Frequently asked questions
We've put together answers to our most frequently asked questions from students looking for accommodation after their first year at Loughborough.
Living on campus
When can I apply to return to halls?
Online applications are open between 10:00 on Thursday 9 November and 14:00 2023 on Friday 16 February 2024. It is not first come, first served, so do not feel like you must make a rush decision.
How do I apply?
On your application you will put down preferences of a hall and room type, you can also let us know who you would like to live with! Please ensure that your friend also puts your name down otherwise this will not be considered when rooms are allocated.
Can I apply to a different hall than what I am currently in?
You can apply to a different hall than what you are currently in, however as the wardens decide who they would like to come back into their hall, priority is given to students returning to the same hall.
Am I guaranteed accommodation?
Approximately 30% of our rooms are reserved for returning students and are allocated by the warden’s discretion. We do not guarantee you a place back in halls, however we are able to help you look for accommodation off campus.
Students paying full international tuition fees are normally guaranteed a hall place within the same hall for any two years of study providing they submit an application prior to the February deadline.
Applications from students with outstanding accommodation fees for the previous Autumn term will not be offered accommodation.
Why should I return to halls?
A great advantage of living in halls is that all your utility bills and internet are included in the cost. It also includes block insurance with Endsleigh Insurance that covers your belongings in your room and bikes secured on campus.
There are flexible catered hall options available enabling you to include your food bills for the year with your accommodation fee, protecting you against the rising cost of living.
You have 24hr support from a dedicated warden team along with your hall management team. Someone is always there to support you.
What if I leave the University or go on placement and no longer need my room in halls?
If you are going on placement but have not yet received an offer, we suggest that you apply for a hall place. Your room contract will be cancelled upon completion of an accommodation cancellation form and proof of your subsequent placement (within the required timescale).
If you have arranged to go on placement for semester two, please note on your application that you will require a first semester licence only. If you have arranged to go on placement for semester one, please contact us in November to apply for second semester accommodation.
I have been elected as a committee member, am I guaranteed a room?
If you have been elected on to the hall committee your warden may put a room on hold for you, however you MUST still apply before the deadline to secure your accommodation.
Committee members (living in the hall) shall receive 10% discount off accommodation fees (excluding catering element in catered halls).
I am an Art & Design Foundation student; do I need to apply now to return to halls?
If you are currently on the Art & Design Foundation programme, you will not be able to apply as a returning student. You should apply for your accommodation via UCAS as a new Undergraduate student, you will receive further information on how and when to apply from May.
I have taken a Leave of Absence and would like to come back into halls when I return, do I need to apply now?
Although you may be restarting as a first year student you will be classed as a returner to halls and will need to apply as a returner. We would also recommend contacting the hall wardens to let them know you are currently on a Leave of Absence but would like to return to their hall.
Living off campus
When should I start looking for private accommodation off campus?
There is plenty of private accommodation available in Loughborough, so there is no need to rush into signing up to a contract. If you are in your first year, the University strongly advises you wait till after your January exams before you start looking for your accommodation for the next academic year.
How do I find accommodation off campus?
We advertise properties on behalf of local landlords. This includes a variety of accommodation, ranging from a room in a shared house to larger privately owned halls of residence.
All the landlords advertising with us have been independently accredited, and the properties have been graded and approved by the University.
Details of these properties can be found on the Studentpad website. This is the only place to find University approved private accommodation.
How do I view and apply for the property?
The landlord's contact details will be on the property advertisement, on the Studentpad website
Please contact them directly to arrange a viewing. The application process will be directly with the Landlord. Read your Tenancy Agreement carefully before you sign and make sure that you understand the terms that it contains. Terms will vary from one landlord to another.
If in any doubt about whether to sign, get advice from the Student Accommodation Centre or the Student Advice and Support Service.
Once I have signed a Tenancy Agreement can I leave the property?
The Agreement you sign will be an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement’, for a fixed period of time. You and your landlord are legally committed to the full length of the tenancy. If you are able to find a replacement tenant, your landlord should not unreasonably refuse to accept them, but they are not under any obligation to find a replacement for you.
Please be aware that even if the situation with Covid-19 means that you cannot travel to your term time accommodation, or if the University changes your requirement to physically attend campus you will still be liable for the accommodation contract you have signed.
What is my deposit for?
A deposit/security deposit is held until the end of the Tenancy to cover any damage. All deposits legally have to be protected by one of 3 independent deposit protection schemes. Your landlord is required to provide you with the details of which scheme they have used.
The protection scheme is there to ensure all claims made by the Landlord are justified and to settle any disputes that may arise.
How will my rent be collected?
Methods of rent payment and the frequency, and number of instalments, vary from one landlord to another and this is something that you should arrange directly with your landlord.
Please consider how you are going to manage your rent payments if the payment dates fall before your Student Loan is paid to you.
