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Coronavirus FAQs for Prospective students

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

Last Updated

Sunday 6 September 2020

Your Accommodation


Options for 2020/2021 Academic Year

Which halls will be open for the 2020/2021 academic year?

In line with current guidelines, and developments made since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we plan to allocate to UCL en-suite and non en-suite self-catered halls and both catered and self-catered UoL halls, for the start of the academic year in September. Offers of accommodation will be made to students who have met our eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation. No allocations for twin rooms and UCL catered accommodation (with the exception of UoL catered accommodation) will be made at this time. 

There will be additional cleaning in place for communal areas such as common rooms, study spaces, shared bathrooms and kitchens, focusing on high touch points. Clear guidance will also be given to students on social distancing measures whilst living in halls and support will be available on-site 24/7. 

List of UCL halls that we currently plan to allocate to include:

•    Arthur Tattersal House
•    Astor College
•    Bernard Johnson House
•    Campbell House East
•    Campbell House West
•    Endsleigh Gardens
•    Frances Gardner House
•    Goldsmid House
•    Ian Baker House
•    James Lighthill House
•    John Adams Hall
•    John Dodgson House
•    John Tovell House
•    Langton Close
•    New Hall
•    Prankerd House
•    Schafer House
•    Unite Beaumont Court 
•    Unite Stapleton House
•    Unite St. Pancras Way

List of UoL Halls that we currently plan to allocate to are:

•    College Hall
•    Connaught Hall
•    Garden Halls
•    Handel Mansions
•    International Hall
•    Lillian Penson Hall
•    Nutford House

For the University of London's lastest information on Covid-19, specific to intercollegiate halls of residence, please take a look at their Campus Life site here.

Due to increased demand, we have also obtained additional rooms with private providers. We will also allocate to:

  • Urbanest Kings Cross
  • Urbanest St Pancras
  • Unite Drapery Plaza
  • Unite Stratford ONE
What if I have applied for catered accommodation?

In line with current guidelines, and developments made since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we plan to allocate to UCL en-suite and non en-suite self-catered halls and both catered and self-catered UoL halls, for the start of the academic year in September. Offers of accommodation will be made to students who have met our eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation. No allocations for twin rooms and UCL catered accommodation (with the exception of UoL catered accommodation) will be made at this time. 

You can accept the offer made to you for UCL self-catered accommodation or UoL catered/self-catered accommodation as appropriate. Alternatively, if you do not accept the accommodation allocated, you will need to seek alternative non UCL Accommodation. Please note that as long as current social distancing guidelines are in place, we do not plan on allocating to UCL catered halls.    

 Your Offer

When will I receive my accommodation offer?

UG applicants holding an Unconditional Firm (UF) offer who meet the eligibility criteria will start receiving their accommodation offers by email from mid-July onwards. UG Conditional Firm (CF) offer holders who meet their conditions will start receiving their accommodation offers from mid-August onwards. Not all allocations will be generated at once and due to the current situation there is a slight delay in offers being sent out, so we kindly ask you to bear with us and be patient. 

Overseas PG applicants holding a UF or CF offer who meet the eligibility criteria will start receiving their accommodation offers by email from mid-July onwards. Not all allocations will be generated at once and due to the current situation there is a slight delay in offers being sent out, so we kindly as you to bear with us and be patient. 

I have decided to defer my application? Can I defer my accommodation application?

No, unfortunately you cannot defer your accommodation application. If you plan to defer your studies, you are required to cancel your current accommodation application and re-apply for accommodation for your deferred year of entry. Our standard eligibility criteria will apply. 

If I decline my accommodation offer, is there a penalty or a charge?

As long as you decline your offer before your contract start date, there is no penalty or charge. 

After initially being declined, I have now received an offer to study at UCL after the U-turn in exam results. Will I still be guaranteed accommmodation?

If you are a student who missed your offer conditions initially but met them after, providing you met the eligibility criteria, you are guaranteed a room offer. If you did not meet the eligibility criteria, you should look into alternative accommodation options. If you will be under 18 on arrival, missed the offer conditions initially but met them after, a room offer is guaranteed, subject to availability in our U18 locations. 

Not all allocations will be generated at once and due to the current situation there is a slight delay in offers being sent out, so we kindly ask you to bear with us and be patient. 

Late Arrivals

I am a UG student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Yes, but you are required to cancel your current application and re-apply for 2020/2021 Term 2 and Term 3 sessions only when the application portal reopens from October onwards. Please note the term dates for these session will be from 04 January to 26 June 2021 for which you will only be charged and we cannot guarantee accommodation for this period.

