The student guide: Booking student accommodation & COVID-19

If you are a student looking to study in the UK for the academic year 2020/21 or 2021/22, here is some key information for booking student accommodation. From how and when to book, to adapting your check-in dates to cancellation policies and information for international students – we have everything in one place for you.

We are available to help you find and booking student accommodation via our app, our website (including 24/7 chat) and via the phone. 


Can I get my money back if in person learning is cancelled at my university when I am due to go? highlights properties that are the most flexible for providing refunds for new bookings if your scheduled move-in date is impacted by COVID-19 (through unable to travel or university course delayed or cancelled). Just look for the COVID-19 tag on your property search results. 

If you have any questions regarding the property specific terms and conditions surrounding COVID-19, you can ask a member of the bookings team at the point of booking student accommodation.

What happens if I can’t move on my set date into my student accommodation because of COVID-19? 

If you have booked student accommodation which is part of the COVID-19 flexible/cancellation policy, you need to reach out to your booking consultant as soon as possible, providing proof from your university of the course dates being changed or the reason you are unable to move in. They will then support you in handling next steps. 

What happens if I get COVID-19 whilst in my student accommodation? 

You will need to follow the instructions and steps outlined by your property management team. Once you have moved in the accommodation, your contract is between yourself and the accommodation provider. So you need to speak to them directly to access guidance and support. The on-site manager/team at your student accommodation should provide initial support for you. 

What if the UK Government orders refund/rebates on student accommodation due to COVID-19? 

We are aware that the UK Government is looking into student accommodation refunds/rebates due to the impact of COVID-19 on students. The Terms & Conditions of your booking are set by the accommodation provider, so any questions about this would need to be directed to the on-site or direct contact at the property of your booking. 

Searching for student accommodation

How can I view potential student accommodation properties? 

You can still view them remotely, but this is dependent on each student accommodation partner. What we do have on the website is a gallery for each property – showing aspects of the room, communal spaces and exteriors. Plus some properties have Virtual Reality tours. The best option is to get in touch with our expert bookings team – via the telephone number on top right-hand corner of the website – to connect with a member of the team who can advise you. 

Can I live with my friends?

Yes you can. You will all need to register with us at, and when requesting a specific property you will need to tell your booking consultant the names and email addresses of who you would like to share with. Of course, it does depend on specific property availability, so book as soon as you can if you want to book with friends.

Can I pick my room?

Where availability allows, yes. Our bookings team can speak with the student accommodation provider to negotiate a room on a specific floor, or if it has views of the city – which way the room faces. That said, this is subject to availability and rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. Our advice? Book early to avoid disappointment!

How much does it cost?

It varies. Prices start from as little as £50 per week depending on room type, property and city location. Put your university city into the search bar on our website and the time period you are looking for. You can then filter results by cost, so you can find places easily based on your budget.

No Place No Pay

A common issue for first-year students is that you can’t know for sure which university you’ll be attending until you get your results. Often you won’t want to leave booking student accommodation after results day though, because at that point many of the most popular accommodation options might already be sold out.

With this in mind, many of the properties we list offer a No Place No Pay cancellation policy. This simply means that if you don’t get accepted into your university of choice, because you didn’t get the required grades, you can cancel your booking for free. This way you can find and book your preferred accommodation already before getting your results, knowing that you won’t lose any money in the event that you won’t get the necessary grades. Just look for the No Play No Pay tag on your property search results. 

No Visa No Pay

This is a similar offer than No Place No Pay, but relating to student visas rather than grades. This issue concerns students who are looking to study abroad in a country where they are required to obtain a visa in order to be allowed to enrol at university.

Simply put, the accommodation providers offering this cancellation policy will let you cancel your booking for free in the event that you are not able to obtain the necessary visa to study in your chosen country. This way you can book your accommodation well in advance, before the best options get sold out, even if you haven’t been granted your visa yet.

Booking student accommodation 

How does payment work?

When you want to book your room you will need to pay a deposit via – we automatically transfer that to the student accommodation provider who owns the property where you will live. From then, you will be required to either pay in full, or instalments, depending on if you have a guarantor. Our bookings team will guide you through this.

Is there lots of paperwork?

There is paperwork, but we are on hand to provide free support. We have streamlined the process to make it easier for you! We have to verify with you that you are heading to our university course, if you have a Visa (if applicable) and there is paperwork to complete from the student accommodation provider for your rental agreement.

Want to book?

Head to our app or website – – give us a call, or chat to us via our 24/7 web chat. We have a bookings team that speaks multiple languages and understands the local areas around universities. We are here to help you, for free.

Once you have booked student accommodation

What happens if I book my student accommodation and I can’t get my Visa in time/it gets declined, therefore I can’t travel? 

If you have booked student accommodation which is part of the No Visa No Fee, then you need to reach out to your booking consultant as soon as possible, providing proof of the Visa decline or delay. They will then support you in handling next steps. 

International Student Support

EU students starting a course in the UK from 1 January 2021

  • You will need to check if you need a UK visa, if you’re planning to study in the UK from 1 January 2021 as you will not be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme unless you were living in the UK before 31 December 2020.
  • You can apply for a Student visa if you are over 16 and plan to start a course with a provider who can act as a licensed student sponsor.
  • You may be eligible for a Child Student visa instead if you’re 16 or 17 and want to study at an independent school in UK.
  • You do not need a visa to study in the UK for courses up to 6 months, as long as you are studying at an accredited institution; this includes English language courses.
  • You can apply for a Short-term study visa if you’re studying on an English language course which lasts up to 11 months.

More information for EU students is available on and for wider international students on Universities UK