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Living independently

Many students prefer to live independently in the local area rather than in halls of residence. You might choose to rent a room in a house or flat with other students, for example.

Don't forget that Accommodation team in the Student Life Centre is available to help if you need advice on contracts or have any other concerns about where you live. You might also like to view our list of frequently asked questions or our househunting overview.

Finding somewhere to live

  • What is KU Student Homes and how do I use it?
    Our free daily vacancy list advertises the latest room and property vacancies for Kingston students. Read more.
  • Students can also join the KU 2018/19 Student-Student Househunting Facebook Group, where properties and rooms are advertised.
  • Househunting events are organised for students in their first year of study looking for a property in their second year.

After you've moved in

  • How do I get a smoke detector?
    You can contact London Fire Brigade for a free home fire visit. They will offer fire safety advice and fit a free smoke detector if needed. Read more.
  • What is council tax exemption and how do I get it?
    Most full time students are exempt from paying council tax. If you are living in Kingston, Richmond, Wandsworth and Merton boroughs, the University has a data-sharing agreement so we will advise the local authority of your student status - you will still need to register with the authority as a student. If you live elsewhere, your local council will normally require you to have a council tax exemption certificate. You can get one from any University LRC, the Student Life Centre (Penrhyn Road) or Student Services Centre (Kingston Hill) once you've completed your enrolment.
  • Do I need to take out insurance?
    Yes, we strongly advise that you take out personal possessions insurance to cover any belongings you bring to Kingston. We accept no liability for loss or damage to personal property. 
  • What are my rights and responsibilities as a tenant?
    Your tenancy agreement is a legal contract, which sets out the terms upon which you can occupy a property. You have the right to live peacefully in your flat or house. Read more.
  • How can I be a considerate neighbour in the community?
    A large number of students will live in private sector housing in the local community. We understand that it will be your first time living independently. Do try to fully integrate into your local community and for tips on how to do this please see the guidance drawn up in partnership with Kingston Council on how to be a considerate neighbour in the community (PDF).
  • Can I get a discount on travel?
    Yes, if you are a full-time student, you can apply for discounted travel on the Transport for London network (some part-time students may also be eligible). Once you have enrolled, you'll be able to apply via My Kingston, our student intranet (remember you can't apply for the discount until after you have enrolled so please don't contact us yet!). Even better, we also run our own bus service between Kingston University campuses, which is free for students.

Contact us

Kingston University
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Contact us

Kingston University
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 9000

Top tips for house hunting

  • Sharing household jobs is a big part of living with others. You might want to decide whether to have a cleaning rota before you move in, for example, and discuss who will be responsible for what.
  • Have regular house meetings to make sure everything is going smoothly and talk about problems before they become serious.
  • Remember that you'll have to pay bills for gas, electricity, water and (if you have one) the shared phone/internet line. When you move in, check the meters and note down the readings.
  • It's a good idea to make sure you're all named on the utility bills to avoid being individually liable for payment. Think about setting up a joint account with direct debits for your utility bills.
  • If you have a television, remember that you will also need a TV licence.
  • You can make savings by shopping and cooking together. And don't forget to contribute towards household products – nobody wants to run out of toilet roll!
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