection of restaurants and bars in Leeds. There’s always new and exciting places popping up over the city. I also like the fact that I can escape the city and get out to the beautiful surrounding countryside whenever I want. Another key selling point about Leeds is that everything is within walking distance, you can walk from one end of the city to the other within 20 minutes. The regeneration of the City is constantly improving the centre and changing it for the better. It is definitely the place to be! Give us an insight into an average day in your life. I am very lucky because every day is different, which means it’s difficult for me to define an ‘average day’. I get to do a huge variety of things including spending time in the city centre and helping buyers to find their dream property. One day I might be spending time in a penthouse apartment, and another day I might be on a building site advising on the off plan units we have available for sale. My job can be pretty hectic at times, but personally, I really enjoy the variety. How do you like to spend your time outside of work? I am a big fan of the Leeds Rhinos, so I obviously try to go to as many games as I can. Leeds is big on sport, which is something I love about the city. You can also find me in the kitchen as I enjoy cooking and keeping fit in the gym.
  • So, Valentine’s Day is almost here and whether you’re spending the evening with your long-term partner or someone you just met on Tinder, you really don’t want to mess things up. Nope, there’s nothing worse than committing a Valentine’s faux-pas. Follow our tips and this hot date will most likely not be the last, but one of many others to come.

    Don’t buy gifts from the petrol station

    So, we’ve all heard that it’s the thought that counts, but if you show up with a box of Ferrero Rocher, a battered singled red rose or one of those cheap and nasty grey teddies from the local Shell Garage, it shows what you actually thought was ‘That’ll do.’’ You don’t have to spend a fortune on your Valentine, just try pick something out you know they will actually like.

    Don’t buy racy lingerie with just yourself in mind

    Whilst you might think that a bright red body stocking from Ann Summers is super-sexy, remember it’s not you that will be wearing it and she may not want to dress like a porn-star! If you are going to buy lingerie, try picking out something with a little more class, and if needs be, consult her friend in private for some advice.

    Don’t offer to cook a meal if you can’t cook

    Whilst you might think the meal Nigella just whipped up on TV looks like a piece of cake (we couldn’t resist the pun), if you’re a complete kitchen klutz, then approach with caution. Come clean that you can’t cook, and offer to splash out on their favourite takeaway, or simply go out for food instead. We’ve heard all sorts of cooking disaster stories here in our office, including a guy who served his hot date chips and vodka…needless to say it was the first and last time they saw one another.

    Don’t talk about your ex

    Whilst you might think it’s hard to talk about past experiences without mentioning your beloved ex of four years, just don’t. It’s a clear sign that you’re not over this relationship and a huge turn-off for your new beau, who will probably come to the conclusion you were probably dumped for being a wet lettuce.

    Don’t get too drunk

    Whether you feel like drinking copious amounts of alcohol because it’s a first date and you’re nervous, or simply because you’re a complete boozer, reign it in! The last thing you want to do is declare undying love for someone you barely know, before puking in their lap and being sent home alone in a taxi. If you do, you will definitely find you bump into them on a regular basis for years to come and have to relive the sorry experience over and over again.
  • Adding value to a property is easier than most homeowners anticipate. Despite this, the benefits of doing so are well documented. We live in a world where the value of property means so much, and failure to capitalise on your home is something that may haunt you in later life. Imagine driving past a former home and seeing a conservatory attached when you know how much additional value this would have created for you as a selling point! Here are eight ways to get started on adding value to your property: -        Loft conversion: A loft conversion is an excellent way to add another bedroom and bathroom to a house and may add tens of thousands of pounds to the value of your home. -        Paint the house: This could seem like an oversimplification but making your home as pleasant looking as possible is going to get buyers coming to you when a property is on the market. -        Central Heating: Obviously not an issue if you already have it, but by spending £1000-£3000 you will end up adding something closer to £5000. -        Add a conservatory: A conservatory will cost less than a genuine extension whilst performing a similar function. -        Paving the garden: If you have a front garden, pave over it and turn it into a parking space, this will add value if you live in a suburban area where parking is at a premium. -        Know who you’re selling to: Think about the sort of people who might be interested in your property and adapt it accordingly. -        Consider the kitchen: The kitchen often appears as a focal point of any house. A good kitchen is capable of adding 4.6% to the value of a house, if it fits the home properly. -        Open space: open space is very important in the contemporary housing market. Non-load bearing walls can afford to come down to create more space, and more importantly an image of more space.  
  • Whilst you could stay in alone on Valentine’s Day, scoff down a Deliveroo takeaway washed down with a bottle of wine and a tub of Hagen-Dazs, you could instead look on the bright side, focus on the positives and get yourself out. Think about it. You don’t have to buy a cheesy present, pretend to be ecstatic when you receive a cheesy present, or sit in a restaurant being served mass-produced, overpriced food. Okay, so let’s not get too bitter about being single hey? Here are a few tips on how to survive Valentine’s Day as a singleton in Leeds.

    Ditch or Date at Crowd of Favours

    Supercool and laidback bar, Crowd of Favours (located just off Kirkgate) are hosting a Ditch or Date event on Wednesday 10th February from 8pm. The concept here is simple. Girls remain seated at tables throughout the evening, whilst the guys rotate round the room every four minutes for a chat. The night runs until 10pm, with a 20 minute bar break in the middle, giving you a chance to make a beeline for any hot options. Bring a friend and see if Cupid draws his bow and arrow. Tickets are just £12 per head; get them here.

    Dinner date with your bestie

    They say if you can’t beat them, then join them; so why not book a dinner date with your bestie? You can avoid restaurants offering typical Valentine’s fodder, and instead head somewhere less romantic. Smoke Barbecue is the place to go for meat lovers who like to get their hands dirty; book for Valentine’s Day and you’ll receive a free bottle of Prosecco. If it’s burgers you’re looking for, then Almost Famous never fail to disappoint.

    Laugh it off with Derek or Deadpool

    Laughter is a great remedy to many ailments, and thankfully for you, there’s some great films out this February to make you smile. Zoolander 2 sees Derek sashaying back on to the silver screen once again, 15 years after the cult classic original. Book online at VUE and you can bag yourself a selfie stick and pull off your own version of blue steel. On the 12th February, Ryan Reynolds is back as Deadpool, which is Marvel’s funniest film to date, packing in action, laughs and eye-candy in equal measure. Watch it at Everyman and get comfy with your mates with your own sofa and cushions. Eating popcorn at the Cinema

