Your accommodation agreement
Find out about your accommodation agreement – legally called a Licence to Occupy. It provides you and the University with certain rights and responsibilities.
What is your accommodation agreement?
Your accommodation agreement is officially called a Licence to Occupy.
It is a legal document and outlines how the University lets (rents out) to the Tenant (you) the Room together with its contents for the Licence Period subject to a number of conditions, which include actions that (i) The Tenant agrees, (ii) The University agrees, (iii) and Other conditions (iv) and accommodation termination.
Some of the key conditions of your accommodation agreement are highlighted below:
Accepting your offer of accommodation
When you accept our housing offer online, you will be accepting the terms and conditions of your Licence to Occupy, which among other things means you agree to pay the rent for the duration of your accommodation agreement.
You must accept your housing offer within three days of receiving it, otherwise your offer could be cancelled by us.
Should you decide to move out of your room during the licence period, you will be required to pay the rent until the end of your accommodation agreement, or until you find a suitable replacement which is agreed by the Housing Office, which cannot be guaranteed.
Paying rent for the duration of your agreement
Your accommodation agreement will note that you are required to pay your rent for the duration of your accommodation agreement.
Moving out of your accommodation early
Should you decide to leave your accommodation earlier than the agreement end date, you will still have to pay for the duration of your accommodation agreement.
This is unless you or the Housing Office find a replacement full-time Sussex student who is not already in residence and who is acceptable to the Housing Office.
If you are withdrawing from your studies at Sussex, you will have a maximum liability for your rent of 28 days, starting from when you inform the Housing Office and complete an Accommodation Termination form [DOCX 32KB].
If you are thinking of leaving your allocated housing, we can help you. Contact us immediately to talk through your thoughts. You must complete an Accommodation Termination form [DOCX 32KB] before leaving your accommodation.
As moving rooms will inevitably cause some disruption to you, we can help you resolve any issues you may have with, for example, your flatmates through mediation and other support.
There is an administration fee of £55 for terminating your accommodation contract.
Swapping rooms and finding a replacement student
If you are unhappy with your room allocation, you can use our Rooms Swap app on the Sussex Direct platform to look for another student to swap rooms with. This opens for everyone to use, one week after you have arrived, to give you time to decide if your room is right for you.
Once you have found someone to swap rooms with, you should both go to the Housing Services office together to complete the paperwork. There is a £26 administration charge per student.
Guests in your room
Your accommodation agreement will note that the Tenant agrees not to assign or sub-let or part possession of the Room or to accept paying guests nor to share possession of the Room without the consent from the University.
This means that you cannot let anyone else stay in your room or flat for more than three days out of a seven-day period, as outlined in your accommodation agreement.
Your accommodation agreement will also note that the Tenant agrees to abide by the University's Charters, Ordinances and Regulations.
Reporting housing issues
You must report any problems with your room or flatmates immediately to the Porter or Building Manager so they can be investigated in good time.
If you move out because of a perceived problem without reporting it first, you will be liable for the payment of rent until the end of your licence period or until you find a replacement.
You can download a guide [PDF 297KB] of how to use common appliances provided in University accommodation. All maintenance issues must be reported immediately.
Rent should not be withheld owing to maintenance issues. Instead, once issues have been resolved, you may be eligible to apply for a rent rebate according to our Rent Rebate Policy [DOC 24KB].
If the University has failed to address a reported maintenance issue in a timely fashion, this will be investigated and remedied by the Housing Office separately. See the contacts and operating hours of residences and view expected maintenance response times and the escalation process [PDF 127KB].
Any claims for rent rebate need to be made to the Housing Office according to the criteria outlined on our complaints page.
Rent and tuition fees
Both your tuition fees and rent will be on your Student Account together. They all need to be paid on-time during the academic year in order for you to proceed with your studies.
The University operates a system of differential rents across its housing and you can find out more information on our accommodation pages.
When we email you your allocated accommodation, you will need to accept the terms and conditions of your accommodation agreement to accept your allocation before you arrive.
A copy of our Licence to Occupy terms and conditions is provided below.
Accommodation agreement length
The agreement will specify the period of your accommodation agreement.
For students studying at Sussex for the full academic year, you will be granted a Licence to Occupy that runs for the following periods:
- 39 weeks for undergraduates
- 51 weeks for Masters and PhD students (50 weeks East Slope residences)
- 52 weeks for families.
All periods are inclusive of University holidays (such as Christmas and Easter).
The latest information is published in your residence handbook, which will be in your room when you arrive, and is available via each of our residence pages.
There is an administration charge of £26 for each person swapping rooms, and £55 for terminating your contract.
Read our complaints procedure to find out who to talk to if you have a problem or wish to make a complaint.
The Rent Rebate Policy [DOC 24KB] explains in what circumstances we may offer a rent rebate if you suffer a loss of service or amenity in the residences.