Accommodation Service Equality & Diversity Statement
‘The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.’ Statutes and Ordinances
The Accommodation Service is committed to ensuring that all stakeholders, whether landlords, prospective tenants and other service users, are treated fairly, equitably and with respect.
The Accommodation Service will not discriminate unlawfully because of Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage & Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex or Sexual Orientation.
More information on the University’s work in relation to equality and diversity can be found on the E&D Section webpages.
The Accommodation Service will not take responsibility for any error, omission or inaccuracy in advertising material.
Please note that any description or items listed on the web site are for guidance purposes only and do not form part of any contractual agreement.
All users of the site will confirm the details advertised directly with the property owner or agent or with the prospective tenant.
Advertisers of properties and/or rooms are responsible for ensuring that material submitted for inclusion on the web site complies with all relevant laws and regulations.
Unless otherwise stated, the copyright, database rights and similar rights in all material published on the web site are owned by the University of Cambridge. You are permitted to print or download extracts from this material for your personal use only.
No part of the web site or any material appearing on the site may be reproduced, stored in, emailed or transmitted on any other web site without written permission of the University of Cambridge Accommodation Service.
Conditions of Use
This service is intended to provide an introduction to available accommodation. Descriptions given are for guidance only and full information should be given by the owner.
Although we try to view a number of properties listed with us and can often clarify the details of individual houses/flats and their location, properties on our database are generally not viewed/approved by us and we advise against signing a binding contract to take a tenancy in a property that has not been viewed. If possible we would advise that you either visit Cambridge ahead of your stay to secure housing, or arrange for someone in Cambridge to contact us on your behalf and then view properties for you.
If this proves impractical, we would recommend that you consider booking into a hotel or guesthouse for the first few nights of your stay and visit our office as soon as possible after arrival. It is possible to obtain accommodation at short notice.
The Accommodation Service reserves the right to suspend an individual's account where deemed necessary. Accounts that are subject to complaint are automatically suspended while the complaint is investigated.
Accommodation Service members of staff have the right to work in a safe environment. All service users are expected to treat members of staff and other service users with respect, refraining from abusive or intimidating behaviour, unlawful discrimination or harassment.
The Data Protection Act 1998: How we use your information
We use the information which you provide to help us to verify who is using the Accommodation Service, to enable us to allocate properties and to ensure that we can provide you with the best possible service. We use the dates of birth of children in allocating properties of appropriate size and as a general guidance to the Local Authority Education department to indicate the ages of children coming to Cambridge who might need school and pre-school places. We hold this data in accordance with the Data Protection Act and under the auspices of the University of Cambridge’s Data Protection Policy. We also use this personal data to derive statistics which inform the decisions we make (e.g. regarding the demand for particular sizes of property, the numbers of families coming to Cambridge). These statistics are used in such a way that individual children and adults cannot be identified. Financial data provided by certain applicants is held securely, with restricted access, to enable the calculation of subsidised rents.
Further information on the University of Cambridge policy is to be found here:
Complaints Procedure for Those approved to use The Accommodation Service Website
Any complaint brought under this procedure must be made within three months of the issue or problem arising, to enable the complaint to be dealt with in a timely manner. Only those persons registered and approved to use the Accommodation Service may raise a complaint under this procedure.
- Any complaint should initially be raised as soon as possible with the Accommodation Adviser or Housing Manager dealing with the case, who will endeavour to resolve the matter quickly and informally.
- If the complaint cannot be resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction or the complainant considers the complaint too serious to be dealt with informally, a letter should be sent to the Head of the Accommodation Service, explaining the nature of the complaint and attaching any supporting documentation, including photographs, where appropriate. Unless there is good reason for the delay, a letter should be sent to the Head of the Accommodation Service within 15 working days after the event or events giving rise to the complaint, but definitely no later than 3 months.
- The Head of the Accommodation Service will normally meet the complainant in person to discuss the matter. A full investigation may include more formal meetings with other persons who are involved or affected. The Head of the Accommodation Service will normally respond with a decision in writing within 15 working days from completion of the investigation. If more time is needed to complete the investigation, the complainant(s) will be informed. The Head of the Accommodation Service’s response will explain, where appropriate, what action has been taken or is proposed to be taken.
- Where a decision has been taken by the Head of the Accommodation Service to suspend or to remove a client’s use of the Service (whether landlord or applicant or tenant), if the circumstances are deemed to be sufficiently serious, the Head may take this action without recourse to a full investigation. In this situation, the client may raise a complaint under Stage 3 of the procedure within 15 working days.
- If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision taken by the Head of the Accommodation Service, the complainant may refer the matter to the Accommodation Syndicate for review. A referral to the Accommodation Syndicate must be made in writing to the Chair of the Accommodation Syndicate within 15 working days from the date when the complainant was informed of the decision by the Head of the Accommodation Service. The Accommodation Syndicate may determine its decision at a normal meeting of the Accommodation Syndicate or by the appointment of a sub-committee of not less than three of its members, to conduct the review.
- The review will take place either at a hearing, which will be convened as soon as reasonably practicable, or by means of circulation of written evidence. All documentation put before members of the Accommodation Syndicate or its sub-committee conducting the review shall be made available to the complainant and to the Head of the Accommodation Service, who shall both be entitled to make representation. If the Syndicate determines that a meeting is to be convened, the complainant may represent him/herself and may be accompanied by a friend or colleague. Legal representation is not normally considered appropriate. Other persons who are involved or affected may be invited to attend the hearing as witnesses. The complainant, the Head of the Accommodation Service and such other persons attending may be questioned by Members of the Syndicate or the sub-committee conducting the review. The Chair of the Accommodation Syndicate, or his or her deputy, may determine the procedure for the conduct of the hearing.
- The members of the Syndicate, or the sub-committee conducting the review, will seek to make a decision immediately or as soon as possible after the hearing. The decision will be confirmed in writing to the complainant and to the Head of the Accommodation Service. Such decision is the final stage of the internal complaints procedure.
- If the tenant is a student and recourse to the University’s internal complaints procedure has not resulted in the resolution of the complaint to the student’s satisfaction, the student may wish to consider pursuing the complaint with the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA), providing the complaint is eligible under its rules.