Guidance for Halls
Your health, safety and wellbeing are our top priority in halls of residence. We have made a number of changes in response to COVID-19, so that we can ensure our residents are safe, secure and comfortable.
If you are moving into one of our halls for the start of session, our Moving into Halls page has information on what you need to do before you arrive, what you should bring, booking an arrival slot, guidance for self-isolating in halls and arrival details.
Offer holder FAQs
What we're doing for 2020/21
Single occupancy rooms
There will be no twin occupancy rooms for 2020/21 - all previous twin rooms will be let as single occupancy so that social distancing guidelines can be safely and comfortably adhered to.
We recognise that some students may not be able to arrive on campus in October. In order to support this, you will be able to choose a 24-week accommodation contract that begins in January 2021.
Rents and affordability
With the changes to twin occupancy rooms - and in recognition that some students may need additional support in 2020/21 - we have made amendments to our rents. These changes mean that 50% of rooms available now fall within the lowest cost categories. More details are available below.
What we're doing for 2020/21
Reintroducing Pembridge Hall and Parsons House
In order to ensure there are a wide range of affordable options available, we are reintroducing Pembridge Hall and Parsons House to the undergraduate portfolio. These halls, based in Notting Hill and West Kensington respectively, provide a range of lower cost bed spaces.
Enhancing cleaning services
In order to maintain a high level of hygiene across our halls of residences, we will be introducing enhanced cleaning services throughout communal areas, including kitchens, common rooms and entrances.
We will be introducing bespoke guidelines for each hall of residences so that everyone is able to comfortably adhere to social distancing. These may include one-way systems, staggered arrival times, lift adaptations and more. Further information will be provided when you arrive.
Frequently asked questions
We understand you will have further questions on these changes and how they may impact you. Some additional guidance is below and further information will be provided when you are invited to apply. Learn more about the application process on our How to Apply page.
Last updated 3 August 2020
Frequently asked questions
Will I have to share my room with anyone?
No, in order to ensure everyone can comfortably adhere to social distancing guidelines all twin rooms will be let as single occupancy this year. Although twin rooms will still be displayed as such in the application process, they will only be allocated to a single resident.
How have rents changed?
In recognition of the adaptations made to accommodation this year - alongside the fact that students may need additional support - we have made a number of changes to our previously published rents.
- We have ringfenced 423 standard single across the portfolio to be reduced by £50 per week. This will significantly increase the proportion of lower-cost affordable rooms, as defined by the NUS Affordability Criteria, to 50% of the overall portfolio.
- In addition, we have allocated an additional £5 per week discount at Woodward Buildings in recognition of the potential disruption anticipated by building works there this year.
- To ensure that there is a fair and consistent pricing structure when compared with facilities, we have increased the price of previous twin rooms to match an equivalent premium single room (or 10% higher than an equivalent standard single.)
Through these measures, we are able to ensure your safety and comfort whilst also strengthening our commitment to providing genuinely affordable accommodation for residents.
How will arrivals weekend be adapted?
Normally, the majority of residents will arrive in halls of residence over a weekend. However, so that we can ensure social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, we anticipate that this will need to be staggered over a longer period.
As such, we are providing you the opportunity to choose an arrival slot up to two weeks prior to the standard arrival date. You will not be charged additional rent for this period.
More information will be forthcoming during the induction stage of your accommodation application process.
If I am arriving in the UK from abroad, will I have to self-isolate in my halls of residence?
According to the British government, you may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in England, if you are travelling from one of the countries or territories listed on the government's website. That is because these countries or territories are:
- covered by the travel corridor exemption
- within the common travel area (Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man)
- British overseas territories
You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country that is not on the list in the 14 days before you arrive in England.
This applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.
If the country you are travelling from is not on the exemption list, you will need to self isolate for 14 days on arrival. If you are looking to stay in our halls of residence, you will have the opportunity to book an arrival slot 14 days prior to the standard arrival date in your residential halls contract. You will not be charged additional rent for this period. This will allow you to self-isolate safely and comfortably in your hall of residence after your arrival. Find out more about self-isolating upon arrival in your halls in our moving into halls page. You should follow all relevant government guidance during this period.
We are closely liaising with the government to understand how this guidance may develop - if this changes prior to the start of the academic year, we will let you know. You can read more about government guidance for international arrivals on the government website.
Will I still be living with the same amount of people in halls of residence?
Due to the removal of twin rooms, there will be a smaller number of residents in most halls. We also anticipate that the overall number of students in halls will be lower for the Autumn term. Furthermore, a range of measures are being developed to ensure that residents are safe, secure and can comfortably adhere to social distancing guidelines. This will include staggered arrival times, clear self-isolation procedures, and amendments to corridor and communal space usage.
Will there still be Halls socials?
Our Wardening teams are committed to ensuring that a range of social activities remain at the heart of the halls community. These may take a different form to previous years, with a higher use of remote or digital social activities arranged through our soon-to-be-launched Welcome app.
How will I get to College if I'm living in North Acton?
Due to their location, residents in Woodward Buildings and Kemp Porter Buildings will likely be required to take public transport. Alternatively, you will also be able to cycle to South Kensington, which takes between 35-50 minutes. This will be clearly advertised during the application process and students will have a range of options that are also available within walking distance to South Kensington.
How will the College help me find private accommodation?
Our Student Hub team can provide plenty of advice and support on finding private accommodation, even before you arrive at the College. The private accommodation website is full of useful information and resources, from how to search for properties, what to expect from a contract and your responsibilities to listings of agents and private halls providers. The Student Hub team can also answer any specific questions you may have and provides a free contract-checking service.
What will happen with communal kitchens and other shared spaces?
We are working hard on finding solutions to the challenges that social distancing bring, but we’ll have more information soon.