Student Accommodation Code - what's useful for parents to know?

publication date: Sep 21, 2011
Student Accommodation CodeEvery year over one million students embark on a university or college course which can be one of the most exciting and challenging times of life. Often it's when students move away from home for the first time, so making sure accommodation is safe, good quality and caters for their needs is crucial.

Many first year students choose university-managed housing and, to make sure this accommodation is of a good standard, the Student Accommodation Code has been developed.

The Code protects students' rights to safe, good quality accommodation, wherever they are studying, and makes sure they get the best out of their time living in university or college residences. It outlines everything students can expect from their accommodation as well as their responsibilities as tenants.  

Many university accommodation buildings are signed up to The Code, which was introduced in 2006. The Code has already raised standards of accommodation and aims to continue to enrich the residential experience for students across England and Wales.

For parents, The Code is a useful and reassuring document that will help put them at ease when their children are away from home – perhaps for the very first time.

The Code covers six main areas, designed to protect students' rights to: 

  • A healthy, safe environment - this section covers students' rights to information on essential fire safety precautions; accommodation security; and details on what furniture and facilities should be provided for them.
  • Timely repairs and maintenance - this section explains what repair and maintenance is the responsibility of the university or college and what timescales they should work to when carrying out emergency or planned maintenance work.
  • A clean, pleasant living environment - this section outlines the services and utilities students can expect in their accommodation, including standard utilities such as heating and lighting, but also services and facilities such as rubbish and recycling collection and bicycle and car parking.
  • A formal, contractual relationship with the university or college landlord - this section details the information students can legally request from their landlords including rent payment schedules, cleaning schedules, and details on how to report a problem.
  • Access to health and wellbeing services - this section outlines the requirements for universities to provide information on where students can find welfare support, medical help, financial advice and counselling services.
  • A living environment free from anti-social behaviour - this section covers measures that universities and colleges should take to help ensure that their residences are happy and respectful environments.

For more information on The Code or to see a full list of the university and college accommodation that it covers please visit