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Key accommodation information for parents and supporters

Explore our advice on how to support your child with their uni accommodation

Living away from home for the first time can be an incredibly exciting experience for your child – but it’s also natural for them to feel anxious, and as a parent and supporter, we know you’ll want to support them along the way.

Our parent's guide to student accommodation below offers you valuable advice on supporting your child with their accommodation – from where they'd like to live to where they can find additional support.

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Discuss where they’d like to live

When it comes to helping your child find a place to live, there are many things to consider as parents and supporters. We understand the importance of finding a place where your child feels safe and happy.

There are many accommodation options for students, such as halls of residence, private renting or living at home, but it can be hard to know which option is right for them.

Take the time to discuss these options with your child to help them decide on the type of accommodation they'd like to live in. You could also visit potential student accommodation options with your child to help them make an informed decision – you can typically do this during a university open day.

Make sure to provide your child with guidance throughout the process, helping them weigh out the pros and cons. Here are some ways you can provide support and get the conversation started:

  • Would you prefer living on or off campus?
  • Would you like to live with friends?
  • How far do you want to travel for uni?
  • Do you have a budget or spending limit for accommodation?

Discover more about their student accommodation options and help your child find the right fit through our guide to finding their perfect home.

Help them apply and secure their place

Once your child has decided where they’d like to live, it’s important they know the next steps they need to take. Encourage them to start the application as soon as they can and let them know you’re here to help.

To apply for university accommodation, your child will need to accept their place. After accepting their place, their chosen university will usually invite them to apply for accommodation and inform them of any key details, accommodation information and deadlines. They’ll typically have the option to choose between halls of residence or private accommodation and list their preferences. Once their application has been submitted and reviewed, they’ll be allocated a room.

If they go down the private renting route, they’ll need to secure their own accommodation. Most universities offer lots of support when it comes to securing private accommodation and adjusting the private sector. At Portsmouth, we offer an online house hunting resource that offers students a place to search for houses, flats and lodgings across the city registered with Student Housing.


Explore our halls of residence

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Get support with private renting

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Considering Portsmouth? – discover our accommodation guarantee

Your child will be offered a guaranteed room in halls if they apply for accommodation as a new full-time undergraduate student and make Portsmouth their firm choice by 20 June 2024.

If your child and their friend are both joining us and would like to live together, encourage them to get in touch and we’ll do our best to allocate them accommodation together.

 Email us

Know where they can get support

As a parent and supporter, it's natural to want to know your child has support after securing their accommodation.

Whilst at university, your child can usually contact their university housing team and get support with:

  • health concerns
  • homesickness
  • relationship problems (e.g. with housemates)
  • noisy neighbours
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Support at Portsmouth

If your child is joining Portsmouth, our Res Life is here for them. They provide welfare support 24 hours a day to first years in halls and the private sector.

Get housing support

Contact the team


Need extra accommodation information? Explore our list of frequently asked questions from parents and supporters:

My child applied through Clearing. Can they still get a place in halls?

Once your child has firmly accepted their place to study here, our student housing team will email them an invite to apply for accommodation. They'll receive this within 24 hours of accepting their place.

Can they stay in their accommodation over study breaks?

If your child is living in halls, they can stay there for the full academic year, meaning they can leave their belongings if they leave campus for Christmas and Easter break.

They are expected to leave at the end of the entire specified occupancy period (as stated on their accommodation contract). This typically happens during the summer. At Portsmouth, university owned halls of residence can be booked over summer by emailing If your child is residing in a Unite Students or Yugo hall of residence, they can book via their hall reception. You can find out who manages your child’s hall by exploring our halls of residence section.

If your child is renting privately, they’ll need to assess their tenancy agreement to determine their tenancy length and when they need to vacate the property.

Can I discuss their application or account with the Student Housing Team?

Yes – however, due to data protection, your child will need to list you as a third-party contact before we can discuss their application.

You can contact us via

I want to help pay for student accommodation for my child. How do I do that?

As a parent and supporter, it’s natural to want to help your child as much as possible. If your child is living in a university owned hall and you’d like to help pay for your child’s student accommodation, you can do this via either Student View (for full payments) or our Webpay portal (for termly instalments).

For full instructions, read our guide on how to make a payment.

Where can I stay if I want to come and visit?

If your child is living in halls, they can have 1 guest to stay for up to 3 consecutive nights and a maximum of 6 nights in one calendar month. All overnight guests must be over 18.

If your child is renting in private accommodation, they’ll need to check their tenancy agreement for any restrictions.

Do you offer student accommodation insurance? Are their belongings insured?

The University does provide basic student accommodation insurance cover for those living in halls. However, if your child brings any other items of particular value, such as televisions, computers, hi-fi, or musical instruments, then we strongly advise they take out additional cover.

Private accommodation will not offer any student accommodation insurance cover within the rent, so ensuring your child takes this out is important. As a parent and supporter, if you have insurance, check whether your child’s belongings are covered under your policy beforehand.

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