Q. How far in advance do I need to book?
We just don’t know how many students will apply for our spaces each year, so as soon as you’ve decided that Student Castle is for you we recommend you get booking! As soon as you’ve paid your deposit (£350) and returned your signed Licence Agreement, your room is safe.
Q. What bills do I need to pay?
The short answer is nothing – we cover all your utility bills (gas, electricity and water), plus super-fast broadband, WiFi and insurance for your stuff. Some Student Castles include in-room TVs, and where these are present we pay your TV licence too! The only bill you’ll have to pay is if you bring in your own TV – the licence costs £145.50 and can be paid in monthly or quarterly instalments.
Q. What happens if I want to cancel my booking?
Get in touch and tell us straight away. How much we can help will depend on the timing and the circumstances of your cancellation.
Q. Do I pay a booking fee/reservation fee?
Like most Licensors, we ask for a non-refundable booking fee to take your studio or room off the booking system – this is currently £150 -.£250 When you move in your booking fee will turn into a damage deposit. Unfortunately, we can’t refund the booking fee under any circumstances.
Student Castle protects your deposit using a government-authorized deposit protection scheme. The deposit is protected by the Deposit Protection Service.
Q. Can I change my room?
If you’d like to change your room once you’ve moved in, we’ll do our best to accommodate you (provided we’re not fully booked). Any moves will incur a £50 admin fee. If you’ve moved to a cheaper room, any excess rent you’ve already paid will be knocked off your next instalment – if you’ve already paid for the whole year, we’ll simply give you a refund.
Q. Is there a credit/debit card fee?
Not from our end. However, some credit cards can cost you an extra 2% or more, so check before you pay.
Q. What happens if I change my mind and don’t show up?
Once you’ve signed your Licence Agreement, we’re bound by law to provide you with a room – and that means you don’t have any choice about paying the rent. It also means we can’t try to re-let your room without your written permission. If you don’t turn up, it’ll make it very hard for us to find a new Licensee for your room – that means you’ll be paying your rent whether you move in or not.
Q. Can I cancel my contract once I’ve paid my deposit and signed the Licence Agreement?
Licence Agreements are legally binding, so once you’ve signed and returned your contract you’re required to pay your rent. The flip side of this is that the room is legally yours until the end of your contract, so we can’t find a new Licensee without your express written permission. If (under special circumstances only) you need to pull out of the Licence Agreement, we’ll try to find a replacement Licensee for your room – but we can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to, and you shouldn’t rely on this as a strategy. If we can find a new Licensee then we can release you from your contract, but you’ll be charged £150 - £250 to cover admin costs. If you cancel before signing your agreement then you won’t have to pay any rent but, again, you’ll incur a deposit charge – this will be covered by your booking fee.
If you’ve applied to Student Castle before receiving your results and do not get the grades to go to university you will still be bound by our cancellation policy. We may well have a waiting list of students who want to take your room, but we cannot guarantee that. If we can’t find a new student, unfortunately, you will have to pay your rent for the duration of your Licence Agreement (typically 51 weeks). We know this sounds harsh, but it’s important that you understand the situation and it’s best to book once you have your results.
Q. Do you take a deposit?
We take a non-refundable booking fee, which will become a damage deposit when you move in or will be used to cover admin costs if you cancel your agreement before it starts. Student Castle protects your deposit using a government-authorised deposit protection scheme. The deposit is protected with the Deposit Protection Service.
Q. Are electronic signatures valid?
Yes – we’re living in the future, so electronically signed documents are legally valid.
Q. When do I need a Guarantor?
If you want to pay your rent in three instalments, you’ll need a UK-based guarantor. A guarantor is someone who lives and works in the UK full time and is willing to sign a contract saying they’ll pay your rent if you fail to do so. We will run a credit check on your guarantor – if they happen to fail we’ll get in touch about what to do next. Your guarantor cannot be another student, a company or a government.
If you do not have a guarantor then you’ll need to pay your rent for the whole Licence Agreement in advance.