    Retail therapy

    Much like laughter, shopping can cure a multitude of problems, and what place better to shop than Leeds? As well as Harvey Nicks, Mango and all the usual stores, the city is brimming with awesome independents. Budding artists should get themselves to Art Official, who stock the hippest supplies in a superbly creative environment, whilst those that just like appreciate art should head to On the Wall for one of their awesome posters. Established in 1971, Jumbo Records is a Leeds institution and hasn’t let the digital boom slow it down; head down for some classic or current vinyl, as well as CD’s and gig tickets. If you’re after some threads a little different to the norm, then check out the Corn Exchange, and in particular, Alice Found Treasure. Here you’ll find a treasure trove of vintage clothing, as well as accessories and homeware.    
  • Going away to university for the first time is exciting for anyone and for lots of people it’s their first real taste of independence living away from home. But with new friends to make, new places to discover and, hopefully, the chance to study a subject that you’re passionate about, it’s all too easy to pay a bit less attention to taking care of your health. So here are five handy tips to help make sure that you stay healthy all term long. Register with a local dentist and GP However healthy you may be, it’s vital that registering with a local GP and dentist is high on your “to do” list in the first few weeks of term – even if you are already registered with one at home. That’s because if you do ever come down with something or break a tooth having a doctor or dentist who may be hundreds of miles away won’t do you much good! Eat healthy It may be a tired old cliché that students live on a diet of beans on toast and save up all their washing to take home in the holidays – but it also contains a grain of truth. So making sure that you have a balanced diet is important. There are lots of student and beginners’ cookery books available packed with low cost recipes for one. So make sure you pack one when you go – and find a local launderette! Get enough sleep You’ll probably find yourself being plunged into an exciting social whirl starting in fresher’s week and carrying on from there. So it’s all too easy to leap in feet first and grab every opportunity of a night out that comes your way. But remember, you’re main reason for being at uni is to work and the only way that you’ll be able to do this is by not being too tired to go to lectures. So be disciplined and try to get at least 8 hours’ sleep in the week – but the weekend can be a different matter . . . Join a sports club or team Another great advantage of uni is the sheer number of clubs available to join including ones for most sports and games. From football to skiing and judo to squash you’ll probably find there’s just the right for one for you. Joining one is also a great way to meet new people with the same interest as you. Get regular health checks As well as having dental health checks every six months you should also book a regular sight test with a local optician. After all, if you do find that your eyesight’s changed and you need glasses it won’t be very good for reading white boards in large lecture theatres. Hearing is another thing it’s sensible to be aware of. If you do ever find it’s getting harder to pick up what people are saying then a trip to a nearby hearing specialist would be a good idea. They’ll be able to test whether you have any hearing issues and suggest solutions such as hidden hearing aids found here. Hopefully all these tips will help you to enjoy a healthy and happy time at university. Just remember that you’re there to work hard as well as play hard and you should be well on track to really make the most of your potential!
  • Whilst it doesn’t feel like two minutes since we were seeing in 2016, Leeds is now gearing up to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Monkey begins on Monday 8 February, and there are a number of ways you can get into the spirit in the city. Here are our hot picks of what’s going on and where: Chinese New Year Festival – Leeds Town Hall – Sunday 14 February So this comes almost a week late, but who cares? The annual event is organised by the Leeds Chinese Community, and provides the perfect chance to celebrate the New Year alongside Valentine’s Day. As well as theatrical performances of music, Chinese Lion Dance, martial arts and calligraphy, there will be a selection of stands selling traditional Chinese food and crafts, as well as face painting for the kids. For information and tickets, check out the LCCA website here. The Yorkshire and Humber Chinese New Year Dinner – Leeds Civic Hall – Tuesday 2 February If you’re in business and have become bored of the run-of-the-mill networking events, then this could be the one for you. With around 180 attendees, all of whom have business links to China, it’s a great opportunity to mix business with pleasure and enjoy traditional Chinese food, whilst picking up some useful contacts. Tickets are running out fast, so grab them here whilst you can. Maxi’s Chinese Restaurant – Bingley Street - Leeds Maxi’s Chinese Restaurant opened up in Leeds way back in 1989, and is widely regarded as the city’s finest. Serving up a mouth-watering blend of authentic Cantonese and Peking cuisine in a traditional setting, Maxi’s have not let the recent floods get them down and are already back in business. Bookings are going through the roof, so if you want to celebrate here then reserve your place pronto! Leeds Chinese Collection and the Chinese Zodiac – Leeds City Museum – Friday 5 February Antonia Lovelace, Curator of World Cultures, is allowing adults to come peruse Leeds fine collection of Chinese artefacts for one day only. For just £10, you can take in the collection which spans vintage fine porcelain, and comes bang up to date with contemporary culture; lunch is also included. To book, call 0113 224 3732, or take a look online for further information.
  • Here are , without having to get a loan, and without having to buy anything extra. You will need a bit of starting capital, but you can do it with your spare cash if needed. For some of the ideas you may need a car, but otherwise you simply need yourself and your computer/laptop. 1 - Start A Swapping Scheme The premise is very simple. You start a website, forum and even an on-campus location where people can swap things. It doesn’t have to be anything more advanced than a corkboard where people pay a dollar to post an advert. They post the things they are willing to swap and the things they are willing to swap from for. You can put the corkboard on your dorm door if you wish, or you can start a website, or even start a swap shop if your college will allow it. The great thing is that you can see the best deals first and snap them up yourself. 2 - Coursework Writing For Other Students When students struggle or miss classes, they sometimes cannot complete their essays and coursework. Many will go to confidential writing services, but if you can build an underground reputation as a confidential essay writer, then people will bring their business to you--and there is a lot of money in essay and coursework writing because there is a high demand. AssignmentMasters is a good example of such kind of business. 3 - Sell Items On eBay For A Commission Take photos of people’s stuff, get their details, and try to sell their stuff on eBay for a profit. You can charge them for the fees if their items do not sell, or you can factor it into the profit you make when you take a commission. However, you decide to work your business, you may have a high degree of success if you go about it the right way. Students often want money quickly, so market your business as a quick-fix money solution. 4 - Buy Things From Other Students To Sell For A Profit Students sometimes need money fast, and they often have good stuff that they will sell for a large discount just to get some money. You can use this to your advantage and buy their stuff for cheap and sell it as a profit. There are also lots of students that spend their grant/loan money on new things such as the newest tech or even a car, and they then discover they have no money to survive the term. After a few days of eating noodles, they are often willing to sell their new items for a discount, just so that they can start living like a human instead of a scavenger. If you are also running the eBay business as listed as item 3 on the list, then you will also find many people willing to sell to you at a discount rather than wait for an eBay auction to finish. 5 - Proofread The Work Of Other People Some people do not mind writing their work, but they hate proofreading. It is a common problem because reading your own stuff is boring--plus it is more difficult to spot your own errors. Take advantage of this and proofread people’s stuff for them. 6 - Use Your New Qualifications To Sell A Service If you are studying graphic design, then start your business whilst in college with your own website and Google Adwords to market your services. You can do the same for programming, web design, and a whole host of other qualification-specific services. 7 - Promote Yourself As A Tech Support Person There are plenty of people in your college that are good with computers, but they are not excellent. For example, there are still people that want to upgrade their Java, or upgrade to Windows 10, or that want to install new software and do not know how. Make a website, list all the things you can do, and charge a fee for your services. 8 - Arrange Parties And Sell Tickets Gather a few of your friends, invest a little money each, hire out a hall, arrange for a bar, promote and sell tickets. If you turn it into a group effort, then you are less likely to lose money, more likely to succeed, plus you get to go to a party. 9 - Start A Car Lending Service You have to be very careful with this business, but many people have done it. You lend out your car for a fee and a set amount of time. Bring the person to your dorm, and have them take out temporary insurance on your car for the time they are borrowing it, and on the day that person takes your car, have them leave their license with you, their current passport, or something else that shows who they are and that is valuable to their identity. 10 - Create A Go-Get-It Shopping Service This sort of thing has been going on for years. Usually people visit elderly people and charge them a small fee for getting their shopping from the supermarkets. You are doing the same thing, but you are doing it for students that do not have a car. Once people start to trust you, then they will pay in advance and you can do large shopping runs. 11 - Build A Review Website For Your College Making money this way will take time, especially if you have to do it via affiliate advertising. However, every year there are thousands of students looking for reviews of your college or university, and you can capitalize on that yearly demand. 12 - Create Information Products Featuring Your Notes The sheer weight of students that need notes is legendary. In every class, during every session, and in every college/university in the world there are students that have missed classes, that haven’t written notes, or that have lost their notes. Students need them desperately all the time, and usually they have to borrow them from friends. You can write up your notes and sell them on a website. Make notes for every class, write them up, and sell each batch of notes for a very low price. Hand out a few leaflets in class advertising your website, post adverts on local boards, and people will come to you when they need your notes.
  • http://www.safetynetmobile.com/ - Android Makes it easier to make an emergency call if you need to by allowing you to bypass pushing buttons and activate your phone by shaking it. Set up a “SafetyNet” group of contacts to alert them quickly if you are in trouble Use a phone retrieval feature if your mobile is lost or stolen http://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6521 If you’re in Yorkshire there is an award-winning crime prevention mobile app from the North Yorkshire police. It features latest crime news and “caught on camera” CCTV appeals, weather alerts (including flood warnings) as well as crime maps and other useful data. http://www.immobilise.com/ If your phone, bike, computer or any other registered item is lost or stolen, use Immobilise to instantly tell police, insurers, and the second-hand trade. These actions help greatly in the recovery of your property and capture of thieves.
  • If you are currently looking for an apartment to rent in Leeds city centre, then this article is aimed at offering a checklist of tips to consider. The team at Parklane Properties are more than happy to answer any questions and, obviously, offer a wide range of quality properties to rent in the city including apartments and houses. However, if you would prefer to deal with a landlord directly then there are a number of issues you need to bear in mind. The first thing is to appreciate that the property is going to be your home for the coming months, or even years, so you need to make a rational assessment before signing a tenancy agreement. The next most important thing is not to have an emotional reaction, all of us fall into this trap, and while the apartment or house may look very attractive there may be issues within it or problems with neighbours you may not be aware of.

