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Accommodation FAQs

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Applying for accommodation

When can I apply for accommodation?

The application process for continuing students starts in February. New students starting in September can apply from February - http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Accommodation/Apply/

What is a new student?

Anyone applying through Admissions to the University of Roehampton for the first time, including undergraduate, postgraduate, PGCE, exchange and foundation students.

What is a continuing student/returner?

Any student that is currently studying at the University of Roehampton and has been previously registered on our system. This includes students doing a foundation year.

Can I apply for accommodation if Roehampton is my insurance choice?

No. You will need to make us your firm choice before you can apply for accommodation.

Can I apply for accommodation if I come through Clearing?

Yes. You will be provided with information on how to do this at the time. Where possible we will try to find you on-campus accommodation.

Can I visit the halls of residence?

Yes. Come to one of our Open Days where you can take tours of the campus and view the rooms. Alternatively you can see pictures on our halls of residence pages: http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Accommodation/On-Campus/

How do I apply for accommodation?

You apply online once you have received a firm offer from the University of Roehampton and you know your student ID number.

When will I find out if I have a room?

All room offers will be sent out after in the summer, after your place at the University of Roehampton is confirmed.

What happens if I apply for accommodation and then change my mind?

Please contact us and we will amend your application option on our system. If you decide you do not want a room you need to let us know as soon as possible so that another student can take your place.

My course is only for one term/semester – can I still apply?

Yes. Please make a note that your course is only for one term/semester on the online application form under 'any other information'. If we are unable to accommodate you on campus, we will direct you to our Off Campus team for assistance in finding accommodation in the local area.

Who do I contact if I have trouble applying?

If you are having trouble completing your online application, please contact Accommodation Services (020 8392 3166 or email: accommodation@roehampton.ac.uk) for assistance.

What should I do if I do not receive an acknowledgement to my application?

If you do not receive a confirmation email once you have completed your application, it is important you contact us so we can check your application has been recorded correctly on our system.

What is the link between accommodation and the Colleges?

Our accommodation is split over the four colleges that make up the University of Roehampton.  You will need to know which College you would like to live on and your preferred room type when applying for accommodation: http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/Colleges/

Can I apply for accommodation in more than one College?

No. However, you can indicate if your room type preference (e.g. en suite) should take priority over your College preference and we will do our best to allocate you a suitable room, which may be in another College.

How do I receive my accommodation offer?

Your offer will be sent out via email to the address provided by you. When you apply for accommodation, use a permanent email address rather than  a school/college one address for example. Please make sure you check your email regularly as you need to reply within a week. The offer will include the room details, costs, and dates of residence. You should check details carefully including the start and end date.

How do I accept my offer?

You will be asked to read and accept the terms and conditions online as well as pay a £250 deposit and set up a payment plan. If you have a conditional offer from the University of Roehampton, and do not receive the required grades, your deposit will be returned in full.

Does it matter if I do not reply to my offer immediately?

You will be given one week in which to respond to your accommodation offer. If we do not receive confirmation of your acceptance within that time then your offer will be withdrawn.

What if I do not like the room I have been offered?

Unfortunately we cannot change your offer. We have a limited number of rooms and although we will try to offer students their first preference, we will inevitably disappoint some. After the start of term, when some rooms become available, it is possible to change your room; however, there is a £30 charge for this.

What happens if I do not want to accept the room offered but still want to be considered for another room?

If you refuse your first offer, we cannot guarantee being able to offer you any other room and you will be placed on a waiting list.

I am an international student – will I be placed in accommodation with other students from my country?

We integrate students from the UK and overseas, which enriches your experience of living in halls.

Which halls tend to be the most popular?

This varies each year but the en suite rooms are usually the most popular and are therefore sometimes oversubscribed.

Do rooms become available throughout the year?

Yes. This means if you live locally and want to commute to your classes in the first few weeks of term, you do have a chance of being offered a room later in the term.

 

Living on campus

What should I bring with me?

You should provide your own duvet, bedding and towels. (One pillow is provided in each room but you may wish to bring another.) For the kitchen you need your own cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery.

