We know that living in London can be expensive. As such, we endeavour to ensure that we not only have a portfolio of high-quality halls of residence, but also one that enables all of our students to have a range of affordable options. 

What your rent pays for

In order to ensure we are able to provide a portfolio of halls that are competitive with similar accommodation in the open market, whilst also ensuring we are fair to those students both in accommodation and not, we don’t believe we should be making either a surplus or a loss. This balanced “break-even model” allows us to continue to invest in our portfolio, yet ensuring you never pay more than is needed to operate your residence.

We believe it’s important that you know exactly what you are paying for. Below is a complete breakdown of what costs this “break-even model” includes.

What does my rent pay for. 5% staff 28% estates 8% support 6% long-term maintenance 53% capital costs

Rent breakdown

Accommodation staff

Our Accommodation and Student Hub staff are on-hand to ensure that applying for halls, reporting problems and responding to queries is as simple and responsive as possible. 

Support staff

Living in halls can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but we know that it can also present a variety of challenges in living away from home for the first time. That is why we’re committed to a community of staff that are able to provide round-the-clock support for any problems you may have. These include our wardening teams, security patrols and, in our newer halls, a full Concierge service. 


We provide a home for over 3000 students across seven halls of residence. Ensuring that each hall remains in excellent condition requires significant investment in our Estates costs, which are comprised of cleaning staff, waste disposal, ongoing maintenance and utilities such as heating, electricity, water and internet. Part of these costs include a commitment to paying all of our staff the London Living Wage.

Long-term maintenance

Whereas ongoing maintenance is responsive, we also allocate funds to carry out proactive maintenance on our halls to ensure they remain at the highest standard for the entirety of their lifetime.

Capital costs

In order to ensure our halls are able to continually meet the expectations of our students, we recognise that it is important to invest in the sustainable provision of College owned buildings required to meet the first year undergraduate guarantee. These costs, generally defined as the total costs required to bring a development into operation, are not paid ‘upfront’ but instead through debt that the College incurs. The costs apply only to the development and assets on the land, and not the physical land itself.

Your rent contribution ensures this provision is financed at an affordable level for your cohort and future cohorts of Imperial Students.


The New London Plan, as endorsed by the National Union of Students, recommends that at least 35% of new student accommodation should cost no more than 55% of the maximum maintenance loan provided by Student Finance England.

Imperial meets and exceeds this recommendation, with 100% of bed spaces in our new halls of residence costing less than this. 

Affordability and benchmarking

We understand that a definition of affordable accommodation will depend on each student’s individual financial circumstances. For clarity, we endeavour to provide a range of options that are as inclusive and wide-ranging as possible. When determining rents, we take into consideration:

  • The rent levels found in similar accommodation at comparable Universities. Through an extensive benchmarking process, we are proud of the fact that, on average, our rents are equal to or lower than our competitors in the sector.
  • The maximum maintenance loan available from Student Finance England
  • The average living costs for a full-time student studying in Central London
  • The availability and greatest value of the range of bursaries our students can apply for