    Looking at property to rent in Leeds

    Also when looking at property to rent in Leeds, be aware about the property's condition that's the interior and exterior as it will underline the landlord's commitment to data that is. Another crucial issue is to be aware of all the costs that will come with living there, it's not just about having to pay the rent but also the utility bills and, if it's not apartment, there may be a fee for maintenance of the building. If you are looking at apartments in the centre of Leeds then you should be aware of the security measures that are in place. For instance, are the doors into the building secure? Does the apartment building have an entry phone system and does it appear secure?

    Apartments Leeds city centre

    The apartments Leeds city centre may appear to be in good condition but if there is a garden outside then who is responsible for its maintenance? This may be the responsibility of the building's owners rather than the occupier of the ground floor flat. The next issue is applicable to apartments and houses to rent in Leeds, and that's our the locks of the property secure and of good quality? After a brief inspection of the exterior, what is the condition of the homes interior like? Other any signs of damp, bold or flaking paint? If it appears that the property is needing some repairs, who will be responsible for carrying out these repairs? This is also a good time to check when inspecting apartments Leeds city centre whether there are any loose wires, faulty plugs or even dodgy wiring in place. Do not be shy about switching on and
  • Leeds City Council has confirmed an initial range of financial support proposals which will be made available for households and businesses severely affected by the recent floods in the city. The current schemes provide by Leeds City Council are:
    • Recovery grant for businesses affected by flooding up to £2,500 per business 

    • Business rates relief for 3 months

    Both are available to Small to Medium Enterprises, charities and other third sector organisations. The same application form should be used to apply for both schemes. Additional advice for businesses affected by flooding can here. Households and businesses affected by the recent floods in Kirkstall and Leeds city centre could benefit from a hardship fund set up by the council. In West Leeds, businesses down Kirkstall Road and at the Kirkstall Bridge Retail Park were all affected by the Boxing Day floods, which left parts of the area under several feet of water after the River Aire broke its banks. Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: Since the terrible flooding last weekend, we have been working tirelessly with agencies and volunteers to help those affected by the initial emergency and to help them to start clearing up the debris left in its wake. Clearly, this is just the first step in a long recovery process and we will now look at some additional measures to help to continue this support. For householders affected, a new hardship fund is being setup which will provide up to £500 per household to help with recovery costs, such as provision of temporary accommodation. The council will also provide council tax relief for residents whose homes have been severely affected. With regard to businesses affected the council propose to provide business rate relief and are also exploring a range of grants and loans to help get businesses back on their feet. They will have detailed discussions with affected businesses about what would work best and the additional support that they will need. The details of the financial support schemes can be accessed are on the Leeds City Council website. Anyone severely affected by the flooding and wishing to register for support should provide details of their name, address, daytime and evening telephone numbers and a short explanation of how their house or business has been affected and should either: Email the council at floodrelief@leeds.gov.uk Post to: Economic Development Flood Relief, Leeds City Council, Thoresby House, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HD Call: 0113 222 4444
  • Online university – what does it mean? Exactly what it sounds like, and in fact a whole lot more. For generations, going to university has been the only way to obtain a degree and all that comes with such a qualification. A degree aids in the world of employment when looking for a job, proof that you excel in a certain field or a certain skill. Unluckily, for a long time actually obtaining such a thing was not so simple. University meant tuition fees, usually full time commitment and sometimes relocation to a distant part of the country if you wanted to get the best degree possible in your chosen area. However, this is no longer the case thanks to the online universities, which provide the means for everyone and anyone, no matter where they live or what they want to study, to gain a valuable qualification from their own home. A degree from an online university is the equivalent of any other degree. Most online universities are directly affiliated with a particular university in the country, and so the degree you qualify for online is actually a degree from that university itself. Studying online brings a host of flexible benefits, allowing a student of any age, gender, and circumstance to work online comfortably and conveniently without sacrificing any existing commitments. Online degrees are particularly suited to more mature students who already work; for an adult, a further degree can enhance an existing career or provide the means for a change in career path. Studying online provides a flexible alternative to the rigid timetabling and commitments of university life. Websites provide students with access to a range of online courses to help enrich their educational and employment opportunities, from courses in financial services to those in business management and marketing, skills which would be a valuable addition to anyone’s working life.
  • There's a lot of quality accommodation available to tenants looking towards renting in Leeds and the helpful team at Parklane Properties can offer help and advice for every aspect of renting property. In a previous blog post we highlighted what the basic steps are for a tenant to take when looking for rental properties and why having a checklist of important criteria decided beforehand is crucial to finding a property quickly. We also mentioned in that blog post that Leeds has a wide range of quality rented accommodation available and that there are some areas which are more in demand than others with tenants. For anyone who has watched a property programme, the presenters always have a refrain they mention in every single one and that is that before buying or renting a property the most important consideration is, 'location, location, location.'

    Those who want homes to rent Leeds city centre

    This is also true for those who want homes to rent in Leeds city centre and there are a number of factors that potential tenants should appreciate when looking for somewhere to rent. Again, it's important to have a checklist in mind of suitable areas, for instance they may be closer to work or family than other areas. Some areas also have better public transport links to get around the city while some younger people, professionals and students may prefer to rent a Leeds property in the city centre. There's no doubt that the city centre is hugely attractive and has a wide range of nightlife including bars, pubs and restaurants. Victoria arcade However, Leeds is no different to many other major cities and some areas have higher rates of crime than others. This does not mean they may be unsafe for tenants to live in but research these potential areas carefully. The important thing to remember is tenants with a well-researched and fairly long list of potential areas that are suitable for their needs will have a wider range of quality rented accommodation to choose from.

    The potential of house shares in Leeds

    Added to this list will be the potential of house shares in Leeds or flat shares which means that the tenant will be sharing the property, or a room within a house, with others. This means the rent will be shared and be much lower than renting a property alone. It should also be appreciated that when a family or a single person are the only tenants within a property then it's considered to be a 'sole tenancy'. Others may find that their ideal property may be a studio flat, for instance, which comprises mainly of a single room that contains the kitchen and bedroom with a bathroom adjoined. There's also the availability of purpose-built accommodation when renting in Leeds which offers mod cons and, generally, all-inclusive bills; these are particularly popular with students but also with young professionals because they are usually located in the city centre and come with impressive bedrooms, security and communal areas for meeting with fellow tenants.

