Student halls with flowers

Living in Halls

Find out about maintenance and repairs, cleaning, recycling, heating and what to do if you lose your keys.

Guide to Living in Halls 2023/24

The Residential Services team are here to help you deal with any issues while you live in halls. The Guide to Living in Halls is available via The Welcome to Royal Holloway app and the information on these pages is a useful and quick reference to answer any questions or concerns you may have.  


Vacation Residence

Residential Services provide accommodation outside of your term time contract. This can be in the form of an extension for a few days after your scheduled check-out date, for the entire vacation period or even an early arrival back on campus before your accommodation contract starts. 

Students can apply to stay in Reid Hall during the spring 2024 vacation period (30 March - 28 April 2024) for £27.15 per night. Please take a look at our FAQ document for details of how to apply. The booking website is now live.

Start of term FAQs

In can be difficult to find the information you need when you first start at Royal Holloway. To help you find out what you need to know, we've compiled this list of Frequently asked Questions compiled from the questions asked by previous residential students.

Hall Reception contact details

If you've got a question or problem, speak with your Halls Receptions. There are 2 Halls Receptions, serving different halls as outlined below.  

Email Address -

 Hall ReceptionTelephone Number LocationOpening Hours 
The Hub - Gowar, Wedderburn, Reid, Runnymede 1&2, Williamson, Butler and Tuke.

01784 443285

Hub Guest House

Main entrance foyer

Monday to Friday
8am-1pm and 2-8pm
(closed 1-2pm)

Saturday & Sunday 9am-1pm and 2-5pm (closed 1-2pm)

George Eliot, Highfield, Penrose and Founder's

01784 443440

George Eliot Centre, Block D

Ground floor reception

Monday to Friday 8am-1pm and 2-8pm (closed 1-2pm)

Saturday & Sunday 9am-1pm and 2-5pm (closed 1-2pm)




Hall Life team

The Hall Life team are on hand to run innovative events and campaigns for you and to promote a happy experience throughout your time in Halls. They are there to help and support you to live independently, as part of the student Hall community. Find out more about what they do.

Fire safety and electrical equipment in halls

In order to keep you and others safe, please familiarise yourself with the information below about fire safety provisions, rules and requirements within your halls of residence. 

Essential Fire Safety Information: Halls of Residence
Essential Fire Safety Information: Penrose and Highfield Close Houses
Fire Drill Safety Information

You are responsible for the electrical equipment you bring with you and for any harm which may occur to anyone because of these items. All permitted kitchen equipment must be used and stored in the kitchen area only, not in student bedrooms. All items listed as not permitted will be removed if found in student residences and returned at the end of the academic year. Please take a look at our list of permitted and prohibited electrical equipment in halls.

Guest visits and overnight stays

All students must ensure they follow the terms and conditions of their licence to occupy.  

To ensure that you all get the opportunity to know one another and establish your own flat agreement around guests, guests are not allowed during the first few weeks of the Autumn Term. All students, including early arrivals, are not allowed guests until Sunday 1 October 2023. From Monday 2 October 2023 onwards guests are allowed following the student accommodation guest policy guidance. There will be other times when guests will not be permitted and these will be notified in advance to you. These may be during exam season, Summer Ball and any large University wide event. 

Students must sign their guests in using this form.


Room and flat doors should be locked continuously, just as you keep your front door at home locked.  Always ensure that you have your College Card and key (if separate) with you at all times. Take care not to leave your keys lying around or lose them, as this will result in you being temporarily locked out of your accommodation.

If you lose your key or College Card please report it to your Hall Reception immediately and they can provide you with a temporary key. There is a charge for replacement of keys, locks and your College Card.


When you first move into your room, you will need to complete an inventory to let us know you’re happy with your room. Please complete the inventory questionnaire on your arrival day. 

If you don’t complete your inventory, we'll assume that everything in your room is in full working condition and as such, when you move out, we may charge you for anything that is missing, not working or that is damaged.

User manuals for kitchen appliances

The user manuals for your all of your kitchen appliances can be found here. 

Upkeep of accommodation and room inspections

To keep Halls and rooms to the highest standards we carry out regular maintenance. This includes checking water quality, boiler checks, electrical testing and servicing feminine hygiene bins. We will notify you via the student Welcome to Royal Holloway app or email you when these checks are happening, giving reasonable notice if we have to enter your room or flat. If anything is broken or damaged in your room, please email Customer Services as soon as possible.

Bedroom inspections are carried out once per term. Please take a look at the up-dated room inspection schedule for 2023/24 to find out when the inspections for your hall are taking place. Please note that some dates have changed in term 3 due to avoid the bank holidays in May.

For urgent issues such as power outage or major leaks, contact the Security control room (01784 443888). They will assess the problem and call the out of hours maintenance team immediately, usually within 2 hours. The Maintenance team will attend within 24 hours. For all other issues, they will attend within five working days.