What is a guarantor?
Some private accommodation providers may ask for a guarantor who would be liable for paying the rent for which you are responsible if for any reason you were not able to make a payment.
Will I be responsible for the bills in the property?
Yes - you will be responsible for the payment of any gas, electricity and water rates unless your property is let as ‘all-inclusive’. Some landlords will include the water rates but no other bills. Where properties are let on an 'all-inclusive' basis', the landlord will normally set a limit on the amount included within the contract and you will be charged for any additional consumption. You must check exactly what is included before you sign the contract.
If you are responsible, you will need to contact the suppliers to register on arrival at the property with the meter readings and again when leaving at the end of the tenancy.
Will I have to pay council tax?
Properties occupied by full-time students are exempt from paying council tax. To prove your student status you can contact Student Enquiries to get a copy of your Certificate of registration. You will then need to supply this to Charnwood Borough Council or your landlord.
If any of the tenants in the house are working, check how this could affect the exemption with Charnwood Borough Council. If only one tenant is working, they should be able to claim a single occupier discount, providing that all of the other occupants are exempt.
Please be aware that if your studies are part-time you may still be liable for council tax. If you are living in a property before your course commences, or after it finishes, you may find yourself billed for council tax for the period that you are not a student.
Will I need to arrange contents insurance?
Yes - you will need to arrange suitable insurance cover for your own personal belongings.
Your landlord will have insurance cover for the property itself and his/her contents only.
Will the property be cleaned before my arrival?
The property should be clean and ready for you to move in. If you are not happy with the condition of the property or you notice any damage, you must point this out to your landlord straight away and indicate this on the inventory.
Taking photographs may also be helpful to refer to in the event of any disputes about damage or cleanliness at the end of the contract.
What is provided in the property?
Accommodation for students would normally be offered fully furnished.
All properties advertised through the Student Accommodation Centre need to be furnished to a set standard.
All bedrooms require a bed, desk, office chair, chest of drawers, wardrobe and shelves.
Any communal areas require enough soft seating for the number of tenants unless this is supplied in the bedroom.
In the kitchen large appliances such as the cooker, fridge, freezer, washing machine are usually provided. However, the smaller appliances such as kettle, microwave and toaster are only sometimes provided, so be sure to check this with the landlord.
Please note bedding, cooking utensils, cutlery and crockery are not normally provided.
Do I need a TV Licence for each television in the house?
Yes - if you have a separate Tenancy Agreement for your individual room.
If you have a Joint tenancy with the other occupiers of the property - only one TV Licence is required irrespective of how many televisions there are in the house.
If you have a joint tenancy and your landlord has provided a television in your house, they may have also provided the TV licence. You should check if this is the case, as this licence would also cover any additional televisions.
For further information about who requires a licence and how to apply please visit TV Licencing or contact 0300 790 6090.
It may be possible to claim a partial refund for the Summer holiday period if you are not renting for that period.
The maximum fine is £1000 for not having a licence.
Who do I contact if I have a problem?
Any problems should initially be raised directly with your landlord.
Please also contact the Student Accommodation Centre if you experience any problems in relating to a property advertised on Studentpad.
What support is there for me if I live off campus?
There is a Community Warden team that is set up to support students who live off campus. They offer help and advice about living as part of the wider community.
You are able to still be affiliated with a hall of residence and live off campus. For information about how you can get involved in Hall committee arranged social programmes visit the LSU website.
Student advice and support
What should I be looking for when viewing a property?
You should inspect a potential property systematically to ensure that you are satisfied with its condition.
The Student Advice and Support Service have a checklist on what to look for when viewing a property.
Is it OK to sign the contract if my friends have viewed the property and I haven’t?
We would very strongly recommend that you view the accommodation personally before you agree to move in or sign any written agreements. There are no additional cancellation rights for tenants who have not viewed a property in person prior to signing. If you are unable to look around a property in person, consider delaying your search for accommodation until you are able to look around.
How do I find a property?
We would encourage you to begin your search on Studentpad, a website managed by the Student Accommodation Centre (SAC). All properties advertised on this site have been inspected by SAC. Landlords who advertise on the site are accredited by Decent and Safe Homes (DASH) Landlord Accreditation and meet the standards set in partnership with Charnwood Borough Council.
Some students I know have already signed a contract. Should I find somewhere quickly?
It is common to feel pressure from letting agents and sometimes friends to rush into signing a tenancy agreement. Don’t feel that you need to make a quick decision. You are more likely to find accommodation that you are happy with if you take the time to look around and negotiate a good deal with your landlord.
The landlord / agents are telling us that we only have a limited time to check and sign the contract or the property will be taken by other students. What should we do?
Don’t allow pressure from agents or landlords to influence your decision to sign the agreement. You must be ultimately happy that the decision to agree to the property is the right one for you and if you need more time to reach this conclusion, then do not feel afraid to ask for this.