    Contact Parklane Properties today

  • When it comes to finding private lettings Leeds then one of the leading suppliers of quality rented accommodation in the city is Parklane Properties and this is the first part of our guide to renting a property. Perhaps the most important piece of advice that anyone looking for private rented accommodation should appreciate is that their criteria for renting should be defined as early as possible. For many reasons, the process between finding a suitable house or flat to rent will be similar to that of buying a property. This means it's important that the person looking for rental accommodation in Leeds knows what they are looking for and where they want to live. Leeds is a very large city and some areas are more popular with tenants than others. It's also important to understand what amenities are needed to be close by and, more important than that, how much the rental budget is since this will dictate the type and location of the rental property. When beginning a search for rented property, the turnover of properties is generally quicker than that for properties that are for sale.

    Good for private landlords Leeds

    While this may be good for apartment to let in Leeds it means that tenants have to move quickly and pounce when a suitable property becomes available. The next question is how long the tenancy needs to be for? Most landlords offer tenancies of 12 months, some may offer six while others may agree to rent a quality accommodation for longer. Also, would you like the rental accommodation to be furnished or unfurnished and how many bedrooms do you need? It should also be borne in mind, even if you are looking for a flat, that there may be a garden attached to the rented property which will need looking after and not all properties have off-street parking. With this checklist in mind, the next step is to decide how much rent you are willing to pay and stick to the budget.

    Looking at a room to let in Leeds

    However, many people new to renting do not always take into account all of their potential outgoings which means they may not have enough money to live on. This is one reason why looking at an apartment to let in Leeds makes financial sense because the costs will be much lower. Also, some properties are advertised at a weekly rental rate which does not mean that is the monthly cost. Some of the outgoings that may need to be considered are those for insuring the tenant’s belongings, the landlord will be responsible for insuring the building, and the council tax will also need to be paid. Asked beforehand from the landlord or the agent just how much this will cost every month. Other bills that need to be paid are the utilities including gas, electricity and water though sometimes the water bill is added in with the rent. It's also worth remembering that should you be looking for a flat it may be in a block that has a service charge which covers things like cleaning of communal areas and paying the ground rent. Check with the letting agent or landlord before committing to it. Most rental properties usually require that a month’s rent is paid as a deposit and the tenant should also budget for their removal costs including those of hiring a company to do the work. Essentially, those are the crucial aspects for anyone looking for private lettings Leeds and the helpful team at Parklane Properties will be more than willing to help with any questions. Contact Parklane Properties today
  • Whether you're in the final straight of your last year, or have just finished your first semester as a fresher, it's never too early to start thinking about your career and the real, outside world that awaits you once you conclude your time at university. From applying to jobs, to building your CV and gaining experience, there's always something you can be doing to improve your chances of gaining employment when the time comes. Check out our top tips to make sure you're as employable as can be when the time comes. Build your CV A CV isn't something you should throw together at the last minute when you spot your dream job. As soon as you start to plan your future career, and at the very latest once you start university, you should begin the CV building process. It isn't just a document you finish and store away, as you'll constantly be progressing whilst doing your degree, meaning that you should add relevant points as and when they crop up. A strong CV is essential, as it's effectively your first impression when applying for a job. Formatting is crucial, as a childish font will look unprofessional, however you don't want something to look ugly, as that is also a turn off to employers. Spelling and grammar mistakes will jump out glaringly to anyone who reads your CV, so make sure it's accurate, or you'll never even get to the interview stage. Gain experience Your CV is an important tool, however it won't be much use if it is lacking experience. In tough economic times, organisations want graduate students who know the feel of the industry, and gaining experience means that you'll be able to come into a working environment and adapt quicker than you would otherwise. Competition is high  for jobs in any industry, and through gaining work placements and experience you're making yourself stand out from the crowd. University can be tough, but over the three years (or longer) of your degree, you'll have plenty of free time and holidays. Make the most of them by contacting local companies and getting some unpaid experience. It's all worthwhile in the end and is probably the most important aspect of your CV. Network It might seem like a bit of a stretch for a student, but there will always be occasions to network. Over the course of your degree, many universities and courses will bring in guest lecturers from the industry, so this is a great place to start. Create a business card if it's suitable to your industry, so that if you get a quick 20 seconds to chat with industry professionals, you can hand over your email and telephone number to them in case they can be utilised in the future. If you're not lucky enough to network in person, or get to industry events, why not make the most of technology? Social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn provide you the opportunity to search out professionals from your industry. Interact with others on relevant topics and engage with people in a way that gets you noticed. Search for graduate schemes Graduate schemes are a great way to break into many industries, especially if you're aiming to establish yourself and learn at the best and biggest companies. Grad schemes are an option for nearly every industry, and many can easily be found online. Websites such as Milkround aggregate all schemes and internships, so that you can easily search for those relevant to your degree or desired industry of work. Remember, these are often available at the largest and most successful companies, so you'll be facing stiff competition and need to distance yourself from the field to be successful. In many cases, it's the best and brightest that are chosen, thanks to rigorous application requirements and a number of interview phases. A strong CV and good experience is often vital to land a place on these schemes. Be speculative Not all jobs are listed, and that is something that is very important to remember once your job hunt begins. Listed jobs on company websites often see huge amounts of interest. Be smart and search out companies in which you'd be interested in working, and do a bit of background research. Taper your covering letter to suit the business and they'll be impressed that you're compatible with the way the organisation works. Make an impression on a company and you'll stay in the forefront of their thoughts, even if there is no job currently available. Being speculative and making an impression often is the most effective way to go when job hunting and distancing yourself from the pack. Photo Credit: krameroneill via Compfight cc
  • Whilst for many, the Christmas break will be a time of relaxation, enjoyment and a break from the stresses and strains of student life, some amongst us will be spending the festive break preparing for exams upon returning to University in early 2015. If you’ve got precious little time for recharging your batteries due to upcoming exams, here are our top studying tips for creating a revision space, whether you’re at your family home, or back in Leeds. Get a neat space It’s hardly surprising that untidiness can lead to increased stress, and with concentration being an absolute must during your revision period, a disorganized study area will not help you to boost productivity levels. Before you get your head into books and study materials, take some time to get rid of unnecessary clutter and tidy up the items you have lying around. A tidy space will help you achieve a clearer mind, meaning you’ll be able to order your thoughts if your surroundings are neat and orderly as well. Find a quiet haven Whether you’re at your student house or your family home, it will be almost impossible to maintain the required levels of concentration if you’re surrounded by loud noise. Your housemates shouting at the PlayStation or your sister shouting in the next room hardly makes for an environment conducive to revision, and you’ll be unlikely to remain focused through it. If you’re struggling to maintain concentration, lock yourself away with the door shut and completely isolate yourself from exterior noise. If rowdiness happens to still be carrying through walls or doors, plug your ears with headphones; you don’t need to listen to music, but they should help keep the sounds of your home at bay. Also, it’s worth letting your family or friends know whenever you’re studying so that they can at least attempt to keep the noise down. Add some background noise This might slightly contradict our above point, but many people find concentration easier to come by with a bit of ambient background noise. If this is the case, it makes sense to stick a bit of light music on to keep you going. It might not be a help to everyone, and the song choices may need to be carefully selected, but if nothing else, it might help to drown out house noise and stave off your boredom. Turn your phone off Nothing is a concentration killer more than your mobile. With texts, group WhatsApp messages, Facebook alerts and Snapchat photos popping up as notifications every few minutes, there’s no way you’ll maintain focus on your work. Pre-emptively strike against this distraction by simply turning off your mobile. To do Once you’ve got a plan in place to maintain your concentration, it’s worth planning out your time and schedule with a to-do-list. Make sure you’re putting your time to good use, and ensure that nothing you need to revise slips under the radar. It might seem a bit overly-orderly, however staying organised is one key to getting all your work done.  
  • New measures have been unveiled by George Osborne in the Autumn statement this week aimed at benefiting first time buyers and easing the step to get onto the property ladder. The bold plans, due to come into effect from April 2016, were announced as part of a spending review package and are intended to boost home ownership and tackle the UK housing crisis by deterring investors from snatching up properties for buy-to-let purposes. Landlords taking out buy-to-let mortgages and second home buyers in England and Wales will pay higher stamp duty rates with a 3% surcharge on each stamp duty band, while owner occupiers buying homes under £125,000 won’t pay any tax. It is expected that commercial property investors with over 15 properties will be exempt from the new regulation. We are likely to see a rush of buy-to-let landlords looking at properties before the planning increase in April. In addition, the Help to Buy scheme in England, which has been so successful, will also be extended for an extra year to 2021, one year longer than planned. Under the popular scheme, prospective homeowners with a 5% deposit can purchase a new build property valued at up to £600,000 with the help of an interest free loan of up to 20% of the property’s price. In London, where property costs an average of £500,000, buyers will be able to access a loan of up to 40%. The government plans to invest an extra £6.9bn into building new properties to meet housing needs. £2.3bn of this will be allocated to the government's starter homes programme, £4bn will go to building 135,000 new homes for shared ownership and another £200m to build homes for rent. To determine the stamp duty rate for a specific property value, use this stamp duty calculator or speak to one of our Sales Team who would be happy to advise you on what these changes mean for you.
  • This year we opened the doors to Leeds’ most luxurious student accommodation brand IconInc this year, has been awarded a prestigious Northern Design Award for the Interior Design Concept and Commercial Interior Design Project.