Contractors and maintenance staff will be identifiable by their uniform and identity cards, and we keep a record of when any member of staff enters a student’s room. There may be other reasons why we need to enter your room at short notice. For example, if there’s an emergency or issue that we believe may be impacting your safety or causing damage to the building.

Maintenance response times are outlined in the College’s maintenance services agreement document.

Keeping things clean

Residential services are available to help and advise you on how to keep your rooms and communal living areas clean and safe. For guidance, please contact the Residential Facilities team. The weekly cleaning and inspection schedule for each Hall is displayed on the kitchen or pantry notice board. This service supports your responsibility to keep your communal areas clean. It's important that you follow guidance on social distancing whenever the cleaners access your accommodation.

In order for you to keep your own bedroom and shared kitchen/diner clean and safe, you’ll need to buy your own cleaning materials. A vacuum cleaner, mop, bucket and dustpan and brush are provided in each flat for your use. You’ll be expected to return your room, bathroom and all communal areas in the same condition as when you moved in. To help you, we have put together some recommended Cleaning Guidelines. To ensure you are taking care of yourselves and looking after our accommodation, scheduled inspections will be made by the Residential Facilities team during your stay (your Room Inspection dates are posted on the kitchen/pantry notice boards*). 

We recommend you put together a cleaning rota within your flat so that everyone can play their part in having a clean and safe hall. Maintaining a good standard of hygiene is very important to reduce the risk of COVID-19 contamination, food poisoning and to avoid potential pest infestation (bugs, mice, etc).


If anything is broken or damaged in your room, please email it immediately to our Customer Services team. They will arrange for it to be attended to and where necessary fixed or replaced – do not to attempt to fix it yourself.

The university's maintenance team will schedule a response. For urgent issues such as power outage or major water leak, the Maintenance team will attend as soon as possible and within 24 hours. For all other issues they will attend within five working days outlined in their service agreement. To find out more, ask at your Hall Reception.

The Residential Facilities, university maintenance teams and external contractor staff will be identifiable by their uniform and identity cards, and we keep a record of when any member of staff enters a student’s room.

If you damage university property you will be charged for repairing or replacing items. By damage we mean any deterioration to the property over and above that which is accepted as ‘fair wear and tear’. Some damages are not immediately obvious, such as marks left on walls from Blu-tac or stains on mattresses, but these could still result in charges.  Please take a look at our Guide to charges for damages document.


From time to time, it is natural that buildings will experience the presence of animals or insects that may be considered by some as pests. If you believe you have a pest problem involving rodents, birds or insects then please report it to your Hall Reception using our “Pest Control Guide” to provide accurate information to our team. 

Some insects are not pests and do not require management using a contractor. Some guidance is given below on how to deal with casual intruders to our buildings.

The rural nature of the University means the grounds provide an ideal environment for many insects and other wildlife species. Ladybirds, spiders, woodlice and silver fish are a few of the small insects who may seek a suitable environment in which to shelter and may enter rooms. Sometimes they gather in large numbers particularly around window sills and window frames and may be attracted to a bedroom window.  The most effective and environmentally friendly strategy for managing the ladybirds, spiders or insects is to vacuum them up as and when you see them in the same way that you would deal with them in your family home. As these insects are not pests and are a valuable part of the eco-system, the University will not undertake routine pest control treatments against them. The most effective means of control is for you to hoover them up when you notice them in your room as part of your weekly cleaning routine. 

Flies indicate poor cleanliness or housekeeping, e.g. rotting fruit or an infrequently emptied bin. The solution to fly problems is frequent and thorough cleaning. Fruit flies are generally attracted to fruit or drink residues, for example in recycling bins. Empty food containers should be washed out and placed in lidded bins. The recycling bins must be emptied regularly and cleaned out. In a residence, this is the responsibility of the students. Black flies or blue bottles are attracted to general food waste and a female may lay eggs unnoticed which hatch out later when the conditions are right. Control is achieved by good housekeeping e.g. rubbish removal, bin cleanliness and opening windows to allow the flies to exit the room. The most effective means of control is for you to ensure food waste is regularly emptied, surfaces and bins are kept clean and that you include your communal kitchen or pantry in your weekly cleaning routine. 

Ants are generally attracted into our buildings by food spillages or residues, especially fizzy drinks and sugar based products. Rigorous cleaning and housekeeping is the first step in control. All foods should be kept in lidded containers or securely closed food packets. Cleaning up of food spillages or residues and immediate washing of utensils and crockery reduce the attraction to ants. However ants will also sometimes appear inside buildings where there is no obvious attraction, e.g. in toilets. Report it to the Hall Reception if your initial cleaning appears not to be effective. 


