Accomodation during your education
We appreciate that where you live is a very important part of your life at
the college and we recognise that meeting your needs as far as possible will
help you to make the most of this new and exciting period in your life.
During your time at the College you will have the choice to either live in a
hostel or in private rented accommodation. Our staff will offer you help and
advice when required.
Living in hostels
When you have accepted an offer of a place at the College and if require
assistance with finding accommodation, please complete an accommodation
We are only able to arrange accommodation in the hostels.
We are unable to rent flats or houses on students' behalf. Renting a flat or
a house requires you to sign a contract or a tenancy agreement. If your
preference is to stay in a privately rented house or a flat we may arrange for
a short term accommodation (2-4 weeks) until you find a suitable flat or a
If you have friends or relatives in London,
arrange to stay with them on a temporary basis while you look for somewhere to
live. Don't arrive in London
without having arranged for somewhere to stay, at least for your first few
Private rented accommodation
An alternative to a place in hostels is accommodation in the private sector,
for example, staying in lodgings with a family, or sharing a house or flat with
The following web sites provide assistance with finding private rented accommodation:
There are different types of private accommodation; the most popular are as
Bedsits / Hostels
A single or double room in which you live and sleep; the
room is both a bedroom and a living room.
The cooking, bathroom and laundry areas are usually shared. Services such as
cleaning and changing of sheets are often provided.
A small flat where the living room and bedroom are combined (a flat is known
as an "apartment" in American English).
Usually the room has its own entrance and you are free to come and go when you
There is usually an open plan kitchenette and a small bathroom, but the latter
may only contain a basin, toilet and shower.
Flat Share / House Share
A "flatshare" or "houseshare" is when you share a flat with one or more
other people. You may have your own room, or alternatively you may share a
twin-bedded or double-bedded room with another person.
A "student house" (sometimes called a "student dig") usually
refers to a private house which is occupied by a group of students
B&B ("bed and breakfast"), Guest House
A room, usually part of someone's home, which the owners are renting out to
make some money.
Breakfast is provided, but no evening meal.
The bathroom is usually en-suite but sometimes it is shared with other guests.
Money and Legal Matters
Contract: When you rent a studio flat or a flat or a house you will
normally be expected to sign a contract or tenancy agreement. Contracts/tenancy
agreements are usually signed for a period of 6 months (minimum) to 1 year. You
may be required to pay a security deposit which will be retained by the
landlord until you have moved out provided there are no damages to a property
and that you have given a sufficient notice to vacate your property.
Please check the following before signing a contract or a tenancy agreement:
- Do you have to pay a
- When do you have to pay
- Which bills are not
included in the rent? ( water / gas / electricity
/ council tax / telephone line rental/TV licence).
- If you want to move out of
the accommodation, how much notice do you need to give the landlord?
- Do you feel you can trust
- If you are with a host
family, what is their main reason for wanting to accept a student into
their home? If the main reason is to make money, in some cases the family
may not speak to you often, may provide very cheap meals, or may argue
about small matters such as the amount of toilet paper or water that is
being used. Problems are more likely to occur in popular student locations
at time when there are many students in the town (for example,
September/October) - there may be a lot of demand, and too little supply
of quality host families.
It is risky to rent somewhere without a legal agreement between you and the
landlord (or accommodation agency).
The most common type of agreement is known as an assured shorthold
tenancy (AST). As long as you pay the rent and do not break the conditions in
the tenancy agreement, you have the right to stay for 6 months. After 6 months,
if your landlord wants you to leave, he/she should give you details (in a
written letter) at least 2 months before the date on which you are expected to
If you have a licence agreement (you are living in the same place as the
landlord), the notice period may be shorter than for a tenancy agreement, for
example 1 month.
You should read the agreement carefully before you sign it. If you do not
understand something, ask for someone to explain it to you.
Term/Period: contracts/tenancy agreements are usually signed for a
term (period) of 6 months (minimum) to 1 year.
Check the following before signing a contract:
- How long does the agreement
- Is there a minimum period
that you can rent the accommodation?
- Will you have the
opportunity to rent the accommodation for a longer period?
- How much warning do you
need to give the landlord if you wish to leave?
Rent and Bills
Check the following before signing a contract/tenancy agreement:
- How much is the rent? When
must the rent be paid?
- How often are rent reviews
(when the amount of the rent can be increased)?
- Does the rent include
council tax? Does the rent include water charges? If not, how much are
- How are charges for gas,
electricity, telephone line rental or calls or the charges for the
television licence for a shared TV divided between the people living in
Deposit and Inventory: you may be required to pay a security deposit
which will be retained by the landlord until you have moved out provided there
are no damages to a property and that you have given a sufficient notice to
vacate your property. You may be required to sign an inventory (a list of all
the items in the room/flat).
Check the following before signing a contract or a tenancy agreement:
- How much is the deposit?
- When you leave, how quickly
will your deposit money be returned to you?
- Under which circumstances
will the landlord keep your deposit?
- Check the inventory
carefully before you sign the tenancy agreement.
- Make a list of anything
that is damaged (for example, note any scratches, cracks or stains) and
give a copy of this to your landlord.
- You may want to take
photographs as soon as you move into the room, to prove that any damage
was not caused by you.
- If anything is missing or
damaged when you leave, your landlord may try to keep part of your deposit
to pay for these.