How Long Can You Stay In University Accommodation?

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When students start university in their first year, they normally live in blocks of accommodation called halls of residence. This type of accommodation is normally owned by the university. However, first year students can also live in private halls of residence, not owned by the university. Regardless, most university accommodation is pretty much the same.

However, there are a number of factors which must be taken into account when choosing your university accommodation. For example, you need to find out where would be the best location for you, what facilities and shops you are provided with and one of the most important aspects – how long you are allowed to stay there for!

University accommodation is mostly utilised by first year students. Therefore, they are allowed to stay in their university accommodation for the first academic year. The number of weeks this is equivalent to can vary. There are also some instances where second or third years can choose to live in university accommodation, however each contract typically ends after each academic year.

If you want to discover the answers to any questions about how long you can actually stay in university accommodation and any related queries, check out the rest of this article!

How long can you stay in university accommodation in the first year?

Usually, students will only be able to live in university accommodation for one academic year at university, until their contract runs out. After all, it is usually only first years who stay in university accommodation.

However, if you don’t know already, university years are quite short! Many students start their courses at the end of September and break up for summer in May!

As a result, contracts for university halls of residence normally only last from 40 to 50 weeks. These weeks will be from the day you move in, to the day that you fully move out. Consequently, you can’t get away with not paying for the weeks that you stay at home!

If you want to find out more about how long you can stay in university accommodation during first year, check out this article from Uni Fresher. It must be noted that the number of weeks you can live in your university accommodation differs for different universities and different halls of residence.

As a result, it is best for you to research the university accommodation that you are staying in! For example, a type of accommodation from the University of Manchester lasts between 42 and 51 weeks, according to this article from the University of Manchester’s website.

In comparison, Newcastle offers some university halls of residence for only 40 weeks of the year, according to this page from their website.

Do you have to stay in your university accommodation during the holidays?

It is true that your contract and payments for university halls of residence will cover all of your holidays up until you break up for the summer holidays. However, you will not be forced to live there during all of the holidays in between!

You can go back to live at home for a week or more as many times as you want. However, unfortunately, you will still have to pay your rent during the weeks you are away. After all, your belongings will still be in your room, so you would still be technically using it.

Consequently, you may not want to live at home too often, as university accommodation is extremely expensive. Check out this article from Think Student if you want to discover why this is the case.

Can you stay in university accommodation during your first and second years?

As already mentioned, students only tend to live in halls of residence during their first year. However, there are some situations when you can actually apply for halls of residence again in your second or third year at university.

You may not be able to if your university doesn’t have enough rooms to accommodate all first years and students in second and third years on top of this. After all, first years are normally a top priority for halls of residence.

However, if there are spaces and your university is okay with you going to live in halls of residence for another year, then go for it! They are very useful places to live, as halls of residence are often found closer to campus. They may also have cleaners which can tidy up your messes every week!

If you want to discover more about staying in halls of residence during your second or third year, check out this article from UCAS.

Can you leave your university accommodation earlier?

As already stated, your contract for staying in university halls of residence is normally 40-50 weeks. You are not able to stay past the time your contract runs out, as your room will need to be prepared for the next set of first years!

Even though it may not be possible to leave your accommodation later than planned, you may be able to leave it earlier. According to this article from What Uni, your tenancy agreement should have a break clause, which could allow you to leave your accommodation earlier than planned.

However, there may be some instances where even if you do leave, you may have to still pay your rent until a new student takes over your room. If you are already far into the university year, you may have to completely pay for the next term too!

Therefore, if you do decide to leave your university accommodation before the contract is up, make sure that you research the consequences fully! You can find more detail about this if you check out this page from the Uni Homes website.

Can you change your university accommodation?

It can be disheartening to realise that you are contracted to live in a certain place for a full academic year if you really don’t like where you are living! Some students enter university and discover that they don’t really like the location, or they may just not like their room or perhaps don’t get on very well with their flat mates.

Consequently, they may feel that they need to move out! Luckily, it is possible for you to change your university accommodation. However, it is true that it may be difficult.

There are two options you can take when changing rooms. You can do a room swap, which is where you simply switch rooms with another student. Alternatively, you could do a room transfer, which is where you simply move into another empty room that the university has available.

You can discover more about this if you check out this article from the Newcastle University website.

How long can you stay in private halls of residence?

Most people have only heard of university halls of residence and believe that all first years stay here. However, this is not the case!

Some students live in private halls of residence, not owned by the university. These are quite similar to the halls of residence owned by the university. As there will be staff available to help answer any queries and you will have access to communal spaces and social facilities.

You will also most likely stay in private halls of residence for a similar amount of time to students who stay in university owned halls. This means that you will be allowed to stay in private halls of residence for the full academic year, until you break up for summer.

During the summer, the company will be busy preparing your flat for the next cohort of students. To discover the exact amount of time you are able to stay in private halls of residence, it is best to research the individual company.

You can find out more about private halls of residence if you check out this article from the Uni Guide. However, they may be slightly more expensive.

How long should you wait before applying for university accommodation?

You should try to apply for university accommodation as soon as possible. This means that when you begin to choose your university options on UCAS, begin to look at the different accommodations each university offers.

On university open days, it can be beneficial to get a feel for the university accommodation by looking around the different rooms to help you make a choice. This means that by the time the accommodation applications open, you will be ready to apply!

You can discover more about how to apply for university accommodation if you check out this article from Think Student. When applying for accommodation for the second year, it would also be useful to begin looking for places as soon as possible.

After all, student housing is a competitive market! Some students even begin to start looking in September. January is probably the latest you could apply for private student accommodation without panicking!

It can be scary thinking about applying for university accommodation, as it makes it more real that you are moving out! To find out what the transition to university is really like, check out this article from Think Student.

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