Q. What is included in my rent?
All your utility bills (including super-fast broadband and WiFi) are included, as are contents insurance for your room and TV licences for any communal areas. In some developments we’ve also provided TVs in individual rooms – wherever we’ve done this, we’ll also pay the TV licence. If you don’t have a TV in your room and you want one, you’ll have to pay for your own TV licence, which can be settled on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Q. What happens if my student loan is late and I can’t pay my instalment on time?
It shouldn’t be – the loans are usually banged on time, and they match up with our instalment dates. If there is a problem, we’ll need a letter from the loan company (to prove you have a loan coming) and four weeks’ advance rent before you move in September.
Q. What happens if my loan doesn’t get paid on time?
You can get in touch with the Student Loans Company here, but please keep us posted and we can help you.
Q. What happens if I can’t make my payment on time?
Come and talk to us – we may be able to help out by delaying your payment, but if we don’t know there’s a problem then we can’t do anything! If your payment is seven days late and we haven’t heard from you, you’ll be charged a £30 admin fee.
Q. Can I leave early and get the remainder of my rent back?
Basically, we can only afford to do this if we can find someone else to take your room. If you decide you want to leave early, tell the managers of your site ASAP and let them know the date you’d like to leave. We can then mark your room as “available” and let people know it’s an option if they enquire about moving in. If we can find a new Licensee, we’ll let you out of your agreement from the day they move in, and refund you any unused rent that you’ve paid in advance (minus a £350 admin fee). You’ll also get your damage deposit back, with deductions if there’s any damage to your room. Do remember that we can’t guarantee we’ll find someone to take over your rent – and if you owe any rent or other money, we won’t consider re-letting your room.
Q. What is a Licence Agreement?
A Licence Agreement is a legally binding document that defines the terms of your agreement. It sets out what you have to do (pay your rent and keep to the rules) and what your Licensor – that’s us – must do (give you somewhere to live, keep communal areas clean, etc). If there are any disagreements about the terms of the tenancy, both we and you can refer to the Licence Agreement.
Q. Can I use my loan to pay my rent?
Of course, you can. It’s your money!
Q. Can I move in earlier or later than my Licence Agreement date if need be?
This depends if your room is ready, so it’s best to contact the scheme directly. You would need to pay for the extra days beforehand though. You can move in later if you let us know in advance and get your first payment sorted.
Q. If for whatever reason I decided to leave university, how much notice do I need to give?
This depends on your individual circumstances. Since we’re not part of any university, choosing to leave your course doesn’t change the fact that you’ve made a legal commitment to live at a Student Castle development. We do, however, have a re-let policy (which you can obtain from your scheme manager) and will try our hardest to re-let your room so we can give you some of your rent back.
Q. What's the best way for me to pay for my rent?
Whatever works for you, so long as it’s not cash! Debit card, credit card or money transfer are all fine – make your choice when you complete your booking.
Q. Do you send rent reminders?
We’ll send out reminders in advance of every rent date.
Q. Can I re-let my room to my friend if I leave early?
Yes, but please request our re-let policy from the scheme manager first.
Q. How do I sign my copy of the Licence Agreement?
Once you’ve accepted an offer, you’ll be sent a link to Adobe EchoSign’s secure and trusted the electronic signature system. You can use this to sign your Licence Agreement electronically, after which you’ll need to upload your documentation. At this point, we’ll confirm your booking and you can make your first rental payment. If you have a guarantor they’ll also need to sign electronically and upload their ID/proof of address – once you’ve signed they’ll receive the details they need. We perform a credit check (supplied by Experian) on all guarantors.
We accept passports, driving licences and national identification cards (but NOT student ID cards) as valid proof of ID. For proof of address, your guarantor should supply a copy of a utility bill or tax or bank statement dated within the last six months and addressed to them.
Q. When do I receive my signed copy of the License Agreement?
You’ll receive an electronic copy (signed by us) on your moving-in day.
Q. When do I get my student loan?
It depends when you applied, but all loans should be in your bank account by the day you move in to make things simple. You can find out more here.
Q. How much am I entitled to?
That depends. All students are individually assessed to see how much they need, and then they receive a personalised loan amount.
Q. Does my loan get paid straight into my bank account?
That’s up to you. Some students like to receive their loan themselves; others have it paid to their parents so they can help with budgeting.
