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Guidance for the Collection of Student Belongings from University Managed Residences.

Student Belongings

Guidance for the Collection of Student Belongings from University Managed Residences


CUBO have produced the following guidance after the recent Government update setting out the first steps towards easing lockdown. The guidance is aimed at university-managed residences.

The health and wellbeing of staff, students and visitors remain the sector's top priority. Planning and guidance align to the latest Government health guidance.

Universities understand that students will now wish to collect their possessions, but it is essential that this is done in an orderly manner to ensure the safety of staff, students and visitors, including those currently resident in student accommodation.

Students should not return to campus to collect belongings until contacted by their university and advised of the system that has been put in place to manage this safely.

It is essential to follow all self-distancing protocols in place and not encourage or allow others to come into residences to visit or collect belongings. Students living outside England must check the social distancing and travel guidance for their own nation before travelling.



Guidance for universities

As a priority, universities should provide students with an update on the future collection of their belongings. This should include clear information or holding advice advising them not to collect belongings until notified of arrangements.

International students who have returned home should be contacted separately and universities will need to consider alternative arrangements for the return of their possessions.

Universities should prepare a set of protocols designed to enable current residents to depart, and anyone not currently living in the residences to collect their belongings in a safe and structured way:

  • use pre-booked time slots
  • ensure you allocate sufficient time for arrival, packing and removal of items
  • be conservative on the number of slots you allocate at any one time, being mindful of availability of resources, parking, access to buildings, use of lifts, etc
  • attention should be given to systems for circulating through campus and halls
  • ensure toilet facilities within the accommodation, together with appropriate notices and cleaning routines
  • undertake and document a full activity risk assessment to ensure all reasonably foreseeable risks have been identified and mitigated for
  • Impose restrictions on the number of vehicles per student and the number of family/friends in attendance 

Universities should issue clear instructions to both students collecting possessions and those still in residence that they should continue to follow all self-distancing protocols in place.

Universities should develop protocols for international student possessions, to include the following potential options:

  • third-party contract for packing and transportation
  • Disposal
  • Storage

Guidance for students

Every university will need to develop safe processes relevant to their own environment. Your university has or is developing a process for the orderly collection of possessions. It is important to follow their instructions for your own safety and the safety of others, including other students, university staff and key workers who may now be resident on campus:

  • Wait to hear from your University about collecting your possessions
  • Follow the protocols & guidance issued to you in advance or on arrival
  • Minimise the numbers of people who attend to collect belongings (restrictions are likely to be in place)
  • It is highly likely that a booking system is in place. Make sure you use it, or you may have a wasted journey or extensive wait
  • Ensure you have enough time to arrive at the allocated time and keep to the allocated time slot
  • Be patient and flexible on the dates and times when you wish to move out/collect belongings
  • Be prepared with boxes and anything else that will help you move your possessions
  • Follow general government Covid-19 guidance e.g. don’t come if you or your household have any symptoms, maintain social distancing
  • Do not endanger those who may be living in the accommodation (including NHS staff)
  • Follow any instructions with regard to end of tenancy
  • Return your keys
  • When planning your journey, be aware of the limited toilet and refreshment facilities currently available to road users.

International students and those unable to collect their belongings

Universities understand that some students will be unable to collect belongings, for example, international students who have returned home and those who may be shielding. Universities are developing processes for the return of these belongings and will contact those affected in due course.

Download the CUBO Guidance for the Collection of Student Belongings from University Managed Residences PDF.


CUBO is the professional association for senior managers of commercial and campus services in higher education institutions in the UK and Ireland, with a membership of over 500 professionals in this field. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, CUBO has been facilitating the sharing of effective practices and the development of a consistent approach to new challenges created by the pandemic. The Guidance draws on the collective experience of senior managers of residential accommodation at universities across the UK.

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