I am a PG student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Yes, but you are required to cancel your current application and re-apply for the 2020/2021 academic year (50.57 Weeks) term session when the application portal reopens from October onwards, indicating a January 2021 start date. Please note that term dates for this term session will be from 04 January to 15 September 2021 for which you will only be charged and we cannot guarantee accommodation for this period.  

I am an affiliate student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Yes, but you are required to cancel your current application and re-apply for the 2020/2021 Term 2 and Term 3 sessions only when the application portal reopens from October onwards. Please note the term dates for this term session will be from 04 January to 26 June 2021 for which you will only be charged and we cannot guarantee accommodation for this period. 

Due to travel restrictions I may need to arrive later in Term 1. Will accommodation still be guaranteed?

Yes, accommodation is guaranteed providing you meet the eligibility criteria. If you have accepted your offer of UCL accommodation and will be arriving at a later date within Term 1, you must submit a ‘Late Arrival Notification’ on the accommodation portal. Please note, you will continue to be charged from your contract start date (Saturday 26 September 2020). 


Quarantine


I have an offer of accommodation from UCL. Will UCL support me if I need to quarantine on arrival in the UK? 

UCL is closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for students travelling to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon them checking into our halls in September.

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if your country is not exempt you will need to quarantine for the first 14 days after you arrive as per the current guidance. If this is applicable to you, we ask that if you can (you have received an offer from us, accepted and paid your deposit) you try to arrive between Monday 7- Friday 11 September 2020 to complete the quarantine period. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 7 September.

If you are unable to arrive during these dates for any reason, we will still be able to support you in quarantine, but you may need to quarantine in temporary accommodation provided by us before moving into your allocated UCL Accommodation. This will be arranged directly with you once you have requested your early arrival.

We will not be charging additional accommodation fees for early arrivals. The chargeable period will begin only from 26 September 2020, even if you arrive earlier to quarantine. Please note that you will however be responsible for associated food costs for the current 14 day quarantine period. 

For further information on quarantine, including how to submit your Early Arrival Request or Late Arrival Notification, support available during your time, details about food throughout the 14 days and more, check out our quarantining in halls page.

What if the current quarantine guidance changes?

If the UK government’s current quarantine guidance changes, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible with more information. If you book an earlier flight and the government subsequently changes the quarantine guidance, subject to the changes, your accommodation will still be available to you from your earlier contract start date and you will not be charged rent for this period. The chargeable rent period will begin from 26 September.

How can I apply for quarantine accommodation?

If you need to arrive earlier (before your contract start date of Saturday 26 September 2020) to quarantine, you must submit an Early Arrival Request. You may submit your Early Arrival Request online provided there are at least 3 working days prior to intended date of arrival otherwise you must email your hall office directly with your request. If you will be arriving at a later date within Term 1 (after your contract start date of Saturday 26 September 2020) to quarantine, you must submit a Late Arrival Notification on the accommodation portal. Please note, you will continue to be charged from your contract start date (Saturday 26 September 2020) and you may have to quarantine in temporary UCL Accommodation during the 14 day period. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 7 September.

Once you have submitted your request you will receive an email from us to confirm whether it has been possible to meet your request or not. If you are made an offer of accommodation for the requested earlier arrival date, you will need to return to the accommodation portal to accept your offer as soon as possible, or the offer may be withdrawn. If your request results in a change to your contract start date you will also be asked to indicate that you accept the amendment to your License Agreement. Please do not plan any travel until you have received confirmation from us.

You will then need to select your preferred check-in timeslot on the day of your scheduled arrival. This is to ensure that you can check-in safely in line with social distancing guidelines and our health and safety policies.There is information about how to book your time slot on our moving in page.

How will I get food during quarantine?

When you arrive we will provide a small welcome package. This will include light snack items and drinks that can be prepared in your room in the first 24 hours. Whilst in quarantine you will be able to order essential items online, such as your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and sanitary items, between 8.30am-8.30pm to your hall and they will be delivered directly to your room. For more information on this including some tips on discounts and how to order, check out our informational blog.

I will be arriving from the 12 September 2020 onwards, where will I quarantine?

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if your country is not exempt you will need to quarantine for the first 14 days after you arrive as per the current guidance.

If you are unable to arrive prior to the 12 September 2020, we will still be able to support you in quarantine, but you may need to quarantine in temporary accommodation provided by us before moving into your allocated UCL Accommodation.