Q. Do I have to pay for electricity, gas or water?
Absolutely not! Everything’s included in your rent to keep things super simple.
Q. When’s the latest I can book?
As long as there’s a room available. We keep our site perfectly up to date so you’ll be able to see where our spaces are.
Q. Is bedding included with the room?
No – we don’t know what colours you’ll want! If you’d rather travel light, a handy set containing a sheet, a duvet and two pillows (with covers) can be bought from us on arrival. If you’d like to take advantage of this, you can look at the choices on our booking system once you have booked – please order in advance to make sure we have enough stock.
Q. Are there fridges in the rooms?
Yes – each studio or flat kitchen has its own fridge.
Q. Can I bring my own fridge?
Unfortunately, installing your own fridge would invalidate our insurance – please don’t bring one, because you won’t be allowed to take it into your room or flat.
Q. Do I need to bring any furniture?
Hopefully not! Our rooms are all really well equipped with storage and so on, plus the essentials. It’s probably best to move in and see how you go – you can always buy an extra cupboard later.
What gaming provision is there in my room?
More people than ever like to relax with a game, so we provide access to dedicated games servers with guaranteed low ping times and remote backup.
Q. Are there kitchen facilities in my room?
Yes – studio rooms and flats have a combination microwave oven, a hob, a sink and a fridge. Flats have communal kitchen spaces.
Q. Do I need to bring my own saucepans, wok, etc?
Can you imagine how many spoons we’d have to buy if we provided everything for your kitchen? You’ll need to bring whatever you want to use, although if you’d rather show up with everything waiting for you, you can always buy our handy Kitchen Pack.
Q. Is there a TV in my room? Can I bring one if not?
All common rooms and living areas in our shared flats (and some studios) are provided with flat-screen TVs for which we pay the licence. If your individual room doesn’t have a TV, you’re welcome to bring one along – just remember that it’s your responsibility to pay the TV licence.
Your internet package includes Freeview, which can be streamed directly from your computer (and includes some foreign language channels). You’ll also need a TV licence if you want to use this feature.
Q. Are there bike storage facilities on-site?
Yes – we try to be as eco-friendly as possible, and that means plenty of secure bike racks!
Q. Can I bring my car?
All our developments are based in city centres, with great transport links available, and we’re keen to be as “green” as possible so we don’t encourage students to bring cars. Very limited parking is available on a case-by-case basis – if you have a genuine need to keep a car at university, you can contact the management for your chosen Student Castle development to discuss your options. All our developments have nearby public car parks and drop-off zones, so when you move in and out you’ll be able to get nice and close.
There is a car park next door to our Manchester development – please ask the management office for details.
Q. Do you have a gym?
Some of our developments have free-to-use gyms – please check the individual location pages on this site.
Q. Can my guests use the gym?
Unfortunately not – our insurance doesn’t cover visitors.
Q. Where do I wash my clothes?
All our developments have brand new, easy-to-use laundries. You can top up your laundry card from your computer and then use it to pay for your washing, or use your phone through the mobile app – each wash costs £2.50 (£2.20 in Newcastle) and it’s just £1.00 for a spin. You can even (this is kind of amazing) check which machines are free online – right here, in fact.
Q. Is the laundry available 24 hours a day?
Yes, our laundries are open 24 hours.
Q. Is there Sky?
Yes! Sky TV, in fact, so there are hundreds of channels to choose from.
Q. Is there a TV in the common room?
All our common rooms have flat-screen TVs with Sky TV.
Q. How is it decided what we watch on the TV?
Good old-fashioned co-operation. We don’t mind what you watch as long as you don’t fight over it!
Q. Can friends and family bring cars when they come to visit?
All our developments have public car parks nearby – plenty of parking, no hassle.
Q. What happens if there is a breakage or problem with my room?
We have our own maintenance staff on-site to keep everything running smoothly. Simply log the problem on the Student Portal and we’ll be on the case.
Q. Am I allowed to bring electrical appliances with me?
For safety reasons, we can’t allow any overseas electrical equipment that doesn’t comply with all relevant British standards. This includes rice cookers. You can purchase these from us though, so don’t panic. We do not allow portable heaters in any of our rooms.
