Student housing - standards in halls

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

Universities that provide halls of residence must belong to a government approved code or be licensed by the local authority.

The codes aim to ensure that you have safe, good quality accommodation. This means that they can offer you a way of dealing with things if something isn't right in your accommodation. This page outlines more information on the codes and how you can use them.

What are the codes?

There are three codes and your university will have signed up to one of the first two codes below. The third code is for halls of residence owned and managed by private companies. The codes are the:

  • Universities UK/Guild HE Code of Practice for the Management of Student Housing, often known as the Student Accommodation Code

  • Accreditation Network UK (ANUK)/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Residential Developments for student accommodation managed and controlled by educational establishments

  • ANUK/Unipol Code of Standards for Larger Developments for student accommodation not managed and controlled by educational establishments.

Your university should tell you which code they have signed up to.

What do the codes cover?

The codes set out standards to measure the good management practice of student accommodation. There are standards on a range of areas such as:

  • repairs and maintenance

  • fire, gas and electrical safety

  • security

  • management of your tenancy/licence

  • complaints.

The codes can therefore be a very useful resource to see what your landlord should be doing. If you find that your accommodation falls short of the standards set out in the relevant code then you can do something about it.

Making a complaint

If you’re not happy with your accommodation, you should report the problem to your accommodation manager in the first instance.

If nothing happens or you don't think the problem has been resolved then you can consider making a complaint using the code. Your students’ union may be able to help you with this.

If your university has signed up to the Universities UK (UUK) code, the complaint will go through your university's complaints procedure. The final stage for any unresolved complaints is to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

If your university has signed up to the ANUK code, you need to contact the National Code Administrator. The final stage for any unresolved complaints is to refer the matter to the Chair of the Complaints Tribunal.

The National Union of Students (NUS) sits on the UUK and ANUK boards of management, which gives them the opportunity to feed back on general issues on behalf of students. If you think your university is providing poor accommodation or is not acting in accordance with the code it has signed up to, you can also raise the matter with the NUS.

More information about the complaints procedure under each of the codes is available in the codes themselves. More information about the NUS is available from its website.

Next steps

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