Housing


Whether you're trying to find out about off campus accommodation, paying a deposit, council tax or state benefits we can lend a helping hand. We've packed all of the essential information on this page, but if you need further assistance don't hesitate to get in contact.

Council Tax

If a property is occupied entirely by full time students it should be exempt from paying Council Tax.

In order for the property to be exempt you must each get a Council Tax Exemption Certificate from your university and send it to the local Council Tax Department.

If you are a University of Greenwich student you can request a Council Tax Exemption Certificate here and University of Kent students can request a Council Tax Exemption Certificate here.

If at any stage on your course you need to repeat credits or if you have to intermit from your course temporarily, maybe due to ill health, financial issues, etc, then you should still be able to claim exemption under Council Tax legislation as long as you have not abandoned, been withdrawn, or completed the course.

 

Deposits

If you signed a tenancy agreement for an assured shorthold tenancy and paid a deposit on or after 6 April 2007 your deposit will be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

If your tenancy is covered by the scheme and the landlord has not complied with the rules then you can view guidance on this here so you understand your rights and action you can take.

 

Letting Agent Fees

Most fees charged by landlords and agents are banned from 1 June 2019.

The ban covers most private tenancies and it applies to fees charged to tenants and their guarantors. Further details in this area can be found here.

 

Universal Credit

Most full time students are not entitled to Universal Credit for housing related costs but there are some exceptions that may be able to claim, these include (but are not limited to):

  • students who are lone parents
  • students with a partner who is also a full time student and you have care of a child
  • students who receive some form of disability premium, i.e. via Personal Independence Payment, etc.

 

Part-time students are normally able to claim state benefits based on the normal eligibility requirements.  If you are a full-time student and think you may be entitled to Universal Credit then guidance can be found here.

 

Off-Campus Accommodation

As a student you will have the option of living on-campus or off-campus when coming to university and while you are studying throughout your course.

We advise all students where possible to first consider renting via an 'accredited landlord' as these landlords will have received a range of training and guidance via the accreditation scheme and Medway Council. Details of what the accreditation scheme is can be found here and you can view the list of accredited landlords renting in the Medway area here.

Some students (especially after their first year) decide to live off-campus with friends they have met and it is very important, especially if you have never lived independently before, to be aware of the how private accommodation works and your rights and responsibilities.

You can also speak to your University Accommodation Office regarding landlords and help in finding off-campus accommodation as they may have good knowledge in these areas and be able to answer some of your questions. If you study with the University of Greenwich you can access them here and if you study with the University of Kent you can contact them here.

Loads of students worry that they won’t be able to find somewhere to live because there are so many students in Medway. Don’t panic!

Although we wouldn’t advise you to leave your search for accommodation until the last minute, neither would we advise you to rush out and sign up for the first place you see. Take your time and make sure that you have found a place that is affordable, in good condition, in the right location, and is safe.

A big tip is to make sure that you feel confident that, come September, you will still be on speaking terms with the people you are planning to share with!

We would also recommend that before you sign any tenancy contract you understand the terms fully and agree to what you are signing.  A signed tenancy agreement is a legal contract and can be very difficult to cancel if you have already signed it.  If you need advice directly from us on your contract Talk To Us.

 

On-Campus Accommodation

As a student you will have the option of living on-campus or off-campus when coming to University and while you study on your course.

Most first year students choose on-campus accommodation as it can be better socially for them and can sometimes be easier to arrange if you don’t know the Medway area. On-campus accommodation is not always available to non-first year students but there can still sometimes be places available if you prefer to remain on-campus.

If you want more information about on-campus accommodation then your first port of call should be to speak to your university. If you are a University of Greenwich student you can contact them here and if you are a University of Kent student you can contact them here.

Please be aware that the University of Kent Medway accommodation is actually a slight walk to campus and is managed via a private company not the university directly.