Student housing - living in halls

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Many students live in accommodation provided by their university. This is mainly halls of residence which are often located close to the university and are particularly popular for first year students.

This page provides some information about university halls of residence and what your housing status is likely to be if you live in one.

This information does not cover accommodation in private halls of residence managed by private companies.

Halls of residence

University halls of residence provide accommodation specifically for students and are often located within or nearby the university campus. The accommodation is generally available during term-time, although some may be available for certain students for the full calendar year.

The type of accommodation in halls can vary. Some provide single rooms with shared bathrooms, kitchens and communal areas, others provide ensuite rooms with shared cooking and communal areas. Some halls also provide meals and a bed linen and cleaning service. Some provide studio flats.

The accommodation office at your university can give you information about what accommodation is available, how much it costs and how you can apply.

Paying for halls of residence

You will probably have to pay a deposit for accommodation in halls. This is to secure against any damage or rent arrears at the end of your agreement. You may also be charged an administration fee to cover the administration costs of booking a room. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘booking’ fee and is often non-refundable.

Rent or fees for accommodation in halls of residence is often due at the start of each term, which coincides with student loan instalments. However, universities may offer other payment dates.

Bills, such as heating, lighting and water, are generally included in the price of the accommodation.

Students in halls of residence don't have to pay council tax.

Universities that provide halls of residence accommodation are also required to belong to a ‘code of standards’.

Other university accommodation

Apart from halls of residence, some universities also own houses and flats or some universities manage this type of accommodation on behalf of a private landlord.

If you rent this type of accommodation, the university is your landlord, and it is responsible for managing the accommodation and for doing repairs.

Your housing status in halls of residence or other university accommodation

If you live in accommodation that is provided by an educational institution such as a university, you will be an occupier with basic protection. This is a term used in housing which helps to identify your housing rights.

An occupier with basic protection has limited rights and as long as your landlord follows the correct legal process you can be evicted quite easily.

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