Surplus accommodation

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Apply for accommodation

Surplus accommodation applications for the 2023-2024 academic year are now closed.

You will need your Essex username and password to be able to apply.



If you have a debt to the University you will not receive an offer of accommodation until the debt is cleared. We will notify you of this and give you an opportunity to clear the debt. If we do not receive payment, your application will not be considered further.

Completion, continuation and part-time students

Completion, continuation and part-time students will not be able to apply online and should contact the Student Services Hub directly. We will give you a PDF application form to complete separately, which you will need to email back to us. Please note: completion, continuation and part-time students will be lower priority on the waiting list and will be placed below all new and returning full-time undergraduates and postgraduates on the list.

Current accommodation contracts

Surplus accommodation is only available for students without University-provided accommodation. If you already have an offer of university accommodation for 2023-24, you are not eligible to apply for surplus accommodation.

If you are already contracted to a property in the private sector, please be aware that your contract is likely to be binding for the entire period. 

You should not apply for or accept university accommodation if you are already bound by an accommodation contract with a private landlord.

Surplus accommodation priority

Undergraduates who apply for surplus accommodation will be given priority in the following order:

  • welfare/medical-need undergraduates
  • part-year incoming study abroad and Erasmus undergraduates who fall outside the guaranteed quota of available rooms
  • new overseas fees undergraduates
  • new home fees undergraduates
  • returning study abroad undergraduates
  • all other full-time undergraduates
  • all part-time undergraduates

Postgraduates who apply for surplus accommodation will be given priority in the following order:

  • welfare/medical-need postgraduates
  • new overseas fees postgraduates
  • new homes fees postgraduates
  • all other full-time returning postgraduates
  • all completion, continuation and part-time postgraduates

Offer and acceptance

We will send you an offer of accommodation when one of your choices becomes available.

Once an offer has been made, you will have 48 hours to respond and accept your offer.

Accepting the offer will constitute your formal acceptance of the terms and conditions.

If you reject an offer, or do not respond within the given time frames we will remove your application. If you want to reapply for surplus accommodation, you must notify us and we will reinstate your application.

Once you have accepted your offer, you will be expected to move in within 24 hours of the contract start date. You will be charged for the accommodation from the contract start date.

If there is any reason why we cannot accept your application to join the waiting list, we will email you to let you know.

Contractual arrangements

When you accept your offer, you will be accepting the terms and conditions made available to you electronically with your offer:

  • You will have a cancellation period of 24 hours from the date you accept your offer in which to opt to cancel the contract. However, the cancellation period ends once you have moved into the accommodation
  • After this time the contract is binding under English law
  • The University reserves the right to offer a longer cancellation period to specific student groups as it deems fit

Please note that you do not have the right to serve notice to quit. Once you have accepted the offer and moved into the accommodation, you have formed a contract which is binding and you will be responsible for the rent until the end of the accommodation agreement. You will not then be able to give notice on the room unless you withdraw from the University by completing the formal withdrawal paperwork and returning your key.

Completing the application form

Please make sure you have checked the residence descriptions and accommodation charges before you fill in the application form.

On the application form, please select your preferred locations in order of preference and do not select any location which you would not be prepared to accept. Please note that we try to offer you your first choice of accommodation, but we cannot guarantee this.

Unable to secure University accommodation

Need help?

If you are unable to secure University accommodation you have the option to live locally in privately owned rental properties.

The Students' Union house-finding service SU Homes might be able to help you find the perfect place to live. SU Advice can offer information about tenant rights and responsibilities, repairs, repossession, eviction, harassment by landlords, contracts, deposits, and much more.

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Terms and Conditions of Residence

Our terms and conditions give details of the terms of your tenancy agreement. By accepting a room when it is offered you are accepting these terms and conditions and you will be entering into a legally binding contract.