Accommodation considerations for students with disabilities

A young student with a backpack and headphones around her neck, smiling and holding a red folder, stands in a modern wooden-paneled hallway.

There are a lot of things to think about before starting university, and if you’re a student with a disability or medical requirement, you might have some extra considerations to take on board. These could include whether the course can meet your specific needs, campus accessibility issues as well as finding suitable accommodation.

In this article, you can find out more information about the things to consider when choosing accommodation, including understanding your rights and ensuring you can access the appropriate help and support you might need.

Accommodation options for students with disabilities

Once you have accepted an offer from a higher education institution, it’s time to start looking into the accommodation options available to you.

Each educational institute may vary on what kind of accommodation is available, and the bigger the place, the more likely you’ll find a wider choice of options. However, no matter where you go, all universities are obliged to provide accessible halls accommodation and provide reasonable adjustments for students depending on your needs.

A popular choice for students with a disability or medical requirement is to stay in university halls of residence. Often these are quite close to campus, so this may be a more suitable option if you have a physical disability which makes mobility difficult. Another benefit of student halls is that many are fully catered.

Alternatively, you might want to consider living in privately-rented accommodation, either alone, with friends, or with support from a carer. This could be a ground-floor apartment at a purpose-built student accommodation with plenty of space and on-site amenities. Like with university halls, private accommodation providers are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments, such as providing a ramp, entry phone system, flashing lights or other alert devices for hearing loss or painting door frames to increase visibility.

Of course, you could remain living at home if this is the most suitable option for you financially, emotionally and physically. Your lecture halls and students union may only be a short commute away, or maybe all of your course is being delivered virtually. Living at home can be a good way to save money, whilst having family support to hand.

Knowing your rights

All students have a right to accommodation that is safe and fit to live in, whether in university-owned and managed halls of residence or purpose-built private rentals. This means that a property should be adequately heated, ventilated and insulated.

Students with mental, learning or physical disabilities have additional rights that fall under the Equality Act 2010.

If you choose to stay in university-owned and managed accommodation, you should be offered living quarters which is of equal standard to someone who isn’t disabled. Your university can’t refuse you accommodation because you are disabled, and should make any reasonable adjustment necessary to make your space liveable, usable and accessible.

Similarly, private landlords can’t refuse to accept your request for accommodation because of your specific learning difficulty, mental health or physical disability. They must also make reasonable adjustments and should provide any relevant information in a way that is clear, understandable and accessible.

Finding the best accommodation for you

Each student with a specific health condition, disability or medical requirement will have different needs when it comes to finding reasonable accommodation, so make a list of what your personal requirements are before you start the search for somewhere to live during university.

For example, if you are affected by mobility, look for accommodation close to campus and on a ground floor or with easy access to a lift. You might need to consider adapted facilities like your kitchen or bathroom, or access to having a personal fridge to store medication.

For those requiring additional live-in support, your requested accommodation may need to include an extra room for a carer or permission to keep an assistance dog.

Personal safety is an important consideration for all students, but you may be more suited to accommodation like our Ernest Place property in Durham which has CCTV and a secure fob entry system instead of keys. Any property you are considering should also have appropriate safety and evacuation procedures.


While it can seem overwhelming if you’re starting university as a student with a disability, the good news is that there is plenty of help and support available.

Your first port of call should be the student disability service at the university you will be attending. They will have specially trained advisors who will be able to answer any questions you might have and provide you with information and advice about the different sources of support you can use during your degree.

As well as the university disability services, the on-site hospitality and maintenance teams responsible for the student accommodation can help you understand the type of practical support you might need to assist with everyday living. Mansion Student properties like Manson Tyne in Newcastle have on-site maintenance teams to make sure you are safe and comfortable in your room, studio or apartment.

Like any student, finance will be an issue, but being a student with a disability or medical requirement can incur an extra set of expenses. You may be eligible for student loans, grants and bursaries, and you can also apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). This provides extra financial support for students with disabilities, covering things such as travel costs, personal assistance or specialist study equipment you may need to meet your requirements.

Citizens Advice also provide a wealth of information regarding your rights as a private tenant and how to ask for reasonable adjustments to accommodate your disability.

How Mansion Student can help

Since 2007, Mansion Student has acquired, developed and maintained modern student accommodations throughout some of the most popular student cities in the United Kingdom. We prioritise your welfare during your stay, and will help you through every stage of the booking and tenancy period. Browse through our different student accommodation locations below:

If you are interested in staying at any of our student accommodations, arrange a viewing here to ensure you are completely happy with the property before booking.

Browse through our student offers here.

Contact Mansion Student today for more information about booking accommodation, or call us at 0800 652 7844

Renting privately with Mansion Student

Many of our properties are found in central locations close to their respective universities. However, whichever property you book, you can be guaranteed that it will be safe, secure, reputable and comfortable.

Our friendly lettings team will always take your individual needs into account to help you find the right property that fits your specific requirements. As a caring company that prioritises comfort and student welfare, Mansion Student will ensure that you get the right kind of support you need.

Get in touch with Mansion Student today to find the right student accommodation to fit your needs.

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