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Coronavirus FAQs for residents

Here you will find our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding UCL Accommodation during coronavirus. These will be updated as the situation evolves.

General

Can I remain in my UCL Accommodation?

Although UCL has advised students to return home if they can, we know that for some of you, leaving is not possible for a variety of reasons, including travel restrictions or personal reasons. 

Accommodation will remain open for those who need to stay, however UCL Accommodation will be running amended services during this evolving coronavirus period. If you have any questions concerning this, please do not hesitate to contact your site team via your hall email address.

Remember to check the Public Health England (PHE) website for the most up to date information about self-isolation and what to do if you feel unwell.

Am I allowed to move out of UCL Accommodation under the current restrictions?

The latest Government advice for students living in student halls is that should you wish to make a one-off move to an alternative residence (ie your home), you may do so providing you take precautions in line with the principles in Annex A of the government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy and in other published guidance, such as on travel and social distancing.

If you are planning on leaving your hall early, we ask that you inform us of your planned departure date in advance by contacting your site team via the site email address. You will need to take all belongings with you and return your keys to reception before you leave.

As countries respond to the coronavirus pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office is advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. Please see their website for more details

If I need to, can I stay on campus longer than my current contract?

We are continually reviewing the evolving nature of the coronavirus outbreak and how it may affect our residents’ ability to return home. Should you need to discuss your contract end date, please contact accommodation@ucl.ac.uk

If I have belongings still in my room, but I am not living there, will I be charged for the accommodation?

We understand if you have returned home but may have left your belongings in your room. Please be rest assured that your belongings are safe and we will not charge you any accommodation fees in this situation, provided you have notified the accommodation team of your departure and returned your keys/fob. In the event of current circumstances extending beyond your licence agreement, we may need to move your belongings to another secure location and will notify you in advance of doing so. 

In line with the Government strategy, we can now allow students back onsite to collect any belongings that were left behind, as long as certain precautions and procedures are followed. There is more information including how to book your required time slot on our belongings collection page. Please note we will still not allow any unexpected visitors onto site as a matter of Health and Safety. Your belongings are still insured and covered even if your contract has been ended.

My belongings are still in my room, what should I do about collecting them?

With lockdown rules being eased we are now able to grant access back onto site to collect anything still remaining in your room. We recognise that in these unprecedented times, travel around the UK and globally has become very restrictive and this may affect how you are able to collect your belongings. To help resolve this, we are able to suggest four different options for you to consider. For full information on the options available to you, please visit our belongings collection page.

Please note we will still not allow any unexpected visitors onto site as a matter of Health and Safety. Your belongings are still insured and covered even if your contract has been ended.

I have already left my accommodation and still have my key, what should I do?

If you have not already done so, please return your key/fob to UCL Security Operations Centre, Foster Court, London, W1CE 6BTwith your UCL student ID number mentioned. Kindly send us proof of postage to your hall email address as soon as possible and you will not be charged any further accommodation fees.

I will be returning to the UK from overseas to collect my belongings, can I quarantine in UCL Halls?

As an international student returning to the UK, please be aware of the UK Government’s mandatory 14 day ‘quarantine’ period for everyone entering the UK from overseas from 8 June with a small number of exceptions, including those travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. 

UCL Accommodation is unfortunately not yet able to offer support for students needing to quarantine in our halls. Therefore, if you would be required to quarantine on your return to the UK, we recommend that you seek alternate quarantine accommodation before coming onsite to collect your belongings using our belongings collection booking process. Alternatively you can use our pack and store/send option for your belongings. For more details, please visit our belongings collection page.
 

Services and Support

Are halls receptions still open?

Throughout this extraordinary and unsettling time, we are having to make some changes to our current services to be able to go forward, although we are doing our best to provide you support and welfare whilst you continue to remain in our halls. Due to this, receptions are still open but as an online virtual service. Should you have any need to contact your site team, then please email your hall email address.

We are also no longer able to guarantee that we can receive any parcels or post on your behalf. Should you be expecting a delivery, we recommend that you are available to accept it directly from the courier service to prevent a missed delivery, however during this time we ask that in respect of Government advice no unnecessary orders are placed.

Are we allowed visitors to halls?

Please note that no external visitors are allowed into halls during this time. Anyone that is found on-site that is not a resident will be asked to leave immediately.

Is the Accommodation Office still open?

