Accommodation information for parents

Welcome to Residence Life and Student Accommodation Services

Whilst moving away to study in a new area is exciting for students, for their parents, it can be a nerve-wracking experience!

The Residence Life and Student Accommodation team want our students to settle quickly into student life and to enjoy the start of their next adventure. We are here to offer them advice and guidance on all matters relating to Halls and Private Accommodation living, and we encourage our students to use the services we offer for the duration of their time in Plymouth – not just their first year.

Visit our student accommodation pages for more information on our wide array of purpose-built accommodation and University approved private housing. Here you'll find images of all of our halls of residence, a map of their locations and information on prices and contract types.

Advice to give your son or daughter before they move to university

  • How to budget for rent, food, shopping and social life
  • Basic cookery, cleaning and laundry skills
  • Social skills for living with new people
  • Understanding responsibilities such as paying bills and signing important documents such as housing contracts
  • Safety and personal security in a new city with new people
  • Research all of the facilities at the University of Plymouth before they arrive

Parent FAQs

We have compiled a helpful list of answers to frequently asked questions that parents have had in the past to help applicants who are considering halls of residence and/or university approved private accommodation.

You can also find further information on our accommodation FAQs page.

Halls of residence

Is my son or daughter guaranteed a room in halls of residence? 

We guarantee university-managed accommodation to all undergraduate applicants who choose the University of Plymouth as their first choice institution and apply for accommodation before the deadline. Please check our accommodation homepage which will be updated with full details of the guarantee. 

How do they apply?

Applications are submitted on the accommodation portal

Semester two

Students who are studying at the University of Plymouth for semester two can make an application on our accommodation portal. Room offers will be sent to students in December and will be required to sign a licence agreement and pay a £250.00 deposit within seven days.

Instalment one - this payment is for 13 weeks' rent and is due on 19 January 2019

Instalment two - this payment is for nine weeks' rent and is due on 27 April 2019


Information will be emailed to students once you have paid your deposit and signed the licence. You will also be able to join your hall Facebook groups to meet your new neighbours before you arrive.

When will they find out if they have been given a room in halls and where? 

Room offers will be released from the end of June onwards. To secure the room a £250 deposit is required followed by four week's rent in advance. If the fours week's rent in advance is going to be problematic, please make contact with the Residence Life office. Please note that only the student intending to live in the room can sign the halls of residence licence agreement.

Can I discuss my son or daughter’s application or account with Residence Life?

During the application process, your son or daughter will have the opportunity to add third party permission contact details. We can only talk to those people listed as the third party contact in the accommodation application due to data protection. Please note this is not the same as listing someone as your emergency contact as the third party permissions will not apply to them.

  • Students can withdraw third party permission at any time
  • Anyone who calls wishing to discuss a student account will be required to answer security questions
  • After the application process has closed,  we will need written permission from the student from an email address listed on their account for a person to be added as a third party contact.

How do we find out moving day instructions for September 2018?

Prior to moving in, information will be provided on the university website. This will include route maps, parking and hotel information. Specific moving time slots will be emailed to them.

What happens if I wish to assist with my son or daughter’s hall payments?

Accommodation payments can be made on the accommodation portal (with the email and password set up by the student) via credit/debit card or a Paypal account. Payments are to be made on the dates stated in the license agreement. Here is an example of the academic year payments:

  • £250 deposit to be paid within 7 days of receiving a room offer via email
  • Four week's rent as the first rent instalment to be paid early September before they arrive in halls of residence
  • October – second rent instalment due
  • January – third rent instalment due
  • April – fourth rent instalment due

Where can we stay if we come to visit?

University-approved private accommodation

We have our own database of student properties – this is the only place where our students can find homes that have been inspected for suitability and safety by a member of university staff. Our service is not for profit, and the properties that we advertise are managed directly by the landlords themselves. We do not deal with any managing agencies and therefore our students do not have to pay any additional administration fees for arranging accommodation. Our landlords offer tenancy agreements from ten months – agencies tend to have longer tenancy agreements – something that not all our students want or need.

As a parent, it is highly likely that you will be asked to act as a guarantor for your student and it is important that you understand the financial liability that you will be undertaking if they default on their rent. This is quite a common occurrence, and we would suggest that you also see sight of the tenancy agreement that your son or daughter will have to sign – before they hand over any funds for a deposit or sign the tenancy agreement – to ensure that you are happy with the terms. Our office can explain the main points of the tenancy agreement to your student and reiterate the importance of the legal obligations involved.

When should students look for their home for the following academic year?

Our database of property – Studentpad – will have adverts running from the beginning of December each year, for the forthcoming academic year. Please tell your son or daughter not to rush in immediately and sign for the first property they see! Plymouth has a vast supply of property and the market is currently firmly in the students’ favour. They can ‘shop around’ and find the best property for them or their group of friends.

How do they find the available properties?

They use our Studentpad database. Once they have registered they will be able to browse through all the properties and make arrangements to meet the landlords to have a look around and find the best place for them to live. They can download a property checklist from our web pages as a guidance tool if they wish.

What will the landlords do?

The landlords will show the students around their property, explain the terms of the tenancy and the finances. If the students are interested in taking the property, the landlords will explain about the requirement for a guarantor, and provide a copy of the tenancy agreement for the students to look over before signing. No deposit should be paid until they are happy with the terms of the tenancy and have a guarantor confirmed. If they change their minds after paying a deposit, it is likely that they won’t get the deposit back!

What can I do to help my son or daughter?

Talk to them about their finances, and help them understand how it works. Deposits will need to be paid to landlords to secure a property, and this could be some time before starting at university. Often student do not realise that rent has to be paid by the dates set on the tenancy agreements. Many students rely on their funding, but often this arrives after the dates set on the tenancy, so a contingency plan needs to be in place for payments! Whether that is an arrangement through a bank or them using their savings, it is an important fact that is often overlooked.*

Household management

Many students have not lived independently before and are moving away from home for the first time. Knowing how to use a washing machine, knowing what a stop cock is and what it does, or understanding that if condensation is not wiped away from window panes it can cause blackspot mould, are areas of property management that they should be made aware of. Make sure that they understand that their weekly ‘food shop’ should also include cleaning products to clean kitchens and bathrooms! They will be responsible for the cleaning of their new home. Do they know that vacuum cleaners are not ‘self-clean’ and will need emptying when full? Make sure that they understand that if rubbish is not removed from the house and bagged correctly, vermin may be enticed to their home.