This page is for students who have been rejected from Halls of Residence from the University of Surrey, and your options following the housing shortages. You should find all the information about your options here, and our FAQs at the bottom of the page. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
On 30th August, your Union held a webinar to support students and answer your questions, which you can watch back here
The current situation
The current housing climate, the Rent Reform Bill, and the Cost of Living crisis has meant that there are more students than ever applying for Halls of Residence. This means that some of you will not have been offered a room on campus – either due to missing your deadline to apply or provide information or, you came through clearing.
Our understanding is that those who were guaranteed a room and applied by their deadlines, have been offered a room or will be offered a room if you have not done so already. If you believe you should be offered a room and applied by the deadline, please email us.
The reality of the current situation means that not all students will find accommodation in Guildford to suit their needs and will need to consider other options such as looking further afield, commuting or deferring your place at University. We have added information on deferring and commuting at the end of this email.
If you are registered with Disability and Neurodiversity and believe you should be offered a room based on your needs, then please get in touch with email@example.com
If you were not guaranteed accommodation or you did not apply by the deadline then I am afraid that you are unlikely to be offered campus accommodation and we would suggest you start looking for a room. This year, the University do not have spare rooms on campus and so if you do not meet the criteria then you should look elsewhere.
Finding a room
We have added some information below for you on where to start, but we would advise that you follow the University guidance on downloading the app ‘Roome’ – they are offering support in finding accommodation in Guildford based on your budget and your needs. They will chat to you to find out your preferences and they can help match you to other housemates, to find a shared house in the area.
If you weren’t able to make the webinar, then following this link will take you to the recording: Housing and Roommate Support Webinar – Surrey Students’ Union (surreyunion.org)
You can find more information on finding a house and what to look out for, here
You might also want to consider looking further afield, to the surrounding areas of Guildford such as Woking, Aldershot, Wood street village, Worplesdon, Jacobs well, or Artington. You can find the bus links and train links below under “commuting” if this is something you are considering.
Many students may choose to commute if they want to attend University this year and are unable to find housing. We are currently in conversation with the University to look at subsiding fees for students who need Season tickets, or looking at bus passes for commuting students and offering more welcome events for those who choose to commute. These offers are not guaranteed, but your Union is committed to doing what we can to represent you, and make things easier for you.
We have been informed by the University that although parking is not guaranteed, there are ample spaces on campus for you to park. There are also lots of nearby residential areas with free on-road parking with no restrictions.
If you are considering commuting, you might want to look at the Guildford bus and train links:
We, your Union, will also be providing opportunities for those living off campus to meet one-another during Freshers week, with many Freshers activities happening in the day. Freshers Fair is a great opportunity to meet other students.
Deferring your place until 2024
We have been informed that any student deferring their place will be guaranteed accommodation next year if they apply by their deadline. There are some exceptions to deferral:
- Some GSA courses are not eligible for deferral
- Courses that have registration (such as Nurses, Midwives, Paramedics, Vet Med, Dietetics and Nutrition etc) are not eligible for deferral
Following pressure from your Students Union, the University have agreed that this year, Clearing students are exceptionally eligible to apply for a deferral. Technically the deadline to defer is 31st August, however following pressure from your Union, the University have agreed to extend this to 14th September to give students more time to find suitable accommodation.
To defer your place, click here: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/form/admissions-enquiry-form
If you miss the new deadline, or they reject your application to defer, then you may be able to take a temporary withdrawal to defer after this time. Temporary withdrawn students may not be guaranteed accommodation next year.
If you wish to discuss any of your options above with an advisor, please just let us know and we would be very happy to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is this happening?
The current housing market is unstable for renters, and more and more landlords are not renting to students, with the impact of the Rent Reform Bill. The impact of covid meant that residential properties were left vacant and offered to professionals and families. With the cost of living crisis impacting on incomes, more students have applied for Halls that ever before, with the certainty of rent included and a cheaper room that other Purpose Built Student Housing. Sadly, we do not anticipate this issue going away and without more housing in the area, this is likely to be an ongoing issue.
We anticipate that this has impacted around 600/700 students.
Additionally, the University offered more Halls to returning students this year which has impacted the room availability of new students. Whilst this is a small number, this has contributed to the issue.
What are my options?
Sadly, your options are limited as there is limited housing left in Guildford. You can wait for a room to come up, but all available rooms (less than 100) have been ringfenced for those who were guaranteed accommodation and therefore it may not be wise to wait.
- Wait for a room to come up: If you do choose to wait, 15th September is when returning students will find out if they are able to progress and some students will be terminated from University. This means that there may be some Halls that are free. We do not recommend waiting.
- Keep looking in Guildford and the nearby areas: You may find accommodation in Guildford, especially as of the 15th September. However, you might also want to try surrounding areas, as suggested above. Guildford has good transport links to Woking, Aldershot and good bus links to other places.
- Defer your place at University until 2024 when you will be guaranteed University accommodation
- Commute from home, which will be a good option for some of you.
What were the deadline dates?