What is provided?

Bedrooms will contain a bed, mattress and mattress cover, desk with drawers, desk chair, curtains, wardrobe, shelving and a waste bin.

Will I have to pay council tax?

Accommodation occupied only by full-time students is exempt from Council Tax. Therefore, if you live in university halls, you will not get a council tax bill.

Can I bring a car on campus?

Students cannot park on campus between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. After 5pm students may park on site to reduce congestion in off street parking. Cars must be off campus by 8am the following morning.

Can I bring a bicycle?

Yes. We encourage this environmentally friendly means of transport and we have bike shelters and stands on each campus. Please note that bicycles are not allowed into the halls. For more information on environmentally friendly transport, see the University's Travel Options Guide.

Can I bring a pet?

No – not even a goldfish! Students are requested to notify the University in advance if an assistance animal is needed at the Residence as adjustments may need to be made to accommodate it.

Are halls mixed or single gender?

All halls are mixed gender; however, because we have a three-to-one female-to-male ratio, you can request female single-gender accommodation and we will try to accommodate your request. You must state on your accommodation application if you want female-only accommodation.

Can I have a fridge in my room?

No. However, under exceptional circumstances, requests will be considered if you need to keep important medication in a fridge. Please include this in your accommodation application and be aware you will need to supply medical evidence.

Can I smoke in my accommodation?

No. Smoking in any University building is forbidden. If you are a smoker you must respect the University regulations and smoke outdoors, away from the accommodation entrances and windows.

Will I have an internet connection in my room?

Yes. All on-campus accommodation rooms offer internet access via data cabling or a wireless network. The costs are included in your accommodation fee. Please check the individual residence pages for more information.

Are landline phones available?

There are landline phones in each hall, which can be used to make internal calls within the University.

Is there anywhere I can store my belongings before I move in?

We are unable to offer room for you to store any belongings before you move in.

How many people will I share with?

This will depend on where you are living. Our newer flats house between 3-11 people. We also have older style accommodation (mainly corridor based) that houses 17-28 people.

What does 'en-suite' mean?

This means that each room includes a private bathroom with a shower, toilet and washbasin.

What does 'semi en-suite' mean?

This means a private shower and wash basin are available in each room but the toilets are shared. These rooms are only available in Newman (in Digby Stuart College).

What does 'shared facilities' or standard room mean?

This means you share bathroom facilities with other students. All standard bedrooms include a washbasin.

In shared facilities accommodation how many people share the toilet and bathroom?

In shared-facility flats there are on average seven students to two toilets and two baths/showers.

What does 'self-catered accommodation' mean?

All our accommodation is self-catered. This means you prepare your own meals in the kitchens within your accommodation. Alternatively there are catering facilities across the University where you can purchase meals.

What is provided in each kitchen?

All kitchens contain a microwave, hob and oven, a kettle, an iron and ironing board, a vacuum cleaner, a toaster, a fridge/freezer and general waste and recycling bins.

How many people share the kitchen facilities?

This depends on which block you are living in. Many of our flats average around six students to a kitchen, but in the larger halls, kitchens can be shared by up to 14.

What is the role of the Flat Rep?

Each residence for first years has a Flat Rep, a more experienced student who helps all members of the flat to learn to live together constructively, understand College and University procedures and find out where help is available. Flat Reps act as a liaison between students, Students' Union, the Colleges and Accommodation Services.

What is the role of the College Residence Officer?

College Residence Officers (CRO) live on campus. They are there to support students with problems or concerns that arise out of hours. Security will contact the Warden on call when it is necessary.

What are the cleaning arrangements when living in halls?

Bedrooms are not cleaned during the academic year. Students are responsible for keeping their own rooms clean (including bathrooms in en suite rooms). Vacuum cleaners are provided along with mop and bucket and dustpan and brush. Students must keep the kitchens tidy and are responsible for their own washing up and cleaning of the oven, grill, microwave and fridge/freezer. The communal areas of all flats are cleaned every week.

All rubbish will be removed daily Monday to Friday by the cleaners. At the weekend students should remove rubbish. All bedrooms will be inspected at least once a term (students will be contacted in advance).

