Frequently asked questions

If you are considering applying or awaiting an offer of accommodation from Birmingham, please read the information below.

For students currently living in accommodation, we have a separate FAQ page.

I want to apply for accommodation

Is there a deadline for applying for accommodation? 

To qualify for our Guarantee Schemes you must submit your application by

  • 30 June 2021 (UK undergraduate students)*
  • 31 July 2021 (non-UK undergraduate and postgraduate students)

For more information please visit the Guarantee Schemes page.

*Please note that the usual 31 May deadline has been extended to accommodate for the new UCAS deadline.

How can I find out my ID number if I’ve lost my offer letter / not received my offer letter yet? 

If you’ve lost your offer letter Living can tell you your student ID number if you give us your full name, date of birth and the first line of your address. You can contact us at or +44 (0) 121 414 8000.

You can contact Admissions at or +44 (0) 121 415 8900 if you haven’t received your offer letter.

What should I do if I need to change my email address?

To change your email address, please contact from the email used in the application process and confirm the email address you would like this changed to. Please also include your student ID number in the email.

Alternatively, if you no longer have access to the original email address used in the application process, you should contact Admissions confirming your home address and date of birth, and they will then be able to update the email attached to the application for you.

I have chosen Birmingham as my insurance choice. Should I still apply for accommodation? 

Although accommodation isn’t guaranteed, we strongly encourage insurance candidates to apply as we try to house as many people as possible. By telling us your preferences we can find suitable rooms much more quickly.

If we are unable to accommodate you, we will help you to find accommodation in the private sector, either through one of our partner providers or in private housing.

I am an Exchange/Study Abroad/Erasmus student coming to Birmingham. Can I still apply for accommodation?

Yes. We can guarantee accommodation to Exchange and Study Abroad students from outside the EU who apply before July 31, whether you are here for a full year or only one semester

Please note that if you are only studying at the University of Birmingham for one semester, you will be required to pay in full.

Unfortunately we are unable to guarantee accommodation to Erasmus students but you can still apply for accommodation.

Can I apply for accommodation for just one term? 

You’re welcome to apply but priority will be given to students applying for accommodation for the full year. Please note that should you receive an offer of accommodation, you will be required to pay in full.

Can I request to live with my friend? 

There is an extra notes section on the application where you can make requests like these but we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to meet all requests. Remember, both you and your friend will need to make the request for it to be considered.

I have additional requirements for my accommodation

If I have a disability or medical need will this be taken into consideration when I apply for accommodation? 

Yes, we always take into consideration any disability or medical need you may have. We often require a referral from the Student Services team to confirm this so please contact them at +44(0)121 414 5130. Alternatively, you can provide a doctor's note which details your condition and what this means for your accommodation needs.

We have a number of adapted rooms for people with wheelchairs, hearing impairments and visual impairments.

What are Taster Stays for students with additional requirements?

With Taster Stays you can experience our accommodation first hand before you start your course. More information is available on our page for students with disabilities.

What is 'Inclusive Living'?

We are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive living environment, where equality is promoted and diversity is valued. If you have any specific accommodation needs, please get in touch.

What is alcohol-free accommodation?

Within the first week of arriving, students will create a shared living agreement with their flatmates to discuss and agree on terms and conditions around using and having alcohol in the flat.


If you would like to be in alcohol-free accommodation you can state it as a personal preference on your application. Please note that we cannot guarantee an offer of alcohol free accommodation and supply is subject to demand.

Can I apply for 'Kosher' accommodation?

The Living team will endeavour to provide accommodation for students who wish to live in a kosher environment. Students living in this accommodation will have stated on the 'additional information' section of their application that they wish to live in a kosher environment and as such will be expected to adopt the appropriate lifestyle.

Rooms will be allocated once we know how many applicants have opted to live in a kosher environment, and it is not possible to guarantee the accommodation should the number of applicants not equate to the number of rooms available.

I have received an offer of accommodation

Do I have to pay a deposit?

For University owned accommodation a £550 Advance Payment will be required to secure your accommodation when you receive your offer. The Advance Payment is not a deposit and will be deducted from your overall accommodation cost. You can then opt to pay for your accommodation in full, or in instalments.

If you have an offer for Partner Accommodation you will be required to pay a deposit to confirm your booking. The partner provider will contact you directly and the accommodation contract will be between them and yourself. For any information surrounding deposits you can contact us directly.

My accommodation has been cancelled, what can I do?

If you don’t accept your offer of accommodation within four days it will be cancelled. If you still want University accommodation you’ll need to apply online again but remember, your new application will be outside the guarantee scheme which means we’ll no longer be able to guarantee your accommodation.

What is the Travel Daily list?

This list is set up for students who live within commuting distance of the University and have chosen to wait until a space in their preferred accommodation becomes available. We usually allocate these students within the first term.

What’s included in the residence fee?

The residence fee includes all utility bills, internet access, telephone calls from your room to other rooms in the University and basic room insurance. If you’re allocated a Meal Plan room, you’ll also receive a weekly food budget loaded onto your student ID card.

Presessional students on the 10, 6 and 4 week course and postgraduates will also receive bedding in your room and the use of crockery and cutlery in the kitchen as part of the fee.

When are the payments due? 

Please see the payments website for our monthly and termly payment dates.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes. You can either pay in three termly instalments, or arrange a direct debit to pay your fee in eight instalments over your contract period.

There is no discount for paying your accommodation fees in full.

Paying your accommodation fees

I have accepted my accommodation offer

When can I move in?

All contracts for academic year 2021/22 start on 20th September 2021. You will be able to select a timeslot through your Accommodation Portal after accepting your offer in August 2021.

Can I cancel my accommodation and get a refund? 

