You're viewing a new version of this page. To opt out and view our old site, click the button.

University accommodation: Halls of residence

Halls of residence provide purpose-built accommodation for students. They are usually close to the university or college and have communal facilities. 

University halls of residence

Check your college or university's website for information about the price and location of their halls of residence.

Work out your budget before you apply. Electricity, water, internet connection are usually included in your rent. You don't need to pay council tax.

Most universities give priority to first-year students. Apply in plenty of time as places might be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

If you pay a deposit for your room to cover any unpaid rent or damage, it doesn't have to be protected in a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

You are likely to be an occupier with basic protection when you live in halls of residence managed by your college or university.

Private halls of residence

Privately run halls of residence tend to be newly built and located centrally. They can be more expensive than university halls.

Ask your university accommodation office for information on local private halls or check online.

You'll have to pay a deposit and a booking fee (between £200-£400). Be prepared to pay rent for the whole year, not just during term time.

Check the company's cancellation policy before you sign a contract. If you leave before the end of your contract, most private halls charge you rent until someone else takes the room.

You are probably an assured shorthold tenant if you live in private halls of residence.

If you are an assured shorthold tenant, any deposit you pay must be protected in a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

You don't need to pay council tax if you stay in private halls of residence.

Complaints about standards in halls of residence

Talk to the manager of the halls of residence if you encounter problems such as mould, poor security or a slow internet connection.

If you live in one of your university's halls of residence and the problem can't be resolved, you can complain formally using the university's internal complaints procedure.

Ask your students union to help you make a complaint about the halls of residence.

Problems paying your rent

Contact your students union or university student welfare office or the NUS for advice if you are struggling to pay your rent,

Most full-time students aren't eligible for housing benefit, but there are some exceptions.

If you don't get a place in a hall of residence

Rooms in halls are limited. If you don't get a room, consider other options such as:


Last updated 19 Sep 2016 | © Shelter

If you need to talk to someone, we’ll do our best to help

Get help

Was this advice helpful?

Related advice

Email a link to this article

Thank you - your message has been sent.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Please contact #########

Was this advice helpful?

Thank you - your feedback has been submitted to the team.

Sorry! - your message has not been sent this time.

Please contact website@shelter.org.uk