If you have been allocated an en-suite room, you will be able to quarantine in your permanently allocated room. If you have been allocated a non en-suite room, you will be housed temporarily in alternative UCL Accommodation to complete the 14 day quarantine period before being able to move into your permanently allocated room. This will be arranged directly with you once you have requested your early arrival. Please note that you will however be responsible for associated food costs for the current 14 day quarantine period. We also advise that you take a look at our quarantining in halls page to be aware of the measures you would need to follow.

Do I have to complete quarantine in UCL Accommodation?

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if your country is not exempt you will need to quarantine for the first 14 days after you arrive as per the current guidance.

If you wish to complete the quarantine period elsewhere before moving into your hall you can do so, however if you do not have an alternative UCL Accommodation will be able to support you if you need to quarantine in halls. Please note that you will however be responsible for associated food costs for the current 14 day quarantine period. We also advise that you take a look at our quarantining in halls page to be aware of the measures you would need to follow.


Your Experience in Halls


Will there still be events for me in halls?

Yes, as part of ‘Flourish’ – our virtual community for residents, you will have activities and events that you can get involved with as a community in a digital format. A series of activities and sessions, held as virtual events, give you opportunities to build relationships with your new community whilst following social distancing guidelines. With events ranging from yoga to quiz nights to live music, there is something for everyone. Take a look at the timetable and session details, book in and get involved!

Will I have access to the communal spaces in my hall?

Communal spaces such as common rooms and study areas will be open from Saturday 26 September, however this will currently only be between the hours of 8am-5pm. There will be restrictions to capacity in place to allow for social distancing and increased cleaning will take place throughout the day of high touch points. 

Laundry rooms will still be accessible throughout the day, however we ask that students do not wait in the room for their washing, and use the Circuit app which notifies them when the cycle has finished to help with social distancing.There will be maximum occupancy notices on the door of your laundry room to help with this. 

Will there be enhanced cleaning regimes in my hall?

Yes, we have already introduced new and enhanced cleaning regimes in our halls that are currently open and this will continue across all our halls that will be open for start of the 2020/2021 academic year as well. 

Will I still be sharing a kitchen with other residents?

Unless you have been offered a studio or self-contained flat, yes, you will be sharing a kitchen with other residents. It will be the responsibility of residents who share the kitchen to comply with local social distancing guidelines when using the kitchen. Thorough kitchen cleaning will increase to take place every day, but we do ask that residents still clean up after themselves to encourage good hygiene in the communal space. 

Will I still be allowed visitors, and could they stay in my room overnight?

In line with current social distancing guidelines, unfortunately visitors will not be allowed into halls.       

Will my hall reception be open?

Receptions will be open. Although they will be staffed 24/7, we encourage students to email or call reception first before coming down in person to help with social distancing. Students must also wear a face covering when walking around the building and should follow the distancing guidelines that are clearly displayed.

Will I be able to receive post and parcels as normal?

You will still be able to receive post and parcels. You will be notified by email when a delivery has been received on your behalf. Contactless collection will take place following social distancing guidelines with parcels being placed in a neutral pick up point.

Will my hall have 24/7 security?

Yes, all our halls that are open will have 24/7 security cover. 

Will I be allowed to have a social gathering or party in my hall?

In line with current social distancing guidelines, unfortunately social gatherings or parties will not be permitted in halls. However, as part of ‘Flourish’, our virtual community for residents - there is a host of activities and events that you can get involved with as a community in a digital format.  


Your Next Steps - Moving In


Will I be able to move into halls in time for the start of the academic year?

Yes, we are putting in place robust safety measures for you to check-in to our halls on or prior to your contract start date in September. As part of your arrival to site, you must pre-book a time slot in advance for your planned arrival date. This will allow social distancing measures to be followed and make your check-in a safe and seamless process. You can find out more about this on our dedicated moving in during coronavirus page including how to pre-book. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 7 September.

If you are an international student who has accepted an offer of UCL accommodation and are required by the UK government to quarantine on arrival, you will be able to arrive in advance of your accommodation contract start date in September. If you are arriving early, you will not be charged accommodation fees until your contract start date which is 26 September.  Please note that you will however be responsible for associated food costs for the current 14 day quarantine period. 

If this is applicable to you, we ask that if you can (you have received an offer from us, accepted and paid your deposit) you try to arrive between Monday 7- Friday 11 September 2020 to complete the quarantine period. If you are unable to arrive during these dates, we will still be able to support you in quarantine, but you may need to quarantine in temporary accommodation provided by us before moving into your allocated UCL Accommodation. This will be arranged directly with you once you have requested your early arrival. Please do not plan any travel until you have received your offer and confirmation on your planned arrival date from us.

