Moving out of student accommodation

This information will help you if you're thinking about moving out of University halls or houses.

Moving out before your tenancy ends

You’ll have signed a tenancy agreement for a certain length of time, and you’re legally obligated to pay the rent for the whole period.

However, we know that sometimes things happen while you’re at uni, and you might need to consider moving out even though your tenancy hasn’t ended.

If you’re thinking of leaving, please get in touch with us. We can help address any issues that are making you unhappy in your home, talk you through the process of finding an alternative tenant, or explain what would happen if you withdraw or intermit from university.

Room swaps

Generally we can’t offer room swaps within the first month of your tenancy. However, if you'd like to change rooms for any reason, come and talk to us to see if we have alternative rooms to offer. We might also be able to resolve the issue that's making you think about moving rooms.

You can also list your property under the ‘room swap’ section of the Studentpad message board for your campus to do a direct swap with another student. If you find someone you’d like to swap with, we ask you to both call in and see us in our office.

At the end of your contract

On the last day of your tenancy, you'll need to remove all your belongings, clean your room/communal areas and return your room key to us by 10am.

You can return keys to the Residential Service office when we’re open, or to Security if you leave when we’re closed.


Make sure you have changed your address with companies, family and friends who might send you post. You can set up a re-direction service through Royal Mail for a fee to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Any post we receive for you after you move out will be returned to the sender.

Unwanted items

Every year in spring or summer, we usually collect good-quality unwanted items to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

ARU Students’ Union often collect things like unopened, non-perishable food and toiletries so keep an eye out for info about this.

Duvets and bedding have to go in the general waste as no local charities collect these. Please don’t leave any items in your room as you might be charged for removal.

Summer lets

If your accommodation contract ends and you want to stay at uni over summer – perhaps because you have a job, resits or just a longer course – we can offer you a summer let.

These are usually available from the end of your current contract until late August.

We’ll email you about summer lets in April with full details of locations and prices.

Finding accommodation for the next academic year

Most students live in accommodation booked via ARU for their first year (including Chelmsford Student Village and our properties in Cambridge).

We sometimes offer a small number of rooms for continuing students, and you’ll receive an email about this to your student email address (usually in January for the following September). Students studying Medicine in Chelmsford will be given the opportunity to apply for the Student Village for subsequent years of study.

We also offer rooms to students who have a disability/medical requirement or are a care leaver, for the full duration of their course.

Most students move into private-sector accommodation.

We have a dedicated Tenancy Support Team who can help with your search, run House Hunting events each year, and offer advice if you encounter any issues once you’ve moved in to a private property.

We don’t advise you start looking for accommodation for the following September until around February/March. This is because landlords often don’t start advertising until around this time, so you’ll get a wider choice. Plus, of course, you need to be certain you actually want to live with your potential housemates and get to know them a bit first!

You can get prepped for your search by checking our private rented accommodation web pages.