The RVC provides places in halls of residence for 95% of our first year undergraduate student body.
Successful applicants who firmly accept our offers will be contacted directly with application packs when they become available.
A variety of accommodation options are available at each of our campuses:
- Camden (London)
- College Grove
- Mary Brancker House
- Intercollegiate Halls of Residence (University of London)
- Hawkshead (Hertfordshire)
- College Close (for Veterinary Nurses)
- Student Village
- Odiham Hall
Private Rented Housing
If you have decided to live in privately rented housing, there are a number of issues that you should consider. The University of London Housing Service (ULHS) is an affiliate of the RVC and offers specialist advice and guidance on a number of the common issues that come with renting privately. We would strongly recommend that you read the ULHS Private Housing Guide so that you can make an informed decision. Hopefully, as is the case for many, your tenancy will be trouble free, but this guide will help you to be better prepared, should something go wrong.
Choosing to live on your own or with housemates in private or student rented accommodation can be exciting and it can also come with some common challenges. Please have a read of our Housemate Hassles booklet for some tips on how to adjust to a shared living environment:
You are always welcome at the Advice Centre for assistance should you need it.
What to consider when looking for a home?
When searching for a property think about the following;
- Who do you want to live with: Do they have similar house habits as you?
- Cost of rent
- The size of the property
- Do you want outside space?
- Do you want separate living space?
- The condition of the property, has it been well maintained?
- What furniture or kitchen/bathroom appliances and contents are included?
- Duration of tenancy
- Is the property close to transport links to and local shops or not?
The London Student Housing Guide www.studenthousing.lon.ac.uk is our London 'bible'
It has lots of tips on planning, getting started, information about the different areas in London, costs, inspecting a property, moving in.
Before signing a tenancy
It is important to be aware of the terms, such as duration of your contract, rent, rights of termination, etc. If you identify repair work that must be carried out before you occupy the property, confirm this in writing with your landlord/ agent and insist that the agreement will be subject to work being completed by a given date.
All properties with gas appliances must have a gas safety certificate. Ask to see a copy although you should be given one. The furniture should also comply with furniture regulations.
Tenancy in writing
It is likely that you will be issued an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. An agreement can also be verbal, but we would strongly advise that you seek to have a written agreement.
You have a right to know the name and address of your landlord. If you sign a joint tenancy (one agreement between several people) then you will be 'jointly and severally liable' for rent. i.e., if one tenant decides to leave a tenancy early, then the remaining tenants will be liable for the whole of the rent until the end of your contract, unless of course your landlord agrees otherwise. More about the different types of tenancies can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/private-renting-tenancy-agreements/tenancy-types
You will probably be asked for a deposit to cover any loss or damage that may occur during the tenancy period. Always get a receipt. If prior to moving in the landlord doesn't provide an inventory of the contents, you should compile your own and get an independent witness to verify the details. You should also note any existing damage to furniture or fixtures and fittings. You could give the landlord a copy.
Deposit protection schemes
From 6 April 2007, when you pay a tenancy deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy to a private landlord or letting agent, the deposit must be protected by a government-approved scheme. Shelter (the housing and homelessness charity) has some useful information about this - Deposit protection schemes.
Frequently asked questions
My landlord refuses to return my deposit?
The circumstances whereby a landlord can legally hold a deposit should be made clear in the tenancy agreement. Generally it is there to cover any damage to the property excluding fair wear and tear.
To avoid problems, you could invite the landlord to inspect the property before you leave and make good anything that is your responsibility. Then, ask for a second inspection when the landlord will have the opportunity to return the deposit.
If you believe that s/he is being unreasonable, you may wish to seek advice. Unless you have express permission, a deposit should not be used as the last month's rent contribution
My landlord wants to access the property?
Unless it is an emergency, the landlord should give at least 24 hours notice of his requirement to enter the property. He or his agent should come at a reasonable time of day. Failure to do this might be a breach of your right to quiet enjoyment of the property, so you may need to seek advice.
What if repairs to the property aren't getting done?
Your tenancy agreement will normally set out the rights and responsibilities of the parties, and may cover the procedure for getting repairs done. If work is required, and it is the landlord's responsibility to carry it out, then he should do so within a reasonable period once he has had notice. You might need to notify the landlord in writing, and if you do so, keep a copy.
If the problem is ignored, seek advice. You do have rights and in serious cases the Local Authority may get involved.
Do not withhold rent as a form of protest as this could be a breach of your tenancy and give grounds for eviction. Seek advice first.
I want to move before the tenancy has ended?
If you have a fixed term tenancy, you will need to check the agreement for a 'break clause', which will specify the conditions under which you may leave early.
If there is no break clause, then you will need the permission of the landlord to terminate your contract to avoid being contractually obliged to pay the rent for the remainder of the term. If there is a genuine reason requiring you to leave a tenancy early, it may be worth your while in the first instance discussing this with the landlord, who may be sympathetic.
My landlord wants me out?
When and how a landlord can legally ask you to leave will greatly depend on the type of tenancy you have.
If you face eviction seek advice immediately, making sure to have a copy of your tenancy agreement. Don't be harassed into leaving before you have checked your legal rights.
For further advice please contact that University of London housing services, this is free for all RVC students to access for general and legal housing advice over the telephone, via email or in person.
University of London Union
London WC1E 7HY
0207 862 8880
Where to go if things go wrong
As a first port of call, if your housing issue relates to finance, you may wish to contact the Money and Welfare Adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to give you some assistance, or the Advice Centre Manager, Fiona Nouri email@example.com
- Alternatively, you might like to look at some of the above issues, and others relating to housing, on the website of a specialist housing advisory service: www.shelter.org.uk
- Ideally you should contact the University of London Housing Serives Legal advice team: www.housing.lon.ac.uk
- Your local Citizens Advice Bureau: www.adviceguide.org.uk
Bringing your pets
Our student halls, as well as accommodation provided by the University of London (UoL) and Unite Students (Unite), are unable to cater for your pets.
We generally advise you to leave any pets at home, at least for your first year, until you are able to locate accommodation that will accept pets.
Finding private accommodation that will allow pets in London and Hertfordshire can also be very difficult, and many landlords will add a ‘no pets’ clause to your tenancy agreement. This website gives you great tips and information if you are looking to rent with pets.
Some basic tips for getting started and things to watch out for can be found at www.studenthousing.lon.ac.uk.