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Student housing - your behaviour in halls

This advice applies to Scotland

Coronavirus - ending your agreement in halls early

You can end your student tenancy agreement in halls or purpose-built student accommodation early, for a reason relating to coronavirus. 

More about ending your agreement in halls early due to coronavirus

You can find more information about students and coronavirus on the Student Information Scotland website. You can contact your college, university or student accommodation provider to discuss the support that is available to you.

If you live in halls of residence, or other accommodation, owned by the educational establishment there are strict rules about behaviour. These rules are usually explained in a Code of Conduct, tenancy agreement or tenant information pack. They can also be used to control behaviour in private accommodation provided on behalf of the educational establishment.

Your behaviour can have an impact on being allowed to stay in halls. In some educational institutions it can also have an impact on whether or not you are allowed to continue your academic course or graduate.

This page highlights some of the issues you may need to be aware of.

What powers do educational institutions have as landlords?

Educational institutions as landlords have the power to discipline student residents using disciplinary procedures. When you have signed your tenancy or occupancy agreement you will have agreed to accept these terms.

For example, a student who deliberately set off a fire alarm in their halls of residence could be fined or face some other penalty under a Code of Conduct if there is one. This is different to the powers of a private landlord who could not do that for a similar incident in private rented accommodation. It could only take action if the tenant had breached a term in their tenancy agreement.

Where there is a very serious breach of a Code of Conduct or disciplinary procedure an educational institution can ask you to leave the accommodation.

Does your agreement refer to such procedures or codes?

If your tenancy or occupancy agreement doesn't refer to or incorporate the disciplinary procedure or codes then you may be able to argue that you weren't aware of the rules when you signed the agreement.

For a contractual term to be legally binding it needs to be in an agreement you have signed or reasonable notice of it has to be given to you before the contract is complete.

What should you do if you are being asked to leave the accommodation because of how you have behaved?

It's likely that an educational institution would only ask you to leave the accommodation if what you did was a serious breach of their disciplinary procedure or Code of Conduct.

However, if you do find yourself in this position it's important to consider:

  • whether the landlord has acted proportionately, and
  • if you've had the opportunity to give your version of events before the landlord reached its decision or the decision at an appeal.

If you find that you're at risk of losing your accommodation but don't think that your landlord has acted fairly, you should get help from an adviser or your students' union. You should also get a copy of the procedure or code that your landlord is using to take action against you to see if you have a right to appeal.

What happens if visitors behave badly

If one of your visitors behaves inappropriately in your room or hall of residence you are usually responsible for this. It is usually up to you to try to control their behaviour. Check what it states in your tenancy agreement.

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