    Its first development, The Edge, is valued at £15 million and hit the national headlines for offering ‘7 star student accommodation’. The phrase was coined by The Daily Mail, Telegraph, Independent, London Evening Standard and numerous industry and regional press outlets.

    The judges were impressed with the bespoke interiors that allowed the space to be maximised and entirely fit for purpose. It’s striking wall graphics, slick design and bespoke furniture and fittings have led to a unique design rewarded with this respected industry recognition.

    IconInc’s The Edge has 131 apartments in three sizes; Smart, Elegance and Grande, the highest-spec Grande apartment having the option for couples to rent. The luxury apartments boast all-inclusive bills, superfast 100MB broadband, flat screen TVs and king size beds.

    The Edge will pave the way for more IconInc developments in Leeds and nationwide, all to include unrivalled facilities; on-site cinema, games room, gym with personal trainers, study rooms and complimentary daily breakfast to name a few.

    Nav Ahmed, Managing Director of Parklane Properties said; “We’re absolutely thrilled to pick up this award, something the team deserves for their efforts in creating our unique build. IconInc redefines what it means to ‘live like a student’ and promotes ‘living like an icon’ and we worked tirelessly to get this across with our design.''

     IconInc-Cinema iconinc

  • You’ve finally got the grades to begin your university life. You’ve been through denial, anger, bargaining and depression, and come to accept the size of your student loan. You’ve opened your eyes to the prospect of being a graduate. You’ve braved Ikea, and bought for the first time all those items your parents assume are indispensable for modern living. Toasters, washing racks, cafetières, casserole dishes and tea-towels. Yet you haven’t had the heart to tell them that you’d rather they bought Berocca, paracetamol and some speakers, or that the close company of a near-stranger is as effective in winter as any fan heater. The “rents” have got so many disappointments coming up, you don’t want to make things worse. You let them sink into reveries about their student days as they drive you up an unfamiliar motorway to eventually drop you off at your first student digs so you can revel in the presence of your chosen cities Fresher’s Week……. Here is your official survival guide! Moving in & meeting new people
    • When you first arrive, unpack and make your room your own. Then, when you get tired of unpacking and meeting people, you have a refuge.
    • Make sure your door is open while you're unpacking. That way, people can see you exist - it's a guaranteed way to meet people. You might also like to put up a big sign with your first name on your room door.
    • Look out for people on your course. If you meet someone, exchange numbers and agree to go to the first few lectures together. It is easier to meet new people once you're already with someone. Even better, organise a trip to the uni bar after the first lecture with whoever wants to attend.
    • Don't stop talking to random people just because fresher’s week finishes. Keep going and keep meeting people. As people settle in they will be more relaxed and everyone will feel less like they are on best 'friend-making' behaviour.
    Getting to know your University
    • Many universities publish fresher’s week schedules and events on their websites or most likely on the Students' Union website.
    • It's a good idea to take a good walk and explore the university in your first few days before your timetable officially starts. Rather than go by yourself, this is a great idea for something to do with your housemates.
    • Where are the best coffee shops or places to eat for good lunch?
    Societies & Fresher’s fairs
    • Firstly embrace the experience and try and get involved in everything you think you’ll enjoy. Open your mind to new music and cultures and above all find yourself in your new city.
    • University is probably the best opportunity you will ever have to try new sports, games, hobbies and activities. These will never be so cheap and easily available again. Have a look around the stalls at Fresher’s fairs and see what takes your fancy.
    • Try something different or unusual. Smaller societies are often grateful for members and will devote more effort to each member, making them a more rewarding experience. More obscure sports are often more willing to cater for beginners, whereas mainstream sports may require previous experience of playing at a high level. Some big sports societies even insist on trials.
    Going out
    • Have a few taxi numbers in your phone contacts, just in case you get lost. Plus any phone numbers for your new friends - in case you get separated.
    • Don't worry if you're a bit nervous about going out - it can be a scary time for any fresher because you're still getting to know people.
    • Second and third year students are helpful people to approach for advice on which events to go to. They are also usually the people who are selling tickets for the different nights. Talk to them when you buy tickets.
    • You can look at the different nights which are available on the university notice boards. Most Students' Unions will send you info about fresher’s week before you arrive - if not check out their website. Tickets always sell out for the most popular events, so make sure you get them early!
    Money & Budgeting
    • Always remember that being a student entitles you to student discount in most places, so always remember to ask before you pay.
    • Look out for discounts promotions in supermarkets, restaurants, bars and clothes shops to save extra pennies
    • Work out what you have to spend each week - and stick to it. If you do over-spend, then make sure you have a lean week next week to make up for it.
    • Christmas is expensive - parties, clothes, and presents to buy. Keep a bit of money back for this.
    • Look for cheaper versions of toiletries etc. in Pound Shops. Quite often this stuff is bankrupt stock - nothing wrong with it, just going cheaper.
    • You don’t have to necessarily buy an NUS card as your university card entitles you to most of the same discounts
    Food
    • Agree in advance what is and what is not communal food. Most kitchen groups treat milk, butter, washing up liquid, toothpaste and toilet roll as communal and simply take it in turns to buy them.
    • Try to keep in a few tins of beans and tomato soup: perfect for emergency meals.
    • Eat together where possible... have a curry evening or a spaghetti bolognese and take it in turns with your neighbours to host it. It works out way cheaper than cooking for one, and if you host your meal and run out of cash for food later in the week, at least you know dinner is being provided by one of your housemates!
    • Market stalls are usually far cheaper for buying vegetables than in a supermarket. Vegetables are considerably cheaper than meat. Try to use them as the basis for the majority of meals. This is not only frugal but also extremely healthy.
    • If you can't share, cook more than you need and freeze some for another day. It saves money, both on food and on fuel used for cooking.
    • Ready meals from supermarkets may look like the answer to eating without cooking. Just be aware that they are far more expensive than making it yourself - and usually full of nasty stuff like salt and saturated fat. A healthy diet they are not.
    Books, reading lists & staying organised
    • Just because a book is on your reading list does not mean you have to buy it! You should borrow from your university library. Only buy books that you are specifically told to by your tutors and, even then, you can usually borrow these from the library.
    • Most books on your reading list (especially for arts/humanities/social science subjects) you will either read once, or read just a chapter from each book. Next week's reading will be a whole new list of books. This is why you shouldn't even think of buying them.
    • You can buy good copies of most uni text books 2nd hand - just make sure they are the right 'edition' (i.e. published in the right year). If in doubt get the most up to date one.
    • Always keep a diary or make note of deadlines and meetings in your phone. Staying super organised is the key to not falling behind and not getting stressed.
    Staying safe
    • There's safety in numbers: try to stick with a group of people.
    • Familiarise yourself with the new area before going out.
    • If you're in a club, never leave your drink unattended at any time.
    • Being at uni you want to try 'new things'. Just be aware of what you are trying. People will tell you 'it' is 'really, really safe', but is it? Think carefully.
    • All universities have a counselling service, and many have a Nightline/Helpline. If you are feeling depressed, talk to someone. Some people feel very homesick when they leave home for the first time - it's normal, but it can also make your first term at uni unhappy. Talk to other people about how you are feeling, and if you get very low, reach out for help from your university.
  • We are proud to announce that Parklane has won the bronze medal in the Sunday Times Lettings Agency of The Year award 2015!

