Wherever you live and whatever housing problem you have, the Welfare  Centre (part of the Students' Union) can give you advice. We can help whether you are seeking accommodation or with the current place you are living in, be that hall or house. Common queries we deal with are problems getting a damage deposit refunded from a previous landlord, students being threatened with eviction, the state of repair of a property and harassment by landlords. We are experienced in seeking the return of deposits if kept unfairly by landlords by using the Court procedures to do this and we can represent you in court if need be.

We offer a contract checking service all year round to students and we strongly advise you to get our opinion on the contract BEFORE signing. Drop into the Centre or telephone to book an appointment with an adviser.


Many students will find their place in halls through the University's Housing Office and in our experience most students assume that all the halls are University owned and run. This is not the case. Even though you may have arranged a place to live in halls in this way, most of the halls are actually owned and managed by private companies instead. Your contract will be with them rather than the University and they will be your landlord. Read your contract carefully before signing and contact us for more information if you have any questions.



Many students choose to live in the private rental market in their second and third years. The quality and cost of the accommodation can vary greatly and you need to make sure that you think carefully about any house you are considering renting. Remember, rushing into a decision now could mean a year full of problems. Take time to consider the location of the property, look at the state of repair and think about whether it suits your needs for the entire year. (Use our checklist above). Also consider the cost - can you afford it? Make sure it is a safe property. Talk to the landlord or agents to see the current Gas Safety Certificate / Electricity Safety Certificate. Check that the furniture complies with the Fire Safety regulations.
SULets is the Students' Union's very own lettings agency. If you are seeking accommodation in the private sector, you can visit the agency (based in DSU on the 1st Floor of the Campus Centre Building) or to find out more go direct to their website www.sulets.com



It is important to not panic when looking for accommodation for the next academic year. Although a lot of students start looking for somewhere to live in January, there is no need to do this. There will be plenty of good properties available after Easter and beyond.
Why not consider waiting until early September to find a property? In doing this, you will be able to negotiate a better deal for yourself and will avoid having to pay a summer retainer. The danger of signing up too early is that there is more time for problems to arise. For example, you may decide not to return to DMU, you may be forced to take an interruption, you may no longer want to live with the people you have signed up with. If any of this is the case, it will be very difficult to get out of the contract.
If you feel that you definitely need to secure your property before you leave for the summer, wait at least until after Easter.



NEVER sign a contract or other documents without reading and understanding what you are agreeing to. It is likely that you will be entering a legally binding contract if you sign which will be very difficult to get out of later.
IF you are unsure about any written document you are being asked to sign, ask for at least 24 hours to take it away and read it carefully before signing. Get advice from the Centre on anything you dont understand.
ALWAYS get receipts for the money you pay for your accommodation. Get separate ones for rent and deposit.
ALWAYS ensure that all of the tenants have a copy of the housing contract and keep your copy safe. You will need it later if you have a problem with your landlord.
ALWAYS make sure that you get the contact details of your landlord including their address; you may need to write to them formally at a later date.
CHECK that you will be safe in the property you are living in or about to agree to in the event of a fire. Ensure that there is a clear fire exit, smoke alarms are fitted and work and there is a current gas safety certificate in place.
BURGLARIES are common in student houses because valuable equipment is often present and in a large number. For example in a five-bed house, there may be five laptops, five iPods and five televisions.
ALWAYS get insurance to cover your possessions they are worth more than you think!
IN CONCLUSION, you do have rights whether you live in halls or in a private house. Always take precautions to protect yourself if something goes wrong. The Centre is here to advise and help; use us if you need to.



Housing Advice Guides

Ready to Rent – House-hunting video
This video covers some of the key points about how to avoid problems when house-hunting. You can download it on NUS Connect here or find it on Youtube here.

Ready to Rent – Signing a contract video
This video covers some of the key things to think about when signing a contract for a property in the private rented sector. You can download it on NUS Connect here or find it on Youtube here.

Ready to Rent - Moving In Resource
This resource covers some of the key things that students should think about when they’re moving into a new rented home. You can Download this resource from NUS Connect here

Ready to Rent - Tenancy trouble-shooting resource
This resource covers some of the main rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, as well as what to do if you face some common problems while renting.

Ready to Rent – Tenancy tips video
This video covers some of the key rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, as well as how to ensure that tenants have the best possible chance of getting their deposit back. You can download it on NUS Connect here or find it on Youtube here.

Ready to Rent – Moving Out resource
This resource covers some of the key things students need to think about when moving out of a rented property. You can Download this resource from NUS Connect here

You can download our comprehensive housing advice guide by clicking the image below.

 We also produce a housing checklist that you can use when checking a property over. This can be downloaded here.

Need more help? Get advice and support from DSU Welfare