During the colder months (normally October to April) all bedrooms are heated to maintain a minimum temperature of 18-19 degrees Celsius.  During warmer months (normally May to September) the heating system is turned off.  If your building is too cold or too hot, firstly check if your radiator is on/off. If the radiator has a temperature controller, you can adjust it yourself.

After you’ve adjusted it, wait a few hours, and if you still find it too cold or hot then report it via email. The Residential Facilities or one of the maintenance team will then come and check that the heating is working correctly within the set temperature levels. If you don’t have a control on your radiator, then contact your Hall Reception.

Useful advice on preventing condensation and mould building up in your room is detailed in this document.

Recycling, food and general waste

It is everyone’s responsibility in the flat to take all types of waste detailed below, on a daily basis, to your closest external waste collection area. Details of your nearest waste collection area are displayed on your kitchen or pantry notice board. In Founder’s and Reid Halls cleaners will empty these bins and replace them with new bags. In all other halls, students are responsible for removing all types of kitchen waste and recycling. It is a good idea to create a bin rota in your flat, so everyone has an equal share of taking out the rubbish! We're created this short recycling video to help you understand how to recycle effectively. Take a look at the recycling rates in all Halls from September 2022 - July 2023 here.  

Mixed recycling

Use the bin with a clear, plastic liner, which we provide.

DO recycle:
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Plastic drinks bottles, tubs and containers
  • Drinks cans and food cans
DON’T recycle:
  • Used/contaminated pizza boxes and food packaging
  • Takeaway coffee cups
  • Disposable takeaway food boxes
  • Foil and cling film
Food waste

Use the kitchen caddy, which we provide. This is for all food waste items, including:

  • Scraps and leftovers
  • Teabags and coffee grounds
  • Uncooked and cooked food
  • Fruit peelings

Glass should be separated from other waste streams using the green bags supplied in all kitchens and pantries, and disposed of in the external glass bins.  Do not store empty bottles in your flat; please remove them immediately to the designated bottle bins.

General waste

Use the bin with a black plastic liner, which we provide. This is for all other types of waste, including:

  • Food packaging
  • Foil
  • Contaminated recyclables
  • Tissues
  • Wipes
  • Polystyrene

If you have any questions about recycling and waste disposal, please contact our recycling team. 


If you are disturbed by noise levels, talk to the people who you think are responsible. Do this early on, before you become so distressed that you are liable to become unreasonable.

If you continue to be disturbed, contact Security directly, who will be able to help you.

Lost property

If you lose something during term time, you can register it as lost or collect it from either your Hall Reception or from the Security team who are based in the security control centre in Founder’s East. Where an item has identifying marks we will attempt to find the owner. Unclaimed items are donated to charity at the end of each term, though some items (such as perishable items) are destroyed when necessary.


There is a launderette within walking distance of each hall and the machines accept Visa and Mastercard or you can pay via Google Pay or Apple Pay. Launderette machines in George Eliot Hall work via laundry card or app.  You can use the Washpoint Live app - under the heading "Are the machines free" you can find out which machines are available and how much cycle time is left on your wash.  

Sending and receiving post

Please check details on our dedicated sending and receiving post pages.

Applying to halls as a continuing student

If you would like to apply to remain in halls after your first year of study, please visit the applying to halls page for details of how to do this.

Moving or swapping rooms in Halls

If you want to move to a different room or Hall this may be possible, subject to availability. Please check our guidance on Moving or Swapping Rooms for more information.

Notice to leave accommodation

If you are leaving your room in Halls because you are withdrawing, interrupting, changing to part-time or you have been asked to leave following misconduct action, you must complete this online form to let us know on when you plan to vacate your room so that you understand important information around your financial liability.

Once you have submitted the form you will have 28 days in which to vacate your room - you must ensure you check out at your Halls Reception by 10am on the date of departure.

If you want to give up your room for any reasons other than those listed above, please see below.

Giving up your room in halls

We understand that on occasion, students may not be happy with their stay in Halls, and there may be a number of factors leading you to seek to give up your room. We are here to support you and have provided a fair process where you can request a contract cancellation should that be the right course of action you deem appropriate for you in your circumstances.

Find out more on the process for requesting an Accommodation Contract Cancellation.

Advice during adverse weather conditions

Adverse weather from snow and ice to extreme heat can have a variety of impacts on the operational running of the College and also on students, staff and visitors as they aim to move around, attend lectures or meetings and go about their day-to-day activities.

Through our adverse weather plan, Royal Holloway, University of London, outlines the principles by which we will act in the instance of an adverse weather incident. Royal Holloway’s aim is to minimise the impacts of the weather, to enable students, staff and visitors to move around campus safely, and where necessary to close down parts of campus for safety. 


If you have any issue relating to living in Halls which you are not able to resolve, email your Halls Reception. 



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