 

Accommodation financial information

How do I contact the Accommodation Finance staff?

Email: accommodation@roehampton.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 8392 3110
Or visit us in the main Accommodation Office in Mount Clare (situated in the house on the ground floor).

What is the deposit?

You will be asked to pay a deposit of £250 deposit online to secure your room offer. We accept debit cards and the major credit cards except American Express, Diners Club and JCB.

What if I'm unable to pay a deposit?

If you have a problem paying the deposit online you need to contact Accommodation Finance as soon as possible or you will jeopardise your place in halls.

How and when do I pay my accommodation fees?

Will I get a discount if I pay my fees in full?

Unfortunately we are not able to offer a discount to students who pay in full.

What if I cannot pay my accommodation fees in three instalments?

Please contact Accommodation Finance and we will be able to advise you on alternative instalment options.

I will not have received my loan payment by moving-in day – will this be a problem?

We know that students will not receive their loans until they have completed their enrolment with the University, which may not happen until they have been living on campus for up to two weeks. With this in mind we delay the first payment.

What if my loan payment is delayed?

If your loan payment is delayed you need to notify Accommodation Finance as soon as possible and we will delay processing your payment. You will need to provide us with a copy of your student loan agreement so we can verify when you will receive your loan.

I don't have a bank account – how will I pay?

We advise that you open a bank account. You or your sponsor will need to provide bank card details in order to accept your offer of accommodation. If you are receiving a student loan, you will need to open a bank account before coming to University so that the student loan can be paid into it. There is a branch of Santander bank on-campus.

What happens if I pay late?

If you know you cannot meet the payment date, you must contact us. If you pay late, a charge (usually £20) may be applied, depending on the circumstances.

What happens if I cannot pay my accommodation fees?

You need to contact us to explain why you are unable to pay. If your loan is late or you are having financial problems, the Accommodation Finance Office can advise you on the best way forward, so you do not jeopardise your place in halls.
If you think you might have a problem paying, tell either your Student Welfare Officer or the Accommodation Finance Office immediately and we will work with you to see what can be done to help you. Do not hide from the problem as it will not go away unless faced and we will take a more lenient approach if we are aware of your situation.

What happens if I do not pay my accommodation fees?

Fees are due at the beginning of each term (the first term's fees are delayed to allow time for registration). You are at risk of being evicted if you do not pay. Although we recognise that students sometimes have difficulties in paying their fees, we expect that you will make every attempt to pay. Students who fail to notify us of difficulties or who make no attempt to meet agreed payment plans will have their debt passed to our Credit Control Department who will begin the debt recovery procedure.

Can I move out before the contract ends?

Unless you are on an international semester contract, a contract is for the full academic year. If you move out, you will still be liable to pay the rent until the room can be filled by another suitable student. Please refer to section five of the Terms and Conditions for occupation of accommodation.

How do I get my deposit back?

If your deposit was paid online, then your deposit will be returned online. If your deposit was not paid online then you will be sent a deposit return form during your last term. You must fill in this form and return it to the Accommodation Finance Office. Failure to do so may mean that you do not get your deposit back.

When do I get my deposit back?

Your deposit will be returned within 28 days of the end of your accommodation agreement.

Will I get my deposit back in full?

Your room will be inspected at the end of your residency and if any damage is discovered it will be charged against your deposit. You will be refunded your full deposit if you leave at the end of the contracted period and there are no outstanding fees or charges.

Will I need to pay any extra charges during my time in halls?

Only if you breach your contract; for example, by tampering with fire safety equipment. If you incur a charge, you will have 14 days to settle this directly with the Accommodation Finance Office.

Do I need insurance for my belongings?

As a student living in halls at the University of Roehampton, your contents are automatically insured through our partnership student insurance company, Endsleigh. For the exact level of cover provided, view the Certificate of Cover. Students living in halls sometimes wish to insure valued possessions such as a laptop or mobile phone away from their room wherever they take them. In addition, Endsleigh can also insure you if you are living in off campus accommodation.