    On Friday 12th June, over 550 leading letting agents from throughout the UK attended a glittering ceremony at The Lancaster London Hotel opposite Hyde Park where the winners of the most highly regarded awards in the lettings industry were revealed. According to the judges: “Parklane Properties occupies a fantastic office providing interactive equipment and a tailored mixture of online and personal services. This agency goes the extra mile to communicate with students using engaging and effective channels.” Winning this award so soon after winning the Landlord and Lettings Award for Letting Agent of the Year 2014 is further confirmation that Parklane is the number 1 student lettings agency in Leeds, and we aim to continue our amazing track record of offering the best student accommodation in Leeds.
  •  High-spec, luxury studio and one bed apartments for Students, set to be finished for late 2015 in the heart of Leeds. Introducing IconInc, a brand new student development by the Parklane group, which aims to totally redefine student living in Leeds. Offering high-spec apartments with all the luxury and added extras of a boutique hotel. More than that however, IconInc promises to be a student hub, with personal learning and development at the heart of the project. Combining state-of-the-art technology, modern design and enlivening social spaces to enrich the university experience. IconInc is located on Burley Road opposite the popular student halls ‘Opal 1 & 2’, meaning it will be perfectly situated for students at both universities and within a short bus journey of either campus. What is on offer?  As far as living space goes IconInc provides the most premium experience on offer within Leeds. The luxury apartments will be fully kitted out offering completely furnished modern design, with cutting edge technology, as well as a 24 concierge with staff available at all times. One of the many perks to living at IconInc will be the 24-hour gym. No matter what time of the day (or night) you fancy pumping some iron, it will always be available; this will be accessible for every tenant at IconInc free of charge. Social spaces IconInc will provide a range of stimulating social areas, with a cinema and games room for down time and a library and study area for when the uni work gets on top of you. If you need to meet with class mates there will be meeting areas, and private study rooms where you can run through presentations or discuss a group project. Much more than this, IconInc aims to inspire the students of today to become the icons of tomorrow, through providing the perfect balance of learning and social spaces. Outside of university studies there will also be external lecturers speaking regularly which will be free to attend and will cover a range of subjects. These aim to provide each individual with a well-rounded knowledge base on top of what they are already studying. How much will it cost?  Rooms start at £140 pppw, which includes bills and all of the aforementioned features. IconInc will also be providing some optional extras, particularly for overseas students, providing extra learning materials and an extensive range of gadgets and technology. IconInc believes that creativity is born from people coming together and through this it aims to provide the perfect environment to further your learning and to achieve your goals. If you are looking for a modern, luxury living space and to be inspired daily through art, culture and design then IconInc will be the perfect living space for you. For more information on IconInc, the services available or to book a viewing for 2015, visit the website below.
  • It is that time of year again, and the finalists for the 2014/15 Landlord & Letting Awards have been announced. The awards were set up in 2009 as a way of recognising and rewarding excellence in the private rented sector, while also helping to raise the standards set by landlords and businesses. Since then the awards have grown in stature and here at Parklane we are proud to be part of such a well respected accolade. This year Parklane Properties has been recognised for our achievements within the city of Leeds, and have been shortlisted among finalists for the ‘Best Website’ and ‘Best Customer Service’. The winners of each category will be announced at a gala dinner held at Stoneleigh Park later this evening. If you are a current or past tenant of Parklane and have any positive experiences of the agency and the areas we have been nominated within, get in touch with us via our Facebook or Twitter pages posted below. Let us know the reasons you chose to go with Parklane and what it is about living in Leeds that you love so much.  
  • If you’re new to the city and are looking for areas in which to socialise on a night, and meet new people, Leeds has an abundance of options available to you. Whether you’re after entertainment, food or just a casual drink amongst friends, these areas of Leeds have plenty to offer. Central It might sound relatively vague, however the real city centre area of Leeds offers a number of bars and restaurants in which to socialise. From bars and restaurants like The Alchemist, Botanist and Angelicas in the Trinity Shopping Centre, to higher up in town, such as Browns on the Headrow – there are plenty of spots for you to grab food and drinks.   Call Lane The ever-popular nightlife destination, Call Lane has been synonymous with Leeds nightlife for as long as we can remember. Often packed on a weekend, popular spots include Jake’s Bar, Call Lane Social, Oporto, Revolution and The Backroom – offering wide-ranging musical and ambiance feels to suit any taste.   Northern Quarter Having recently seen a growth of explosion, the Northern Quarter of Leeds truly is burgeoning. With the likes of Belgrave Music Hall and Sandonista, you have great food and drink options, and with new additions like the New York themed Manahatta and trendy The Brotherhood of Pursuits and Pastimes, the northern quarter gives an alternative to the busier lower sections of the city.   Financial Area From the likes of the Slug and Lettuce, The Decanter and The Living Room around Park Row and Greek Street, to places more off the beaten track like Baby Jupiter and The Atlas, bars and places to grab a drink are plentiful in the more business focused area of the city. Likewise, if you’re after somewhere to enjoy a meal in a relaxing environment, it’s well worth checking out Blackhouse: The Grill on the Square.
  • One of the north's most vibrant cities, Leeds is fast becoming one of the UK's real hotspots for business, culture and entertainment. Investment in the city continues to proceed strongly, with the recent opening of the Trinity Leeds shopping centre, and the soon to be completed Victoria Gate demonstrating that. To people asking the question 'why live in Leeds?' the city is fast becoming a real gem of the north. The population booms every September as students head to the three local universities, and as such a hub of activity, the city now boasts one of the UK's premier reputations for careers. Whether you're a professional considering Leeds, or someone just starting a career fresh from completing a degree, the city has plenty to offer the city worker looking to dwell in style. Business As one of the biggest cities in the nation, it's hardly surprising that Leeds is one of the largest business centres in the United Kingdom. The ample amount of office space within the city mean that many national and global businesses have established offices within the business district of the city. Professional services firms are rife within the city, with multi-national  organisations such as Deloitte, Rockstar games, and hair care giant GHD all boasting offices in the city. Restaurants For residents of a city, a good selection of amenities is always high up on the list of desires, something which Leeds offers in abundance. With a vast selection of high quality restaurants, Leeds is seen as a real gold mine for cuisine. From the immediately attractive outer of The Restaurant Bar & Grill and Loch Fyne as you exit Leeds train station into City Square, to the penthouse feel exuded within Trinity's newest offerings, Angelica and Crafthouse; Leeds has plenty of places to head if you're looking to enjoy something with an element of style and class. Add in the wide range of quality chain restaurants dotted around Greek Street, The Light and the Headrow, and there really is something to take the fancy of every Leeds resident. Bars Renowned for nightlife, Leeds offers a great selection of bars to let your hair down, be it to unwind after a long day at work, or to go out and celebrate. Whether you're looking to head somewhere for after work cocktail deals at Revolution, want to relax in a busy but calm ambiance at 1871, enjoy a craft beer at North Bar or have a real celebration on Call Lane, there are plenty of location to head to, whatever occasion is calling. Entertainment & Shopping As of March this year, more investment is going into shopping developments in Leeds and neighbouring areas than any other part of Europe. With the recent opening of Trinity Leeds, an assortment of big name shops, bars, restaurants and a new independent cinema housed in the development, there's plenty of reason to head into the bustling city for entertainment. Couple the big and popular attractions of Trinity with the likes more low key, independent offerings such Roxy Lanes bowling, and there's plenty to keep you entertained.   Creative commons image sourced as copyright free on Google Images - commons.wikimedia.org