Once you’ve accepted your offer of accommodation and made your Advance Payment you’ll only be released from your contract if a replacement can be found. If a replacement can’t be found you’re liable to make the full payment.

Do I need to bring my car with me to University?

Due to the convenient location of our accommodation sites to campus and the good public transport links to the local area, we do not recommend that you bring your car to University.

Parking permits are extremely limited at our University-owned accommodation sites and are typically only given to students holding a blue badge who need their car for medical reasons.

Where should I go if I have a query about my accommodation once I arrive? 

If your Village Reception is unable to assist, Living is based in University Centre. Our opening times are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (Tuesdays from 10am). Alternatively you can email us at

What do I need to bring with me for my flat? 

Please take a look at the inventory for your flat on our Living with Us page. 

Information for parents and guardians

Student education and welfare is of utmost importance to us and we can assure you that our duty is to our students. Students here at the University of Birmingham have access to a wide-ranging network of support services for both academic and non-academic issues. There are also processes in place to identify a student who may need support and can then be referred to the relevant service.

If you have a concern, in the interests of respecting student privacy we are unfortunately unable to discuss these concerns with you without the student’s permission, by way of Disclosure of Information. We appreciate that this can be frustrating, particularly if it relates to their accommodation account and you are paying the fees, however this is legal requirement (General Data Protection Regulation 2018) and University policy prohibits the disclosure of an individual's information. There are only certain situations in which this may not apply, and is dealt with in respect to the University’s duty of care.

What can I do if I am concerned?

The University will take your concerns seriously. Whilst we cannot discuss a student’s situation or circumstances with you (without their permission), including giving confirmation of whether they are attending the University, we can contact the student and offer appropriate help. It is then the student’s responsibility as to whether they choose to take advantage of that support and advice.

What is the best advice for visiting Birmingham?

The University has two hotels on campus, offering you a comfortable, convenient place to stay when visiting. Edgbaston Park Hotel offers modern rooms, executive suites and characterful period rooms for bed-and-breakfast stays. For a budget option, choose Lucas House Hotel. Both are less than 15 minutes’ walk from main campus, and 10 minutes’ walk from the Vale Village. Visit the Conferences & events website for more information.

What if I have other questions?

We hope this gives you the vital information you require on accommodation available to students. If you should have any further queries then please do not hesitate to contact Living via email or 0121 414 8000. Living is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (from 10am Tuesdays).

Private sector accommodation

Where can I find information about accommodation in the private sector? 

Check out our dedicated online resource for students for all the information you need to rent in the private sector at

Students have access to the free housing search engine Birmingham Studentpad, which is run by Living (Accommodation Services) and allows the user to search for all types of short or long-term accommodation.

Properties will only be advertised on Birmingham Studentpad if the relevant certificates have been presented. ALL landlords/agents are MLAS (Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme) accredited and we can therefore guarantee at least a minimum set of accommodation standards.

What areas are close to the University? 

Most students live in Selly Oak, Harborne or Edgbaston.

I have a room available in the private sector, can I advertise it? 

Yes, you can advertise it on the Birmingham Studentpad message board but we will need to see the gas safety certificate which your landlord should be able to provide.

I haven’t got my deposit back, what can I do?

All deposits should be covered by deposit protection schemes. You’ll need to contact the relevant scheme and they can tell more. Your landlord or letting agent will be able to tell you which scheme your deposit was protected with. If you need any more advice please call into the Living shop in University Centre.

My deposit hasn’t been returned in full. Can I dispute this? 

Yes, the deposit protection schemes all have dispute services where all issues can be resolved. 

Where do I find the council tax exemption form? 

You’ll find this at our Academic Services council tax page. Make sure you’ve registered your term-time address on the my.bham portal. 

I need short-term accommodation, can you help? 

It depends if we have any vacancies at the time you need, but we’ll do everything we can to source accommodation for you. We can also provide information on local guest houses and hotels. 

Can you check my contract for me before I sign it? 

We recommend that you bring your contract in to Living to be checked for free even if it’s from a reputable company. We’ll be able to point out any important information about charges, what’s expected of you as a tenant and what rights you have regarding your landlord. We also recommend that you always view the property before you sign a contract. 

If I have an issue with my landlord what do I do? 

When sorting out any issues yourself, make sure you put any requests/complaints in writing to your landlord. If you continue to have problems please come to the Living shop in University Centre and we can help you further. 

I’m a landlord – how do I advertise my property to students? 

First, you need to have been accredited by the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme (MLAS). Second, your property needs to have up-to-date gas and electric safety certificates and an energy performance certificate. Once these have been done you can advertise on Birmingham Studentpad. Details of charges and more information about the MLAS course can also be found at the Midlands Landlord Accreditation Scheme site.

Second, third, fourth and fifth year students

Can I apply to stay in student accommodation for my second, third, fourth or fifth year? 

Applications to return to University accommodation open on 1st December 2020 and will close in January 2021. After January 2021 you are still able to apply for returner accommodation on our accommodation portal however, places are limited and we encourage students to consider all of their options for next year.

Will I be living with other returning students? 

Where possible we try to place returning students together.

What happens once I have returned my contract and advance payment for University accommodation? 

Once you have received your email confirming this, your room is reserved for you and your Advance Rent Payment credited towards your residence fees.

What happens if I change my mind? 

If you change your mind before you’ve signed and paid, just inform Living and your application will be cancelled. You can cancel your accommodation and receive a full refund, if you cancel within seven days of accepting it. If you change your mind after the seven days, you will remain liable for your contract unless a replacement can be found.

You should only accept the accommodation on the understanding that you will remain for the full contract period. For further information please contact Living on +44 (0)121 414 8000, or by visiting the Living shop in University Centre on campus.

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