Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme

Landlords of privately rented accommodation are encouraged to join the Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme.


  • What are the benefits of joining the scheme?
  • Fees
  • How to apply

The Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme was introduced in Colchester by Colchester Borough, Essex University and private landlords in early 2000 and has been reviewed a number of times. This is the latest edition of the scheme and brings the scheme up to date. The scheme aims to do this by ensuring that:

  • achievable standards are attained in the quality of housing
  • the agreements and responsibilities between the landlord and the tenant are clear and are maintained by both parties.

The scheme is applicable to properties already let at the time of inception of the scheme by the landlord, or to properties that the landlord intends to let. Landlords wishing to take part in the scheme will have to conform to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System laid down in Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, (for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)) Management Regulations and the standards in this scheme.

What are the benefits of joining the scheme?

This is a voluntary scheme which landlords of privately rented accommodation are encouraged to join in order to meet a higher standard. The benefits of this scheme are:

  • Market advantage when letting a dwelling to all students
  • Expert guidance and advice from Private Sector Housing officers
  • Accredited dwelling certificates and plans including mapped fire safety
  • Accreditation for 5 years
  • Positive promotion of the private rented sector by the Council
  • Advertising and direct link details of the scheme provided on the Council's website
  • Advertising and management of the scheme by the Council (Under Development)
  • Education sessions and landlords forum
  • Advertising on a dedicated website for Landlords and Students.


Colchester Borough Council administers the initial part of the scheme, carries out all inspections and issues the accreditation certificates. Fees and charges are reviewed annually and updated on 1 January. A full breakdown of all Private Sector Housing fees & charges are available to download on this page.

The Colchester Borough Council fee is for the accreditation inspection, report, plans, schedules of work, certificate and advice and is a single payment that covers five years, subject to all requirements being met. Once all requirements are met the property is issued with a certificate and the landlord will be able to advertise accommodation on the Student Pad/Local Pad website (under development).

If you have a licensed HMO then you automatically qualify for accreditation with the Scheme should you wish to join the scheme. Please discuss this with Private Sector Housing at the time of your licence application.

How to Apply

Complete the application form available to download on this page. Forms must be completed and returned along with all supporting documents and a cheque for the appropriate amount. Full details can be found on the Application form.

Full details of the process can be found in the Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme document which details procedures, Student Union's accommodation standards, amenity standards, fire safety, general management regulations and diagrammatic examples of properties with regard to fire safety.

Inspections are carried out throughout the year. Any works identified during the inspection will need to be completed within a specified period of time; normally this will be a period of months, although minor works should be completed before the start of the next term. It should be noted that where a category one hazard is identified under the Housing Act 2004 the Council must take action and where a high category two hazard exists the Council will also take action.

Contact Us

If you are an owner and wish to inform or discuss with us about an HMO that you own or run and you would like to become accredited with the Student Accommodation Accreditation Scheme and Colchester Borough Council, you can contact the Private Sector Housing team via Colchester Borough Council's Customer Services based at the Library and Community Hub, Trinity Square, Colchester. The offices are open 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Fill in and submit our Private Sector Housing Advice/Complaint Form


Telephone: 01206 282581  Textphone users should dial 18001 01206 282581