Frequently asked questions

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Here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions:

Optivo Students buildings

What utilities are included?

Your rent covers water, electricity, gas (if applicable) and W-Fi. However, if you want to bring a TV you’ll need to pay for your own TV license.

What size are the rooms?

The room sizes vary per building. We suggest you look at each buildings page to get a better idea of the available rooms and typical room sizes.

Goldsmiths House
Helen Graham House
Park House
Wood Green Hall

Who does the cleaning?

All communal areas are cleaned daily at our sites except for at Park House, which is cleaned once a week. We don’t clean your rooms, but we do have a communal vacuum cleaner you can use.

Do any of the buildings allow smoking?

All of our buildings are no smoking buildings. To smoke you’ll have to leave the building.

What do I have to bring with me when I move in?

Each resident will need to bring your their own bedding and kitchen items when they move in.

Is Wi-Fi available?

The Wi-Fi in all our buildings reach speeds up to 150 Mbps throughout.
* Speed guides (assuming a single spatial stream device) – i.e. the lowest speed that you will achieve for your devices 50% of the time, based on measurements during peak hours of 8pm until 10pm, in accordance with Ofcom guidance. Sometimes you will achieve more than this and sometimes less. Speeds will typically range from 40Mbps to 120Mbps. Upload speeds will be similar.
 
* Note that some devices such as premium laptops (dual spatial stream) will achieve considerably higher speeds – as much as double the speeds quoted.
 
*Please note that the actual speed for a user session will vary – there is a “bell-curve” or normal distribution around the mean speed.

Are the buildings single or mixed sex?

All our buildings are mixed sex with the exception of Goldsmiths House which is female only. At our mixed sex sites you can request to be located in a single or mixed sex section. You will need to tell us this when making your online application.
 

Booking your accommodation

When do I have to pay my rent?

If you have opted to pay your rent in instalments, you will need to make payments at set times in the year. These are outlined below:

25 week contracts

  • One weeks rent on signing of your contract
  • 24 weeks rent due on 9 January 2021

35 week contracts

  • One weeks rent on signing of your contract
  • 24 weeks rent due on 9 January 2021
  • 10 weeks rent due on 29 April 2021

40 week contracts (starting in Spetember 2021)

  • One weeks rent on signing of your contract
  • 19 weeks rent due on 25 September 2021
  • 20 weeks rent due on 12 January 2022

50 week contracts (starting in September 2021)

  • One weeks rent on signing of your contract
  • 19 weeks rent due on 25 September 2021
  • 20 weeks rent due on 12 January 2022
  • 10 weeks rent due on 28 April 2022

Can I see a sample of the licence agreement?

You can download a 40/50 week sample licence agreement here.

Do I need a guarantor?

You will need a guarantor if you want to pay your rent in instalments. The guarantor should be UK based. You will be able to provide your guarantors details when you complete your online application.

How do I apply for a room?

To apply for a room you’ll need to complete an online application through our application website. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete the initial part of your application. After you have submitted this, a member of our team will review it and come back to you within 3 working days.

If your application is successful, a room will have been assigned to you. You'll receive an email with a link to complete your application.
 

Do I have to pay a deposit?

We don't take deposits, however we do ask that applicants pay one weeks rent to secure their room. You'll need to pay this through our application website after you have been assigned a room.

What is your cancellation policy?

Students are at the heart of everything we do at Optivo Students and we want to support you as much as possible. For this reason, we've made our cancellation policy flexible to give you peace of mind.

Download the full cancellation policy.

Covid-19

I’m travelling from outside the UK, do I need to quarantine?

Fully vaccinated travellers now only need to complete a post arrival test.

Unvaccinated travellers must quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 full days, as well as taking post arrival tests. 

Please make sure you keep up-to-date with the guidance regarding travel on the Government website.

What do I need to do if I need to quarantine in Optivo Students accommodation on arrival in the UK?

If you need to quarantine at our accommodation when you arrive, we recommend you arrive at your accommodation 14 days BEFORE your contract start date. You will NOT be charged extra for this. Please arrange this with the team at your accommodation. You’ll find their contact details above. We’ve put together a guide on how to self-isolate while at your accommodation. It includes details about how to get your food shop online, how to get essentials – like bed linen and crockery – delivered straight to your room, and how to use the bathrooms and kitchens during your quarantine period.
 
If you’ve chosen to quarantine with us free of charge, come straight to our accommodation from the airport and only use public transport if there is no other option. You must wear a face covering on public transport.

Do I need to self-isolate if someone in my household is self-isolating?

You may need to self-isolate if:

If any of these apply to you, check the stay at home guidance provided by the UK government and notify your accommodation team with an email.
 
We’ll need to inform anyone who you share cooking or washing facilities with, and put in place plans to support you, and anyone impacted, to self-isolate safely.

 

Can I have guests at my accommodation?