The Accommodation Office is now available as an online service and will not be open for face-to-face appointments. Should you have any need to contact them, then please email accommodation@ucl.ac.uk.

If I discover a maintenance problem or security issue in my hall, who can I report this to?

If it is an urgent problem or issue, we ask that you call your halls out of hour’s duty mobile number, and one of our roaming site staff team during the day or SRA’s out of hours will be able to help you. If it is not urgent, please contact your site team via the hall email address.

Can I still have post and/or parcels delivered to site?

We are no longer able to guarantee that we can receive any parcels or post on your behalf. Should you be expecting a delivery, we recommend that you are available to accept it directly from the courier service to prevent a missed delivery, however during this time we ask that in respect of Government advice no unnecessary orders are placed.

Health and Wellbeing

Someone I live with is showing symptoms, can I move room?

In line with the most recent advice, we will no longer be allowing room swaps in our halls. If you or any of your flatmates are showing symptoms, you should all follow the Public Health England (PHE) stay at home guidance

We have been liaising with Public Health England (PHE) and on their advice, we have now relocated any remaining students who currently live in non en-suite accommodation to en-suite accommodation. This will mean students can self-isolate safely if they become unwell and will reduce the risk of infection to other students, staff and SRA’s living or working on-site. UCL’s statement is available online and has the full support of Students’ Union UCL.

I have a health condition which puts me in a higher risk from coronavirus category. What should I do?

If your health condition puts you in a higher risk category, as stated by Public Health England (PHE), you should follow the Public Health England (PHE) stay at home guidanceThe Government guidelines apply to everyone, and everyone should follow them regardless of their age or whether or not they are more at risk from the infection. The guidelines are designed to stop the spread of the virus – this includes passing the virus on to those who are more vulnerable.

If you are remaining in UCL accommodation, and are self-isolating then you must inform your Warden by calling the out of hours duty mobile for your hall

For further support onsite, you can contact your hall team during office hours via your hall email address or a SRA or Warden out of hours by contacting the out of hours duty mobile number. UCL’s full range of support and wellbeing services are also available to all of our students. You can access this support anytime via askUCL and an adviser will arrange a convenient time to contact you.

I have to remain in halls, but I feel anxious and nervous about the current situation, who can I speak to?

For further support onsite, you can contact your hall team during office hours via the hall email address or your SRA/Warden team out of hours by contacting the out of hours duty mobile number. UCL's full range of support and wellbeing services are also available to all of our students. You can access this support anytime via askUCL and an adviser will arrange a convenient time to contact you.

Financial

How will I know if I am due a refund or owe any money for my fees following this change?

You can view your accommodation account balance by logging into PORTICO and selecting RESIDENCES. If there is a credit on your account, this will be refunded by bank transfer into a UK bank account.

To receive your refund please enter your UK bank account details via PORTICO. When you are asked to indicate which division of your account you would like to update, please select RESIDENCES.

Please note unfortunately we are not able to produce cheques at this time.  

I am an international student, how will I receive my refund now that I have returned home?

If you are an international student and do not have a UK bank account, please contact the Accommodation Office by email to accommodation@ucl.ac.uk.

I have already left or plan to leave before my end of contract date, but have already paid for my accommodation until the end of my contract. What will happen with my money?

If you have notified the accommodation team of your permanent departure, your contract end date will be amended to your date of departure and any prepaid accommodation fees beyond this date will be refunded. This is applicable to students that have left or plan to leave between 25 April and the end of their contract (20 June for Undergraduate and 16 September for Postgraduate).

To receive your refund please enter your UK bank account details via PORTICO. When you are asked to indicate which division of your account you would like to update, please select RESIDENCES.

Please note unfortunately we are not able to produce cheques at this time.  

How will I get my deposit back?

If you have left before the 25 April and notified the accommodation team of your departure, the accommodation deposit will be released onto your accommodation account and offset against any outstanding fees. If there are no outstanding fees on your account, your deposit will be refunded to you by bank transfer into a UK bank account. Please note unfortunately we are not able to produce cheques at this time.  

To receive your refund please enter your UK bank account details via PORTICO. When you are asked to indicate which division of your account you would like to update, please select RESIDENCES.

To view your accommodation account balance please log onto your PORTICO account.

We will refund your deposit to a UK bank account (if there are no fees outstanding) as soon as we can, but exact timing will be dependent on staff capacity within the Finance Division during this developing situation.