 

Off-campus accommodation

How can I find off-campus accommodation?

We provide an online property search facility with Studentpad. This allows you to search for properties and rooms available for rent in the local area from Landlords that have agreed to the University's Code of Standards. There is also a Messageboard so that you can communicate with (i) students who are advertising a room available in their student houseshare; (ii) students who are looking for accommodation; and (iii) students looking for flatmates.

What types of properties are available off-campus?

There is a range of different property options advertised on Studentpad which are available in the local area:

Lodgings are when you rent a room in the same property as the landlord - these tend to be more homely and quieter. Rent is inclusive of bills and the contract period can be flexible.

Shared houses/flats – some will be marked as 'property to be let as a whole'. This means if it is a 4 bed property, you need to be in a group of 4 to view it. All other shared houses/flats can be approached by individuals. Rent does not include bills (budget approx. £10 - £15 per week each for bills). Contracts are for 12 months.

Hostel - Struan House, available for females only. You can book for a minimum period of 2 weeks or for as long as you like.

What help can the University Accommodation Office provide?

Our Off-campus Accommodation Officer can support you in finding accommodation or with any questions or problems regarding your tenancy. Please contact offcampus@roehampton.ac.uk, 020 8392 4451.

What is a guarantor?

Landlords/agents ask each student to provide a guarantor. A guarantor must be an adult who lives and works in the UK earning a minimum wage of approximately £15,000 per annum. If you do not have a guarantor, please see the Off Campus Accommodation Officer at the University for advice. Your Guarantor will sign a letter agreeing to pay any rent (or bills) that you do not pay during the tenancy.

What is an admin fee?

This is a fee usually charged by Letting Agents and sometimes by Landlords, although all our landlords registered on Studentpad are not allowed to charge admin fees. The fee is to cover administration costs: the tenancy agreement, costs for taking references, costs for protecting deposits. Off-Campus Accommodation can provide you with a list of Letting Agents where the admin fee has been negotiated down for students. If you are enquiring on a property that is not on Studentpad, please make sure you ask if an admin fee is charged and how much it is: total and per person. N.B. If you pull out of the tenancy before it starts, this fee is non-refundable (this should be stated on your receipt from the agent/landlord).

What is a holding deposit?

A Holding Deposit, usually £100-£150 each, is given to secure the property. This is so that the landlord will not show (or advertise) the property to anyone else. Your Holding Deposit money then becomes part of your Security Deposit which is paid before or on the day you move in. If your Security Deposit is £500 and you pay £150 Holding Deposit, on the day you move in (or before) you will pay £350 towards your Security Deposit, because you have already paid £150, and your total Security Deposit = £500.

What is a security deposit?

A Security Deposit is usually a sum equal to one month's rent or up to six weeks rent, and is held against breakages, dilapidations beyond reasonable wear and tear, unpaid bills, cleaning costs. At the end of the tenancy, a "check-out" is performed and you must be informed in writing if any deductions are going to be made – in some cases students may be given the opportunity to rectify the situation.

If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, by law, the landlord has to protect the deposit by one of three schemes. 30 days after your tenancy commences, you must receive in writing from your landlord:

• Name and contact details of the scheme
• Contact details for the scheme's dispute resolution service
• How to apply for the deposit's release
• What to do if the landlord or tenant can't be contacted at the end of the tenancy
• How the deposit is protected
• The address of the property and the amount of deposit paid
• The landlord's or letting agency's name and contact details
• The name and contact details of any third party that has paid the deposit
• Items or services covered by the deposit
• The circumstances under which the landlord will be able to retain some or all of the deposit
• What to do if there is a dispute over how much deposit should be returned

This is one of the most important documents you need to receive from your landlord. Make sure you have it. If you do not receive this information 30 days after your tenancy begins, please see the Off Campus Accommodation Officer.

How is rent paid?

Rent is paid on a monthly basis, in advance. If your rent is advertised on a weekly basis, to calculate the monthly figure, multiply the weekly rent by 52 and then divide by 12 for your monthly rent (there are more than 4 weeks in a month). You will be asked to set up a Standing Order so that the rent leaves your bank account every month on the same date that you moved in.