  • With the academic year almost in the books, it's time to begin planning how you'll spend your time over the summer. If you're in your final year, it's important you begin to plan where you'll go post-graduation, but even for first and second year students it's important you spend your summer wisely. From permanent graduate jobs to part time internships, there will be plenty of competition if you're going for a job this summer. Bearing that in mind, we give you some pointers on finding student jobs in Leeds. Career Service The Career Service at your university is always a great source of information, and can play a huge part in helping you to discover the career path you want to explore. If you already have a clear vision of which sector you are going into, the Career service will help you pinpoint the essential skills and abilities to highlight on your CV. Make sure to also talk to any of your tutors that specialise in the area you're are interested in, as they might able to provide you with valuable contacts you wouldn't otherwise have access to. List of experience for CV and interview When contacting an organisation for any job, be it permanent or just a work placement, the first thing the potential employer will judge you on is the quality of your application. Although it’s always the best to tailor your CV to the specific company you applying for, there is no harm in preparing a list of all the experience and skills you have built up throughout education, to ensure you show yourself off in the best possible light. Make sure you start off thoroughly and try to include every single detail in your first CV and cover letter draft; you can always cut it down later if it's too long. Career Fairs Many universities will run a variety of career fairs throughout the year, providing you with the opportunity to meet different employers and organisations. It might seem simple, however it’s one of the best ways to build your personal connection and contact list ahead of jumping into the job market. Even when there are career fair opportunities not related to a sector you're interested in, getting experience in talking to networking and establishing contacts is a good way to make sure you get it right when it really does matter. Get as much practice as possible to ensure that, when the pressure's on and you want to make a good impression, you get it spot on. Graduate Schemes A lot of large organisations offer great graduate opportunities through specifically established grad schemes. Throwing you into work at some of the biggest organisations in the UK, the specifically set up schemes are tailored to the need of a modern graduate, often including initial training periods before gently easing you into work across a number of fields until you find the area you're best suited to. Make sure you scour the internet for the best opportunities, and ensure you get your applications in early to impress; these schemes are well known to be viciously competitive. Work Experience If you are still not sure which path to take post-graduation, it’s always a good option to get more job experience. If the experience is related to what career path you end up settling for, then it will look great on your CV. Don’t shy away from different, more diverse opportunities however, as you may find yourself in a field you really enjoy, and can see yourself carving a career for yourself in. Learning the ways of the professional office is an important step, and conversing with industry professionals will only aid you when it comes to interviews further down the line. Photo Credit: swisscan via Compfight cc
  • Renting out your property is a good source of income, but for many new landlords, it's a tough to know the best way of letting out your property. Letting your property out on your own requires special knowledge, time and effort, especially in cases of difficult tenants or when disputes arise. If you’re on the fence about engaging a letting agent or letting your property out on your own, here are some considerations that may help you to make an informed decision. Finding a tenant Looking for a tenant may seem simple enough, but ensuring that your tenant is credible is a little more challenging. Letting agents can help to make credit checks on any prospective tenant, ensuring that you are leaving your property in the hands of someone who is able to deliver rent promptly. An agent can also assist in arranging and managing property viewings as well as handling common letting queries. Leaving the process in the hands of professionals will help to prevent down periods where your property may be left unoccupied. Managing your tenant Finding a good tenant and signing the tenancy agreement is only half the battle. Before starting the tenancy, there's important preparation work to be done, such as preparing an inventory list. You will also need to collect rent and check the property regularly. The day-to-day management of a rented property may also present difficulties at any time of any day, where tenants may call with issues about broken boilers, radiators, or being locked out. Letting agents can take control when such situations arise, and help to arrange for maintenance works where plumbers and electricians are required. This ensures that you do not have to deal with a problem that may crop up suddenly, and would interrupt your day. Don't be vulnerable It is common to hear horror stories of tenants who leave a property in a poor state. You don't want to be left out of pocket when it comes to restoring your property, so a professional letting agency will ensure and advise so that you aren't left in a vulnerable position. You shouldn't have to worry about potential additional costs, and repair and replacement works can be done on the property without burning a hole in your pocket. Legal responsibilities Entrusting a letting agency to handle the tenancy agreement will help to protect you, as the landlord, from bearing unnecessary costs in the case of any disputes. Disputes commonly arise regarding any deductions from the deposits, and with work and your own life taking preference, you don't want to have to deal with issues like this. The legal agreement will detail your fair responsibilities as the landlord, and what costs you need to or do not need to bear. More importantly, the letting agency will ensure that your tenancy agreement adheres with national laws. In the unfortunate situation where legal action is threatened, your position will be protected.   There are a lot of important considerations to be made when becoming a landlord, and making the right decision would be crucial to getting the best out of your letting experience and leaving your property is the best condition possible. If you're looking to let a property in the city centre and want to receive the best available service, make sure you check out our website.   Photo Credit: tricky (rick harrison) via Compfight cc
  • Many people simply assume that, when a student has no work to do and is looking for a way to spend the evening, the only plausible option is to head out into the city for a night out. However as students, we know that isn't always the case. Sometimes we have an early alarm the next morning, or simply don't have the budget to be out splashing cash every week. If you're wanting to head out with friends, but want to steer clear of the typical student vibe, we've got some great ideas for you. Roxy Ball Room Leeds is a great city when it comes to venues for an evening drink. The recent addition of Trinity Leeds to the city skyline means there are now an abundance of high end drinks establishments. However if you're just wanting somewhere to meet friends and relax, without making any special effort, Roxy is the place to head. Situated on Boar Lane, the location of the bar is perfect, as it means you'll still be amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy city evening, however inside you won't be cramped for space. The expansive and stripped back interior has a great feel and gives you an immediate feeling of relaxation. Having only recently opened, you could be forgiven for not even knowing of Roxy's existence, however it's the perfect bar to head to if you to add an element of entertainment to your evening. Packed with ping pong and pool tables, the bar is primarily aimed at bringing out your fun side, as you can enjoy a steady evening with friends whilst having a fun time. With an indie and rock soundtrack to accompany your night, Roxy provides a totally different environment in which you can enjoy the evening.  Leeds Met Gig As a Leeds student, you're probably aware of the abundance of different options available if you want an evening of live music. However, if you're after something cheaper and more intimate than a gig at the arena or academy, Leeds Met Students Union often plays host to a range of more acquired musical tastes. Tickets are relatively cheap, the venue is a handy one and it's a good spot to head with friends who are searching for a way to spend the evening. To kick off the month of March, the Leeds Met music scene welcomes Scottish synthpop band Chvrches, who will play hits from their newest studio album The Bones of What You Believe on the 9th March. Later in the month, popular rockers Band of Skulls play to the Leeds student audience, and as we move into April, American punk rockers Alkaline Trio are sure to pack out the venue for their gig on the 19th. Another highlights for April includes a performance from Funeral for a Friend on the 26th. Belgrave Music Hall Leeds' coolest new haunt, Belgrave Music Hall has received many plaudits since its recent opening. Self described as  an 'independent venue with music, art, film and food spread across three floors, including Leeds’ most spectacular roof terrace'. With a selection of cool music, craft beers and a more discerning audience in attendance, Belgrave Music Hall is ideal if you're wanting a good atmosphere that avoids the typical student types. Check out the website to view the surroundings, food offerings and musical acts on offer this month.   Image used under creative commons courtesy of Kwesihackman.
  • Now that the extended Christmas break is firmly in the rear view window, it's time to really crack down and be driven over the next few months to drag your grade up as high as possible. With deadlines, assessments and exams all fast approaching, it's time to hit the books and work hard. If your student house sounds more like a warzone than a working haven, it might be time to turn your room into a revision retreat. If you want somewhere you can truly get some relief and focus on studies, check out our tips on getting in  the zone for studying.

