Coronavirus: information and updates

Student accommodation during coronavirus

If you’re a new or returning student, you may have concerns about accommodation at university or college. You may have questions about what happens if:

  • you cannot or do not want to move into shared accommodation and want to stay home because of coronavirus
  • you or someone you live with gets coronavirus
  • someone you live with does not keep to safety guidelines
  • there’s a lockdown in the place you’re studying
  • you do not feel safe after you move in and decide to move home

Changes to accommodation may not include private rentals. Contact the accommodation team to find out about changes and discuss your concerns. Living at home could be an option if your lectures will be online and you can study remotely.

Before you make a decision about accommodation, you could check things like:

  • your timetable and if you can study remotely
  • if there are any changes to the cost of accommodation
  • what safety measures are in place to keep students safe
  • access needs and talking through how they can make reasonable adjustments for you
  • if your carer or personal assistant (PA) can stay with you and how they can stay safe

Can students claim a rent refund as they're told not to return to uni? (MoneySavingExpert)

Speak with other students on The Student Room forum (The Student Room)

National Union of Students (NUS)

Warning Check with your university website

During the national lockdown, universities are closed. Some facilities might be open and support should be available.

Look at your university's website or ask your students union for more information.

National lockdown (GOV.UK)


Living on campus

Look for a coronavirus section on your university or college website. You may need to look for the accommodation section of the website if it’s not included under coronavirus.

Contact the accommodation team if anything is unclear. It can help to ask for photos of the room to check if it’s suitable for your needs. You may also want to speak with their disability support team to ask how they can help with your access needs.

Some universities and colleges have already made plans to keep students safe in halls of residence and on campus. Some common measures include:

  • asking all students to agree a community code
  • time slots for collecting keys and moving in
  • guidelines for using common areas and facilities
  • one-way systems around your accommodation and campus
  • regular visits from the accommodation team to check in with you
  • rules about guests to your accommodation
  • cleaning guidelines for shared kitchens and bathrooms

There may also be changes to other facilities on campus, including library access, shops, the students’ union and places to eat.

Using campus services during coronavirus

If you’re an international student, contact the accommodations team for advice.

Private accommodation

Your university or college may be working with local estate agents and landlords to make sure that students are safe in private accommodation.

If you’re considering a private rental, you may want to ask the landlord or estate agent about things like:

  • how to stay safe when you share spaces like a living room, kitchens and bathroom
  • will you get money back if you decide to move home
  • what to do if someone in the house gets coronavirus
  • how they will meet your access needs

You may also want to think about:

  • the distance from the flat or house to your campus
  • public and private transport options in the area
  • if you have a personal assistant (PA) or carer, can they support you safely in your accommodation

If you’re a returning student

If you’ve been living in halls of residence, contact the accommodation team if you:

  • have already agreed to accommodation for the next academic year but feel unsure about returning
  • need to collect your belongings from your room or flat
  • have paid rent during coronavirus but lived elsewhere

For private rentals, you’ll need to speak with your landlord or estate agent if you:

  • have already signed a contract for the next academic year but feel unsure about returning
  • have paid rent during coronavirus but lived elsewhere
  • want to end your tenancy agreement

Ending your tenancy (Citizens Advice)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 06/01/2021

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