DASH accredited landlords should allow you at least 48 hours in which to seek advice on the proposed contract; if your prospective landlord / agents are not part of the DASH scheme, it is still reasonable for you to ask for the same period of time.
It may be the case the other students are interested in the property and potentially there may be the risk that a delay will mean that the property is rented to others. There are however a lot of properties available and you must be sure that any decision you make is the right one.
It is worth remembering that agents work for landlords and therefore it is in their clients’ best interests that you sign rather than yours. Take the time you need.
Can I negotiate changes to the contract ? Can I ask for any landlord commitments to be added to the contract?
You absolutely can do this, but only before the contract is signed. A contract is a two-way agreement and before you commit yourself, you can ask for anything you would like to be added or removed.
We strongly recommend that any promises made to you by the landlord/agents are added to the contract. This commits the landlord to provide and confirm in writing what has been agreed. If the landlord is promising that renovation work will be carried out before you move in such as a new bathroom/kitchen, agree and add a date into the contract by which this will be completed.
Is it essential to have a guarantor? What is a guarantor?
Some landlords/agents require students to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who will guarantee to pay your rent if you fail to do so. Typically, landlords/agents expect the guarantor to be based in the UK. If you are an international student then a parent who is abroad is unlikely to be accepted. If you are unable to find a UK-based guarantor, the landlord/letting agent may ask for rent in advance or a larger deposit.
If you are required to provide a guarantor, we recommend:
- You limit your liability by ensuring the guarantor’s agreement sets out the name of the person whose rent is being guaranteed, the start and end date the agreement applies, and the amount guaranteed rather than a general commitment to pay the outstanding rent.
- You and the guarantor read the tenancy agreement and the guarantor agreement before signing.
There are a number of agents who do not require guarantors so it is worth shopping around if you prefer not to provide a guarantor.
I've being asked to pay a damage/security deposit. What is this for?
Many landlords/agents will ask for a damage/security deposit as part of the contract. Under the law, the amount of deposit set by landlords/agents cannot exceed the equivalent of 5 weeks’ rent. At the end of the contract, the landlord/ agent may propose deductions for any money they feel you owe. For example, damages to the property, rent arrears, or other costs such as utility debts. The contract should confirm what deductions can be made from your deposit.
How should my landlord / agent protect my deposit?
If a landlord or agent decides to take a security deposit as part of the contractual agreement with you, they must comply with the legislation in place which places an obligation on them to protect your deposit with one of the three government-backed schemes. This will enable you to raise a dispute with the Scheme’s adjudicator if there is a disagreement at the end of your contract about the return of your deposit.
Under the law, your landlord must protect your deposit within 30 days of receipt. The landlord must also notify you within the same 30 days which scheme they have chosen, with contact details and certain other information prescribed by law. Seek advice from us if this has not been complied with. If the landlord does not correctly protect your deposit, you may be entitled to seek compensation.
Can I afford this property?
This is a very important consideration. Many students sign up for properties without thinking through how much the property will cost. Before you begin to look, think about what you can afford and whether you will have received your student loan when your rent is due. Remember that not all private accommodation contracts have bills included and this will be a separate expense on top of the rent that you will pay. It is likely that even if the bills are included within your housing contract, there will be a maximum amount that your landlord will pay and anything above this limit will need to be paid by you. Work out your budget using our resources before you commit.
I'm being asked to sign a contract which I do not understand. Should I do this?
You should never sign a contract that you don't understand. It is very important to remember that the contract that you are signing is a legally binding document and it will be virtually impossible to change your mind once you have agreed to the terms and conditions. It is sometimes the case that students feel pressured by their prospective housemates, the landlord, or the agents but you should ensure before you commit yourself, that this is absolutely the right choice for you and that you understand the obligations you are committing yourself to.
The Student Advice and Support Service offer a contract checking service and we aim to provide explanation and guidance on the housing contract you are being asked to sign. If you are unsure about the contract, speak to one of our advisers.
Can I change my mind later?
The circumstances in which you can terminate a private tenancy agreement are rare. Once you have signed an agreement, it is very unlikely that you will be able to change your mind and walk away. Any contract you sign is legally binding and becomes so even if it will be many months before you will move into the property. This is why it is incredibly important to be 100% sure that this is the right property for you before you agree.
We strongly advise that you do not sign a second housing agreement whilst already committed to another one because you have changed your mind. You will be committing yourself to two contracts which you will be expected to pay for.
What help can I receive from Student Advice and Support?
The Student Advice and Support Service (SASS) provides a contract checking service. We can check any potential contract you are being asked to sign by a landlord/agent and we can explain the rights and responsibilities provided under the contract to you and your landlord. It is always best to have your contract checked before you pay any money or sign the agreement.