University Accommodation + Covid-19 - What to watch out for!

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CheeseIsVeg
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Hi my name is Cheese and I have previously worked for my Uni's accommodation team as a student, helping to answer common queries.

Since I have a bit of experience, I'm sharing some handy tips and tricks for accommodation + specifically stuff you lot should definitely take note of for this year during the pandemic.

Feel free to ask me anything about University accommodation here!

If I am not sure I will try to signpost you to where you can get your query answered or some general advice :yy:

And remember, TSR Guidelines forbid the promotion and discussion of offsite social media group chats for privacy reasons!:naughty:

Ask away! :happy2:

You can find my tips and advice for all things accommodation in the post below :ottid:
Last edited by CheeseIsVeg; 1 month ago
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CheeseIsVeg
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Cheese's tips for 2020 Accommodation!
Disclaimer: None of these tips or pieces of advice or info from me is official or endorsed by any uni/company. I am a student myself so I am not trying to sell anything. If you are ever unsure of specific application stuff check with the accommodation provider/company. :fyi:

General Advice:

If you have applied for accommodation but not heard back yet:
-Please check your status with the Uni is Unconditional Firm (UF) on their system and UCAS track
-Please be patient with staff! They want to help you but check FAQ and general website before calling up or sending loads of emails. Staff are working from home most likely and so you're best sending in an email if you want some information and being patient when waiting for a reply. It can sometimes take up to 5 working days in busy moments to get back to people.
-Don't try to change a room or swap a room for non essential reasons. This year there are going to be many late applicants with medical conditions/disabilities requiring suitable accommodation - if your reason is not essential you're wasting your own time.
- Your room is more expensive than you thought? Some students will have had parents/themselves be out of work due to pandemic and are legitimately requiring the cheaper accommodation so bear that in mind when you do hear back about your accommodation and it's on the pricier side.
-With the above point, note this year many sites will have reduced capacities and number of students sharing certain facilities. Which will likely reduce their overall capacity.
- If accommodation advisors are telling you this: "you are unlikely to receive an offer from us" and give you details of private accommodation providers. The above is likely the reason for this and it's definitely a good idea to at least look into these options in case you cannot get accommodation from a certain provider.


If you still do not have accommodation sorted:
- You can try uni halls but need to apply ASAP as soon as is confirmed as a student on ucas/with department (due to social distancing ltd capacity)
-If students are coming back to previous firm/insurance unis and originally had applications with university accommodation - check these are still ok. (for my uni, they are still honouring a guarantee for these students as long as they are UF with UCAS but this depends on the accom dept)
- Ensure any contract you sign has an early release clause for covid, exceptional circumstances or local lockdown forcing immediate action
- Unless you are a PhD/PG student typically on a longer course (due to covid-19 some are being flexible with start dates but not much else) or private accommodation that is dead cheap then you won't need a long contract - be wary of any offers for a ~50 week contract, they often aren't worth it.
- If your Students' Union has a housing service or Advice Centre always go there first + be patient as they are working from home so replies may take longer. These people have professional experience with local landlords and will know what to look out for during the pandemic too. :Yep:
-Check social media housing groups for the University (official Student Union endorsed ones tend to be the most reliable).


Living in Halls during Covid-19:
Things you should be aware of:
- You will likely be required to wear a face mask (unless exempt) in common areas (except kitchen due to safety)
- Some common areas/facilities at accommodation may be closed for safety reasons due to pandemic. If the situation gets better may reopen after Christmas. :iiam:
- You may be required to quarantine if travelling from certain countries (14 days)
- You may be required to form a household for first 7 (or more) days upon arriving to prevent spike in cases.
- These measures are to keep you safe, not to make you miserable.


Great TSR resources you should 100% check out:
Find your flatmates, University life, Student accommodation

List of things that you should bring to your University accommodation

Top Tip for Finding someone to sub-let your room or to swap rooms if your accommodation allows this in the Ts + Cs:
-Use Find your flatmates
-Find official housing social media pages for your uni
Last edited by CheeseIsVeg; 1 month ago
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04MR17
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Don't forget there's loads of help and support on TSR's Freshers Hub :yes:

Also check out some of the sticky threads in student accommodation for even more details! :gasp:
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CheeseIsVeg
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Don't forget there's loads of help and support on TSR's Freshers Hub :yes:

Also check out some of the sticky threads in student accommodation for even more details! :gasp:
Also definitely check out this great article on the 7 things you don't need to ask your accommodation provider!
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