All students who were offered a room had two deadlines (except returning students). The first deadline was to apply for accommodation, the second was to confirm their place if you met all the conditions. If you missed either of your deadline, your right to guaranteed accommodation was waivered. Deadlines were as follows:
- Returning students: Apply by 15th March 2023
- New Undergraduate students with Surrey as their first choice: Apply by 25th July, confirm their place by 25th July 2023
- New Undergraduate students with Surrey as their insurance choice: Apply by 23rd August, confirmed their place by 27th August 2023
- New Postgraduate students: Needed to meet their criteria by 1st August 2023 which included: Applied for their accommodation, met the conditions of their formal application and, the University is in receipt of their academic fee deposit.
I have been offered a room but it Isn’t what i want. What can i do?
If you have been lucky enough to be offered a room on campus, but it isn’t in a band that you were seeking then you have two options:
- You can keep the offer and try and swap your room with another student in October, when room swaps open. There is no guarantee that you will be able to swap so you should be sure that you are ok with your allocation, just in case.
- You can reject the room. If you choose to reject the room then you will not be offered alternative accommodation and you will need to find yourself a private room off campus – please see the information above. The University will not allocate you another room.
Can I defer? and when is my deadline?
Students who choose to defer their place at University will be guaranteed accommodation for next year. Normally, deferrals are not open to clearing students and the deadline is 31st August. However, after pressure from your Union, the University have agreed that clearing students who cannot find a room and have no alternative, may be offered a deferral.
The deferral deadline has been extended to 14th September 2023.
Courses that have a registration with the NMC, BPS, BACPS, HCPC, RCVS or otherwise, are unable to defer due to your course requirements. Some students on Guildford School of Acting courses cannot defer.
If i commute, is there help for travel?
Parking on campus and in the local area: The University cannot guarantee parking for students, but there is usually plenty of parking on Stag Hill campus for all, especially since the University have acquired additional parking this year. The local area has lots of residential space where students can park on the road for free including Park Barn, Cabell Road, Southway, Northway and other areas.
Bus passes: Students can get a discount on local bus services
Train travel: We are working with the University to see if they can offer one-off loan payments to students who wish to purchase a season ticket.
I applied by the deadline, but didn’t get accommodation
If you were a firm or insurance offer holder, who did not go through clearing, and you applied by your deadline, then you should have been given accommodation.
You should email firstname.lastname@example.org but you can also email email@example.com and we may be able to follow up for you.
If i went through clearing, and then reject this offer to make a new offer, will i be accepted?
As we understand it, all students who have the University of Surrey as their firm or insurance offer, will be guaranteed accommodation. It may not be the band of accommodation that you want, but the University will do what they can to give you their first or second choice. Clearing students are not guaranteed accommodation.
We cannot speak on behalf of admissions, so if you choose to withdraw your place from clearing, and then re-apply, we cannot guarantee that you will then be offered your place at Surrey again.
How can i find out where I am on the waiting list?
I am afraid there is no way to find out where you are on the waiting list, as the allocations are given based on your guarantee and they are balloted. We do know that the University have around 60 rooms left to allocate, and they are ringfenced for those students with the guarantee. You should not wait to find alternative arrangements.
How long should a private contract be?
If you are looking for private accommodation then your contract will be a minimum of 6 months, but normally they are around a year, so you want to think about the time that you will want to move out. Signing up for a year contact now might mean paying double rent next summer.
Purpose Built Student Accommodation tend to have 44 and 51 week contracts. You might want to work out what is cheaper – you might find that 51 weeks is just as expensive over the year as 44 weeks.
How can i find housemates to get a house?
We would recommend using Roome to find housemates at the moment. They are working with students to find suitable house pairings to help you meet other similar students.
What is happening on 15th September?
On 15th of September, our returning students who had exams in the August reassessment period, will find out if they are able to continue with their education at Surrey. For those students who sadly fail assessments during August, they may be suspended from study or terminated from programme.
This means that if they have Halls, their offer will be revoked and rooms will open up – this will be a very small percentage and we would not recommend waiting.
It does also mean that students in Private Accommodation may need to find someone to take their room off campus in a house share.
We would recommend keeping in touch with Roome.
Is there any financial support for students?
The University offer Hardship Loans to students who are in financial difficulty but there is no specific finance available to students who are impacted by this situation.
We are working with the University to see if there is more they can do to support commuting students.
I am an international student, is there support for me?
I am afraid that there is no additional support for International students in this situation but, you may want to get in touch with Friends International, who can link you up with other students in the community.
Will there be on-campus accommodation available throughout the year?
Yes! Although we cannot guarantee this. This would rely on those students in Halls at the moment leaving their accommodation, which we cannot say for certain. Rooms do open up throughout the year when students leave University, or are asked to leave Halls through disciplinary action. This may be a good option for students who do not mind commuting until a room opens up, but there is no guarantee when this will be or how long you will wait.
It is worth noting that if you choose to switch from private landlord to Halls, you would still be liable for rent in your private house and you may not be able to swap out.
Will clearing students join the University wait list?
Yes, anyone can join the waitlist but the demand this year means that it is very unlikely that you will get accommodation.