Cubo – the professional group for HE staff in campus commercial services – will take on the management of the sector’s government-approved accommodation code of practice.
In 2006, Universities UK and GuildHE the code to set new standards for student accommodation for health and safety, cleanliness, wellbeing and tenancy contracts.
The HE and FE association – College and University Business Officers – has contributed throughout the history of the 16-year-old regulatory framework and managed under contract for six years. It now takes permanent control of administering the code.
HEIs that sign the code approved by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are exempt from HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) licensing for student residences.
Having been involved since its inception, we are delighted to take on permanent administration and to support the further development of the code in times of rapid change in higher education
– Kirsty Woodward, Cubo
It means Cubo will take responsibility for updating the code and ensuring members are independently audited every three years. Currently, 147 providers have adopted the code. The association’s incoming chair said Cubo would ensure the code kept pace with changes in the sector.
Robin Walsh, head of residential services at Bournemouth University and Cubo board lead on housing codes and standards, said: “I believe this is a positive move for the longevity and development of the code as well as the students it ultimately benefits.
“Where a student lives is critical to their university or college experience, especially in their first year. It’s reassuring for students and their families to know that the Student Accommodation Code is there to protect their rights to a safe, good quality place to live.”
Kirsty Woodward, director of campus services at the University of Leicester and Cubo chair-elect, added: “Universities and colleges that have joined the code have done so because they are committed to raising the standards of student accommodation. Having been involved since its inception, we are delighted to take on permanent administration and to support the further development of the code in times of rapid change in higher education.”