Q. Can my friend store their things/belongings/luggage in my room?
ABSOLUTELY NO WAY. Letting someone else store their things in your room is a breach of your Licence Agreement, and it will also invalidate your insurance coverage – so if someone was to steal something from your room while you were letting your friend keep their luggage there, you wouldn’t be protected. We don’t want this to happen, so we can always recommend local storage options!
Q. Can I have guests to stay?
Of course, you can – but please, just for a couple of days. We normally allow a maximum stay of two days per visit for guests, and you must look after your guest and stay with them at ALL times while they’re on the premises, to keep you and the other students safe. It’s also important that you don’t let your guest (or anyone else) use your keycard – we have to think of the needs of all our students. If you are in a flat it’s only polite to ask your flatmates too!
Q. Is insurance included in my rent?
Yes – through Endsleigh, we provide complete personal contents insurance to protect you and your belongings. Do check the terms of your insurance to see if you’d like to raise your level of protection.
Q. Is internet access included in my rent?
Where would students be without the internet? We provide ultra-fast new generation broadband at 50Mbps – that’s pretty fast.
Q. Is there a limit on the amount of internet I can use?
There is no official limit, but please don’t push it.
Q. What speed is the internet connection?
Our basic wired service runs at 50Mbps – that’s as fast as most people will ever need. To make the most of our internet, plug your computer into the Ethernet cable in your room – our standard WiFi runs at speeds of up to 30Mbps, which is still fast, but not as fast as the wired broadband.
Q. Is the development locked at any time?
No. Throughout your agreement, you’ll be able to access the building at any time with your individual swipe card. It’s very important that you never let anyone else use your card.
Q. Is there anything I can do to make moving in easier?
Get everything done in advance, really. It’s important that you’ve got all your documentation sorted in advance, including sending us photo ID, signing your Licence Agreement and paying the rent! Our management team will be on hand to help with any problems.
Q. Am I able to have a party in my room if I want one?
We organise regular parties and social events in the common rooms of each development (more details are in your information pack). We don’t allow parties in your room as well – this is because we’re looking out for you. You can’t control everyone who comes to a party, but if your room gets damaged you’ll be the one paying for it!
Q. Is your accommodation suitable for postgraduates?
Absolutely. Our studios offer a quiet, self-contained space in which to live and study, and you can still get involved with our parties, enjoy the facilities and generally make the most of student life.
Q. Whose responsibility is it to clean my room?
You’ll be in charge of cleaning your own room and helping to clean the communal area of your flat (if applicable). Doing your own cleaning is an important part of living away from home – you’ll be able to impress your family when they come and visit your sparkling room! If you just don’t think you’re going to get on with mopping, we do also offer a cleaning service (details are in your arrival pack and on our Student Portal).
Q. How safe is my room?
All our sites have directly employed staff on duty 24/7 to keep you and your room safe – and in the unlikely event of a break-in, we make sure you’re fully insured.
Q. How safe is the development?
All our developments have directly employed staff on site 24 hours a day, monitoring the entire site to protect you and our buildings.
Q. Can I smoke in my room?
No. As per your Licence Agreement, if you’re caught smoking or tampering with smoke/fire detectors you’ll be liable for a fine.
Q. Can I smoke anywhere on-site?
We would rather not as it’s bad for our developments and dreadful for your lungs. We do, however, have outdoor smoking areas.
We are committed to providing the best accommodation we can to meet a broad range of student needs.
Rather than try to plan generic “accessible” rooms in advance, we prefer to work with individual students to see how we can help. We have a certain amount of flexibility at each of our schemes, which allows us to offer a wide range of possible solutions, and we will also try to accommodate requirements such as a live-in or nearby carer wherever possible.
Q. Is there staff on-site 24/7?
Yes. All our developments have staff on-site 24/7 to protect both our students and our property.
Q. Do I need to buy a TV licence?
Only if you bring your own TV with you. Some of our locations have TVs provided in individual rooms – check the specification for your Student Castle development to find out if you’ll have your own screen.