What you need to do

At the end of your accommodation contract, you must make sure you clear your belongings out and vacate and lock your room by 10am on the final day of your contract (this will differ between undergraduate students, postgraduate students, and students at University Square) so check your Letter of Allocation to confirm. 

Pre-sessional students

If you're a pre-sessional student, you will have a different letting period. Your Letter of Allocation will explain this and tell you which day to move out of your room. If you have a term-time allocation, we will contact you about moving to your new room in September.

Returning your key

You must return your key/fob to us when you leave. If you live at Southend, The PasturesThe Meadows, The Copse or University Quays please return your key/fob to the accommodation office/reception in your area. If you are living on the North and South of campus in Colchester please return your key/fob to the Security and Safety Centre on Square 3 or the SIT on the 1st Floor of the Silberrad.

If you do not return your key/fob when you leave, we will charge you a £15 fee for a replacement key and a £5 fee for a replacement fob or window key (£20 fob charge for The Pastures). It is important you return your key/fob to confirm you are no longer living in the accommodation.

Out of hours

If you are leaving outside of our office opening hours, you should return your key/fob to the alternative drop-off points below.

All are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • North and South Courts: Security and Safety Centre on Square 3
  • University Quays: Security in Hawkins Quay 2
  • The Copse and The Meadows: reception in The Poplar building at The Copse
  • The Pastures:  reception in The Saltmarsh building at The Pastures
  • University Square Southend: Security at the reception desk in University Square

Leaving early

If you vacate your room and return your key before the end of your contract, we will assume that you have moved out early and housekeeping staff will prepare the room for the next occupant. You will still be charged for the remaining days on your contract even if you decide to leave early.

Items left in rooms

Please make sure you clear your room completely before you leave. We do not have the facilities to store any items left in your room. Unfortunately, if you leave any personal items in your room, we will have to dispose of them. We will not accept liability for damages or losses arising from the disposal of such items.

Have a heart

We've loved having you on campus. Now have a heart and help us raise funds for the British Heart Foundation when you are clearing out your room.

We are again taking part in this charity's annual 'Pack for Good' campaign by collecting a wide range of items which you are planning to leave behind, which will then be sold in their charity shops to help battle heart disease.

Last year we raised £30,968 for this worthwhile cause, which was nearly 18 tonnes of items diverted from the waste system. Well done to everyone involved and thank you for your generosity. We want to show our big heart by contributing as much as possible again this year.

A big thank you for choosing Essex and we hope you have enjoyed your stay. The British Heart Foundation will confirm how much we have raised later in the year and we will post the details here.

How to donate

What to donate

  • unwanted clothing, shoes, CDs, DVDs, books, stationery, small electrical items, sports equipment and clean bedding in to your bag (do not include quilts, pillows, blankets or cushions)

Where to donate

  • please use a bag provided (these are limited) or your own bag to pack your belongings and place them in your nearest donation bin

When to donate

  • you can begin donating a week or two before the end of your contract, when the bins will be regularly emptied



Ensure you leave a forwarding address with the postroom when you leave (we are not able to forward mail outside of the UK), or put a forward on your mail via Royal Mail.


We are not able to divert any mail, so please ensure that you put a forward on your mail via Royal Mail.

Storing luggage

Colchester Campus storage

The luggage storage service is via Central Stores, and is available at Colchester Campus for the summer vacation period.

Southend Campus storage

Luggage storage is available at University Square for the summer vacation. Please speak to reception for further information.

Commercial options

You can also arrange to store luggage with local companies such as Space Maker Self Storage, Big Yellow storage and All-unied.


Private accommodation

If you are a new or returning student looking for private accommodation in Colchester, SU Homes can help you find housing with accredited, reputable landlords.

Contact them on 01206 878978 or visit their office, off square 3.

student talking to support staff
Contact us

For enquiries about accommodation or about an application you're making, contact us at the Student Services Hub. Quote your full name and PRID or PG number on all correspondence.