Student accommodation: Your rights

When it comes to the place you live at university or college, there are minimum student accommodation standards to make sure you’re living somewhere suitable.

Useful things to know about your new home at university

You have student accommodation rights in terms of health and safety, notice periods and maintenance. Here’s an overview of some of the key things to be aware of or look out for.

1. Health and safety

Uni halls of accommodation have to adhere to government-approved codes to ensure safe, good-quality places to live. These include university-owned halls and privately-owned halls.

The codes include standards for:

  • security
  • maintenance/repairs
  • fire/gas/electrics

So you can be reassured that you’re moving into a safe place to live – and that any potential problems can be fixed.

2. How long are student house contracts?

Student halls and house contracts vary. They could last for a full year from 1 September to 31 August, or term-time only, or September to June. In some cases it could be negotiable.

If you’re moving into a shared house with a private landlord, that’s likely to be a full year contract – as it could be difficult for the landlord to find tenants for just a few weeks or months over summer.

Make sure you check the dates for the accommodation you’re interested in – to make sure it’s right for you.

3. Notice periods

If you’re living in university halls it’s normally a fixed-term contract – so you’ll have a start date and an end date, and you won’t need to provide notice. And as long as you abide by the terms of your tenancy agreement, you should be able to live there until the end of your contract.

If you’re living in private accommodation, you may have to give a month’s notice. But typical student contracts – even if they’re with private landlords – are still fixed term, like university halls.

If you need to leave student halls early because of Covid-19, you may be able to give notice and end your contract within a month.

4. Who to contact for DIY issues or maintenance

If you’re in student halls there might be an online portal, email address or phone service for logging maintenance issues. Or if you have a private landlord, you’d probably just let them know if there’s an issue that needs fixing.

Take a look at our accommodation search to find out more about the places you’d like to live in.