Some landlords will accept monthly rent payments from each student, but other will insist on one payment from the household - this means that one student will have to collect rent from all resident to make the payment or that the household set ups a joint bank account for rent and bills.

If you are unable to make monthly payments, you can make arrangements with your landlord to pay your rent termly (each time your student finance arrives).

What are your obligations under an Individual Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

This is a tenancy agreement that you sign and the landlord signs – there are no other tenants named on the tenancy agreement, even though you are probably sharing communal areas with other tenants. Your Security Deposit covers your bedroom, and your share of the communal areas which are "joint and several" with the other tenants. At the end of your tenancy, if damage is found in your bedroom, the full cost would be taken from your deposit only. If damage was found in one of the communal areas, the cost would be split between all the tenants and you would be charged for your share. Very often these tenancies are inclusive of bills; however, if it is not, you are responsible for paying your share of the bills together with the other tenants in the household. The big advantage to having an Individual tenancy agreement is that if another tenant leaves and a replacement is not found, you are not responsible for paying additional rent.

What are your obligations under a Joint and Several Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement?

This is an agreement where all the tenants are named and all sign along with the landlord.  Joint and several means that you are all responsible for the rent and returning the property to the landlord in a satisfactory condition at the end of the tenancy. N.B. If 5 students rent a house and during the tenancy 1 pulls out, if a replacement cannot be found, the landlord has the right to charge the remaining 4 the additional rent for the missing person – because the tenancy is 'joint & several'. If at the end of the tenancy, 1 tenant has gone into rent arrears and therefore, no longer has a Security Deposit, and let us say that damage is found in the property, the costs will be deducted from the 4 remaining deposits along with any other outstanding rent. Sometimes the guarantor system doesn't work, therefore, be warned, you are all in the tenancy together.  Most Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements are for a 12 month fixed term. Some landlords on Studentpad offer a 50 week contract, or an 11 month contract.

Can you use your security deposit to pay your final month's rent?

No. In exceptional circumstances you might be able to, but you must get permission from your landlord in writing.

Should you have a shared bank account for rent and bills?

The advantage of having a shared bank account is that everything is open and if someone doesn't pay rent or bill money, you will be aware of it and you will be able to address it immediately.

Set up a joint account and then everyone pays a set amount into that account by Standing Order on a monthly basis. Bills and rent can then be paid by direct debit from the joint account.

Bills should have all the tenants names on them. On the day you move into the property, take meter readings for Gas, Electricity, and Water if applicable. Make sure you phone the meter readings through and put all your names on the bill. On the day you leave the property, take meter readings again and phone them through. It is a wise to phone your utility companies 1 month prior to leaving to give them notice that you are leaving – some companies require a notice period to end the contract.

Am I exempt from paying council tax?

Full-time students are exempt from Council Tax. Exemption is granted from the 1st day to the last day of your course. You must apply to the Council Tax Office for exemption on an annual basis starting from the 1st day of each academic year.  Part-time students have to pay Council Tax.

How do I apply for council tax exemption?

A Council Tax Exemption Form must be completed by each student (not for each household). Once completed, take it to Enquiries in the Welcome Centre to be signed. Hand deliver/send it (together with your housemates' forms) to the Council Tax office. You can request a formfrom enquiries@roehampton.ac.uk or visit Enquiries in the Welcome Centre, Elm Grove building on Digby Stuart college. They can also provide student status and proof of address letters.

You must complete and send to the Council an exemption form for each academic year. If you move into your accommodation in June, you will need to fill out a form for June – September. You must then fill out another form in September (the start of the next academic year). Penalties and fines are usually issued to students who have taken a tenancy towards the end of one academic year and only apply for Council Tax exemption from the beginning of the next academic year.

You are only exempt from Council Tax when the Council write to you confirming your exemption.

To avoid penalties, be organised: complete and send your forms off immediately.

Having problems with your off-campus accommodation?

Are you having problems with damp, mould, excess cold, electrical, gas or fire safety issues or general disrepair? If the answer is yes, then help is readily available: Advice from the council.