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Your rights in student accommodation and halls

If you live in student accommodation, you'll have a common law tenancy with a fixed term. Your rights and responsibilities should be written in your tenancy agreement.

What counts as student accommodation

Student accommodation is:

  • student halls or housing rented from your university or college

  • purpose-built student accommodation rented from a private company, where the building has at least 30 bedrooms only rented by students

If neither of these apply to you, your rights will be different. Use our tenancy checker if you're not sure what type of tenancy you have.

Your tenancy agreement

You should sign a tenancy agreement when you move in. This is a contract that says:

  • how much your rent is and when to pay it

  • how long your tenancy is and when you have to move out

  • what to do if you need to move out early

  • what happens to your deposit

  • any other conditions about things like guests, smoking and pets

Read your tenancy agreement and keep it somewhere safe. If you break any of the conditions, you could be asked to leave.

Your landlord must remind you at least 28 days before you have to move out.

If neither you or your landlord end your agreement, it will automatically renew at the end of the fixed term. This is called tacit relocation.

Your deposit

If your landlord asks for a deposit when you move in, they cannot charge more than 2 months' rent.

Your deposit must be registered in a deposit scheme until you move out. Your landlord has 30 working days to register it. Find out about your deposit rights.

Getting repairs done

Your landlord is responsible for repairs in your home.

You're responsible for looking after the property and furniture that is provided. Report repairs needing fixed to your landlord.

You may have to pay for repairs if you cause any damage.

If you want to move out early

Your tenancy agreement should tell you:

  • if you can end your tenancy early

  • who to write to

  • how much notice you have to give

  • how to get your money back if you paid rent in advance

Use our letter template to end your tenancy so you know what to say.

If your tenancy agreement says you cannot move out early or does not say, try to negotiate with your landlord. Explain why you need to move out. You could also ask permission to pass your tenancy to someone else.

If your landlord agrees that you can end your tenancy early, ask them to confirm that they'll return your deposit and any rent you paid in advance.

Get any agreements in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

Being evicted

Your landlord can only evict you before the end of your tenancy if you break a condition of your tenancy agreement.

For example, if your agreement says you must be a student to live there and you leave your course, then your landlord can tell you to move out.

If you get an eviction letter, speak to your student union. They can:

  • help negotiate with your landlord so you can stay

  • tell you where to get help if you cannot afford your rent

  • help you find new accommodation if you have to leave

Check our advice on eviction from student accommodation.

Your rights if you're disabled

You cannot be refused student accommodation because you're disabled.

Your college or university must make sure that you're not disadvantaged compared to non-disabled students.

They must make reasonable adjustments so your accommodation is suitable, such as:

  • making every reasonable attempt to give you accommodation that is accessible and meets your needs

  • making sure your accommodation is the same standard as that of non-disabled students

If your accommodation is not suitable, speak to the accommodation provider. They can:

  • help you move somewhere that is suitable

  • make adaptations to your current accommodation so that it is suitable

If you're having problems or experiencing discrimination:

Last updated: 9 August 2022

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England