There is more information about quaranting in halls here.

How will moving in be adapted? Will the check in process change at all?

To ensure the moving in process is safe for both our students and staff, you must pre-book a check-in slot in advance for your planned arrival date. This will allow social distancing measures to be followed and make your check-in a safe and stress free process. You can find out more information regarding the details and how to book your check-in slot here. You will also receive further information in direct emails in the lead up to your arrival.

I am a home student, how can I apply for early arrival?

If you have accepted an offer of UCL accommodation, you can apply for early arrival via our accommodation portal. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 7 September. If you are arriving early, you will not be charged accommodation fees until your contract start date which is 26 September. 

Once you have submitted your request you will receive an email from us to confirm whether it has been possible to meet your request or not. If you are made an offer of accommodation for the requested earlier arrival date, you will need to return to the accommodation portal to accept your offer as soon as possible, or the offer may be withdrawn. If your request results in a change to your contract start date you will also be asked to indicate that you accept the amendment to your License Agreement. Please do not plan any travel until you have received your offer and confirmation on your planned arrival date from us.

I am an international student, how can I apply for early arrival?

If you have accepted an offer of UCL accommodation, you can apply for early arrival via our accommodation portal. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 7 September. If you are arriving early, you will not be charged accommodation fees until your contract start date which is 26 September.  

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if your country is not exempt you will need to quarantine for the first 14 days after you arrive as per the current guidance. If this is applicable to you, we ask that if you can (you have received an offer from us, accepted and paid your deposit) you try to arrive between Monday 7- Friday 11 September 2020 to complete the quarantine period.

If you are unable to arrive during these dates, we will still be able to support you in quarantine, but you may need to quarantine in temporary accommodation provided by us before moving into your allocated UCL Accommodation. This will be arranged directly with you once you have requested your early arrival.

Once you have submitted your request you will receive an email from us to confirm whether it has been possible to meet your request or not. If you are made an offer of accommodation for the requested earlier arrival date, you will need to return to the accommodation portal to accept your offer as soon as possible, or the offer may be withdrawn. If your request results in a change to your contract start date you will also be asked to indicate that you accept the amendment to your License Agreement. Please do not plan any travel until you have received your offer and confirmation on your planned arrival date from us.

If I do not like my room or hall, will I be able to move to another room or hall?

Unless in the event of exceptional circumstances which would be considered on an individual basis, no, unfortunately you will not be able to move to another room or hall.  


Financial

Do I have to pay for quarantine accommodation?

We will not be charging additional accommodation fees for early arrivals. The chargeable period will begin only from 26 September 2020, even if you arrive earlier to quarantine. Please note that you will however be responsible for associated food costs for the current 14 day quarantine period. For more details on these food costs, please keep an eye on this webpage for further details.

If this is applicable to you, we ask that if you can (you have received an offer from us, accepted and paid your deposit) you try to arrive between Monday 7- Friday 11 September 2020 to complete the quarantine period.  If you are unable to arrive during these dates, we will still be able to support you in quarantine, but you may need to quarantine in temporary accommodation provided by us before moving into your allocated UCL Accommodation. This will be arranged directly with you once you have requested your early arrival.

For further information on quarantine, including how to submit your Early Arrival Request or Late Arrival Notification, support available during your time, details about food throughout the 14 days and more, check out our quarantining in halls page.

I have an Access UCL offer. Will I still get my accommodation bursary?

Yes, if you have an Access UCL offer (firm or insurance) and meet the eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation, you will receive the accommodation bursary.  

If I decline my accommodation offer, is there a penalty or charge?

As long as you decline your offer before your contract start date, there is no penalty or charge. 

I am a home student, will there be additional charges if I have applied for early arrival?

If you have accepted an offer of UCL accommodation, you can apply for early arrival via our accommodation portal. Please note that the earliest date for early arrival is 07 September. If you are arriving early, you will not be charged rent until your contract start date which is 26 September.  


General


I have a health condition which puts me at higher risk of Coronavirus

Please contact our Accommodation Office by emailing accommodation@ucl.ac.uk

Will response times be affected with the university working offsite?

The UCL Accommodation Office team are continuing to work from home and enquiries are being processed as quickly as possible. We kindly ask that applicants are as patient as possible as it may take slightly longer than normal to process applications. 

Will the accommodation office be open?

The Accommodation Office will continue to operate as an online service only and will not be open for face to face enquiries. Should you have the need to contact the team, then please email accommodation@ucl.ac.uk