We're aware (as of 19 July 2021) the Government ended most of the rules in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

But, for the safety of our staff and all our students, we’re not currently allowing visitors into any of our accommodation. This applies to both day and overnight guests. This is to prevent the spread of Covid-19 throughout the accommodation.

Mass gatherings, including house parties in our accommodation will also not be allowed.
 
Please don’t invite any guests into our accommodation.

If this rule changes for our accommodation, we will let you know.

There is one exception: If you’re packing up to go home, you may bring two guests in to help you. Please make sure they do not stay longer than is necessary.

Should face masks be worn?

To keep yourself and others safe, we'd advise you to wear face coverings when you leave your household bubble at your accommodation, specifically in the corridors and reception areas.

You are also encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. In additionm you'll need to wear a face covering when using public transport.

I’ve heard international and national students will be separated within the accommodation?

This is not true. One of the best things about our accommodation is you get to meet students from all over the world and learn about new cultures. We won’t be taking this away from you.

Who is my ‘household’?

A household is anywhere with a shared bathroom or kitchen or community living. This may be your flat. It could also be all the rooms on a corridor with shared facilities.

Rules on self isolating have changed in the UK. If anyone within a household has tested positive for coronavirus, they may be required to self isolate for 10 days from when they first had symptoms. Please check what you'll need to by checking the UK Government 'stay at home' guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Is there anyone who can support me through self-isolation?

Your onsite accommodation team is available 24/7 for emergencies and can help you if you need to arrange things like food or medicine.
 
We also encourage students to ‘buddy up’ and help others who are isolating. If you’d like to volunteer as a buddy, please speak to your accommodation team.

How well is Optivo prepared to respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Like most organisations, we have business continuity and major incident plans.    

In response to Covid-19, we established two internal groups (Strategic and Operational) specifically tasked to manage the impact to our business and residents.  

They work collaboratively on our business response to the measures introduced by government as they’re announced.  This translates to local management plans which focusses on maintaining services and keeping our residents safe.

What safety measures have you put in place?

We’ve carried out Covid-safe Risk Assessments at all of our student accommodations.
 
We’ll deep clean your room and leave it vacant for at least 48 hours before you arrive. We’ll also be thoroughly cleaning communal areas on a regular basis.
 
Please follow signs at your accommodation. They’ll help you stay socially distanced and safe. There will also be hand sanitisers available throughout the building.
 
In some cases where it is not possible to maintain the required social distance, our staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes face coverings. 
 
We will be unable to provide you with PPE, although you can choose to wear your own if you prefer. In England, it is the law to wear face coverings in certain public places. 

Where can I find more official information?

There are a number of government sites available for further information relating to coronavirus matters, including:

Where can I find up to date health advice?

Official sources such as the Government, PHE and the NHS are updating health advice daily.  The most reliable information and guidance on symptoms and measures you can take to protect yourself and others is available on their websites.

It's adviseable to always check the NHS website for the latest health advice for the most up to date information.

Our booking promise

What happens if there is another Covid-19 lockdown after my contract has started?

If there’s another UK Govenment imposed Covid-19 lockdown after you have moved in or are outside the cooling off period, you can request to be released from your licence agreement at the end of the payment period we are in at the time. The payment periods are:
  • First 20 weeks: 25th September 2021 – 12th February 2022
  • Second 20 weeks: 12th February 2022 -  2nd July 2022
  • Final 10 weeks: 2nd July 2022 – 10th September 2022 (50 week contracts only).
Any rent owed for the period, you’ll need to pay.

Residents with 50 week licence agreements will have received a weekly discount due to the longer commitment length. They will be required to make a rent top up payment so that their payments are inline with those who have 40 week licence agreements.

Download the full cancellation policy.

What happens if there isn’t another Covid-19 lockdown?

If there isn’t another UK Government imposed Covid-19 lockdown during your licence agreement, it will run as per the outlined terms.

Download the full cancellation policy.

Will I receive a refund on my first weeks rent if my place at university is withdrawn?

Yes, if your university place is withdrawn, you can request to terminate your licence agreement up until 27 August 2021. You will need to send your Optivo Students accommodation team an email and provide evidence to support your cancellation e.g. a cancellation letter from UCAS. Once this has been checked and confirmed we can issue a refund.

Download the full cancellation policy.

Will I receive a refund on my first weeks rent if I'm denied a visa?

Yes, if you've made reasonable attempts to obtain a visa and it is denied, you can request to terminate your licence agreement up until 27 August 2021. You will need to send your Optivo Students accommodation team an email and provide evidence to support your cancellation e.g. an email or letter from the visa issuing office outlining the reasons the application was denied. Once this has been checked and confirmed we can issue a refund.

Download the full cancellation policy.

Can I find someone to take over my licence agreement?

Yes, if you wish to leave your accommodation you can find a replacement tenant to take over your licence agreement. They will need to agree to pay the same weekly rate for the remainder of your existing licence agreement. It will be your responsibility to find the replacement. Once they have completed all the required actions to take over your licence agreement, you will be released.

Download the full cancellation policy.


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