What you need to know: room moves and swaps

Woman carrying a box getting ready to move

Not happy with the room you’re living in? Here we take you through the options you have moving forward including the process of applying for a room move or swap.

There can be a number of reasons why you may want to change rooms after settling in from financial to personal reasons. We want our students living on campus to enjoy their experience as much as possible, and while many of you will be happy with the room you’re living in there will be some of you who are not. This is why we facilitate a room move or room swap programme from November onwards.

Why November we hear you ask? Well, we ask students to wait until November to make this decision to give everyone a chance to settle in and find their feet at university. Living with new people – often for the first time – can take an adjustment period as you all get to know each other and feel comfortable enough to be honest when you want to raise something. If you are looking for more advice why not check out our happy household blog by Caroline one of our RLAs. That being said, if you feel you need some support to help resolve any disagreements that you haven’t managed to smooth over yourselves, our Student Welfare and Community Life Team are here for you. They have lots of experience helping to improve any matters such as excessive noise, misbehaviour, hygiene and cleaning issues for example and can help with arranging house and flat meetings as a neutral third party. Equally, should you have a pressing need to move (such as a medical reason for example) then you can approach either the Student Support and Wellbeing Team, or the Accommodation Office to discuss this further and see what can be done.

Room move/swapping. What you need to know:

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What’s the difference between a room move and a room swap? A room move is when there is an empty room we can move you into, whilst a room swap involves a direct swap between two students living on campus. We help match and facilitate both room moves and swaps via our online room move form that will be available for you to complete from 9.30am on 1 November 2023. It’s a short form and you can follow the on-screen instructions to complete your request. Just remember most of our accommodation areas are usually full, so whilst we’ll always try our best to facilitate any requests we can’t guarantee a room move/swap will be available. Should a room move be agreed and completed, and if you didn’t find a direct room swap yourself (see below), a £50 change of contract fee will be charged to your student account. You should then pay the University online within two weeks of moving.

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Only room moves/swaps authorised by the Accommodation Office are allowed as your accommodation contract will need to be updated. This is also to ensure we have an accurate record of where you are living for fire, safety and security reasons and to ensure you’re paying the correct amount for the room you’re living in. Ultimately, if any informal exchanges are discovered you will be required to move back to your original room and you will be subject to disciplinary action under the University Non-Academic Regulations for students – consider yourselves warned and never move or swap rooms without getting this authorised through us in the Accommodation Office first.

You can apply for a room move/swap using our online application form.

Finding students looking to swap rooms. If we have a room available in the area you wish to move to, we will be able to move you without you needing to find a room swap, however if you wish to move to an area that is otherwise full you will need to find a fellow student looking to swap rooms.

If we have another suitable student in the area you are interested who is also looking to move to your area,  we’ll also pair you up and contact you about a room swap. Alongside location we’ll need to consider your academic year (so that new and returning students aren’t living together) and gender (to ensure there is either a balance or single gender in a flat/house).

Many students find potential students to swap rooms using social media so it can be a good idea to post that you are seeking a room swap. If you do this, include what type of accommodation you have (i.e. Keynes en-suite) but not your full address, as well as the type of accommodation you are looking for and keep an eye open for other room swap posts and comment on the ones you are interested in and see if they would also in interested in swapping for your room. Remember only one direct room swap is allowed and for a room swap to happen both of you must already have accommodation agreements.

Once you have both agreed to swap you need to email us in the Accommodation Office. Make sure you are both copied into this email using your Kent email addresses and include the information of the rooms you wish to swap (only here should you use your full addresses). We’ll then reply to your email to confirm, reject or ask for more information about your room swap. Plus, if you’ve emailed us because you have found your own room swap, and it’s been approved, the £50 change of contract fee for moving rooms does not apply.

You will need to clean and remove all unwanted items from your room/accommodation before you swap rooms so that your accommodation is ready for the next student to move straight into. 


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What if I want to move off-campus?

The above only applies when you are looking to continue living on campus, if you wish to move out of university accommodation, but continue to study at Kent you will need to find a replacement tenant to take over your room before you will be released from your accommodation agreement. A replacement tenant must be a Kent student on a full-time course who does not already hold an accommodation room/contract at Kent for this academic year. You should also always make sure that you find a suitable replacement tenant before signing any off-campus accommodation agreement to avoid the risk of becoming liable for paying two legally binding agreements.

Otherwise, if you wish to move out of your room because you are leaving university then you will need to follow a different procedure. If either of these two circumstances apply to you, check out what you need to do next via our FAQs or contact us in the Accommodation Office as soon as possible to discuss the next steps you need to take.

So that’s the room move/swapping process! Hopefully, you feel clear on what your next steps are, but if you need any more information please feel free to contact us