    Make sure you're secluded from the bedlam

    We all know how a student house can get, and if you're spending an evening in doing work, you'll have any number of distractions around you that you need to avoid. From friends coming around before a night out, to rowdy competitions on the Xbox, distractions and noise can be everywhere. Make sure that your room isn't in a loud zone, and if it is try and move to a more secluded spot. The sound of voices and fun can not only slow down your production, but also lead to mistakes creeping into your work. If you can hear a buzz of activity from downstairs, why not put on some soft music to drain it out. Something instrumental and without vocals is ideal and can even make an environment more conducive to work.

    Workspace

    The chances are that you'll have a desk in your room, however as a typical student, it's highly unlikely to be clean and suitable for working on. If your desk is covered with dirty washing and the dishes from your tea last night, you need to have a bedroom clean. Having a clear workspace will put you in the right frame of mind for a session of studying. It'll give you room for books, means you won't lose notes and you'll have no distractions in your nearby vicinity.

    Lighting

    There's nothing more depressing than being bogged down with assessments and having to sit in the dark to slowly get through them all. It's remarkable how much difference lighting can have on both your mood and your attitude to work. If your room is a bit gloomy and the main light isn't bright enough, then you might need a desk lamp.

    Get comfy

    University courses are gruelling and if you want a top grade, it'll involve a lot of hard work. The chances are that you'll spend a lot of time working at your desk if you're determined to succeed. The thought of sitting in an awful uncomfortable chair is more than enough to deter even the most conscientious of student from cracking on with work. If there are other chairs in the house and are unused, swap them around until you find one that is comfy enough for you to work on.

    Be equipped

    Once your workspace is ready, you're all set to get cracking. Make sure that you have all the books, resources and equipment ready on your desk though, otherwise you'll constantly find yourself on the move grabbing books and pens. so gather everything you might need, arrange it on your desk and settle in for the long haul.  
  • After the first year of initially settling into your new university life and making friends, many students will then choose to uproot off campus and into a home of their very own. Choosing a new property isn't easy, and deciding who you share that home with can be even more difficult. If you're torn between the simple single living life, or group housing, then check out our tips below on whether housing or flats are your best option.

    Student living in a Flat

    Renting a flat can be an attractive proposition. Commonly favoured by young professionals, many flats and apartments are located in the centre of Leeds, meaning they're great if you're wanting to be in the hustle and bustle of the city. Although you may not want to live alone as a student, living in a single flat does have a number of advantages; it's your own space, providing you with a sense of independence and also means you won't be reliant on housemates when it comes to costs. To put it quite simply, city centre apartment living is the epitome of cool. If you're wanting the central apartment lifestyle but want to share the experience with friends, there are great options available too. The Triangle offers services of the highest quality and includes single room flats through to five and six bedroom apartments. City centre apartment living gives you easy access not only to university facilities in Leeds, but all the shops, restaurants and amenities of one of the country's most vibrant locations. In terms of cost, apartment living may not be as cheap as opting to house share or living on an all inclusive basis, but with prices under £100 per person per week, it is certainly affordable.

    Student Living in a House

    Houses can come in all shapes and sizes, accommodating almost any amount of people. So whether you're wanting to live with your closest three friends, or as a group of eight or more, there are options available. Generally speaking in terms of costs, sharing with more people means bills will be cheaper and your rent will be likely to cost less. It might be a cost saver in some aspects, however with more people in your home, it's likely the lethargic student attitude will lead to a more untidy home. In terms of where student housing is primarily located, you're likely to be moving out of the city to find your property. Headingley is a prime location for house sharing opportunities, and as a student hub, you'll have plenty on your doorstep. The main area of Headingley offers bars, restaurants, supermarkets and other stores, meaning that you'll still have everything you need within a short walk. Evenings socialising are great in Headingley, due to it being the main student living destination, and from cheap meal deals to independent restaurants, you'll be spoilt for choice on Otley Road.  
  • Christmas is around the corner, and with the student population of Leeds all packing up and heading home for family festivities, your homes won't be protected daily by the deterrent of regular inhabitants. Before you head back to your family home, be if for a quick week or an extended month, make sure you follow our tips to keeping your student house safe.

    Take valuables home with you

    It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but a large amount of students choose to leave valuables in their student house over the Christmas break. Some of the worst-hit burglary areas are ones which have a high student population, so the festive period, where houses are empty can be a haven for thieves. You'll obviously take your smartphone and other mobile devices home with you, but if there are larger items such as desktop computers and televisions in your home, it will be costly to replace them if the worst should happen. Don't leave items of value in your uninhabited home.

    Be prepared

    The winter and the long dark nights are proven to bring an increase in burglary nationwide, so even if you take all the proper precautions, there is often nothing you can do if targeted by thieves. Check that your insurance policy is in order before leaving for an extended time, as the last thing you want upon returning is to lose valuable possessions and them not be covered.

    Deterrents

    It might go against every fibre of your being as a student, but if you leave the house on an evening, or even for an extended period, it can be a real help if you leave a visible light on as a deterrent. We understand that you might have to scrape around for your electricity bill, but the couple of hours you leave the hall light on when out can help prevent a break-in. If you're leaving for the holidays, set up a light timer that flicks a light on for an hour on an evening. Alarm systems are also a great aid, and even a deterrent. The flashing alarm box on a home will be spotted by potential thieves and it may steer them away from your home.

    Secure it

    It can often be a difficult job to keep track of people coming and going in a student home. With varying university timetables and people heading out to meet friends for Christmas celebrations, you might not always know how many people are home. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether you're last to leave, make sure you secure your home by locking the door. Unlocked doors and windows can be a recurring problem when it comes to student burglaries. Make sure your house isn't left vulnerable - lock the windows, doors and even the exterior gates.

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