Student Housing: Know Your Rights


Multiple Occupancy

A House in Multiple Occupation is one which is occupied by three or more people from multiple families. When the household is bigger than five people or spreads over three or more floors, it requires the landlord to hold a special licence, whereby the local authority has decided that the house meets the minimum standards for the number of bathrooms, toilets, washbasins, showers, cooking and laundry facilities, and that the landlord is capable of looking after such a property. If you think your house is not meeting these requirements, contact the council.

TV Licence

The rules of this depend on whether your house is rented out as a whole property, or by room. If it is rented in the first instance, then only one TV licence is needed, but if it is let by room, each person will need one. You do not need a TV licence if you do not watch live television, which does include online live TV.

Getting things fixed

Landlords are bound by law to fix any problems in your house within a reasonable time. This is vague, but a general rule is the bigger the job, the longer they have to do it. However, if you have waited three months for a window to be fixed, ensure that you have written evidence that you have asked and then take the matter to the council.


This is a legally binding document, so be very careful when you sign it and make sure that you have read it thoroughly and understand it. You are free to ask your landlord to make alterations, although he or she is allowed to refuse.  Anything that is written in the contract must be carried out, for example if a landlord promises to refurnish one of the rooms over summer, this must be done. If it is not, you can take the issue to the council.

Council Tax

If the house is wholly occupied by students, it is exempt from paying council tax. However, you will need to submit a letter, available from your subject’s school, to the council. They will send you a letter about this and it is vital that you do send off for exemption, or you will have to pay the tax.


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