The AFS/Unipol Code

The AFS/Unipol Code was a national accreditation scheme for shared houses.

No new applications for membership are being accepted, but there are still some existing members.

Information for students

Information for landlords 

What can students expect from Code landlords and properties?

The main issue for students looking for a home is finding a decent property with a professional and fair landlord. The AFS/Unipol Code offers just that. Landlords in the AFS/Unipol Code offer responsive and friendly service and their properties meet higher standards of health and safety.

When you are searching for a house, you should give priority to landlords and properties which are part of the AFS/Unipol Code.

You can expect:

  • The contract will be written in reasonable terms
  • The accommodation will be fully equipped and ready for the start date
  • Repairs and maintenance will happen within prescribed timescales
  • The property will meet high standards of health and safety
  • If things go wrong, you can make an official complaint and get help
  • A better deal all round!

Know your rights as a renter

Read our Your Code House guide

A full copy of the Code standards is available to view here

There is lots of helpful advice for students about living in rented housing here

Who is a member?

A list of Code landlords and properties is available here

What if thing go wrong?

If you are having issues with your Code landlord we recommend you follow the advice here. If this does not work you can complain online

What's in it for landlords?

As of 1 August 2016, new membership applications are currently not being accepted under this scheme.

Landlords who are part of the scheme identify themselves as professional, certified and accountable.

Landlords joined on a voluntary basis, quickly and easily.  Joining the scheme offers reassurance to potential tenants that you offer a fairer deal and meet a set of professional standards.

Members also receive:

  • Enhanced advertising of their accredited properties on the Accommodation for Students website
  • Positive recognition from tenants for meeting National best practice standards
  • The ability to use the Code logo and information in your promotional materials
  • Local recognition where there are participating universities and student unions

As a member of the code, you:

  • Benefit from a reduction in misunderstandings and disputes with tenants
  • Can contact our expert Accreditation team with questions and issues
  • Demonstrate your commitment to professional conduct

How are standards checked?

Watch the video below or click here for more information

Who can join?

As of 1 August 2016, new membership applications are currently not being accepted under this scheme.

Marketing

If you choose to advertise on the Accommodation for Students (AFS) website your properties will be marked with the AFS/Unipol logo and the Code is positively promoted amongst students searching for housing. 

Newly accredited landlords also get to advertise thier properties for free for one month on the AFS site, as well as one free boost to the top of the AFS listings.

How to become a member of the Code

Unfortunately new members are not being accepted as of 1 August 2016.

Before becoming a member you should read the Code standards in full:

AFS/Unipol Code 2011 - 2016

By joining the Code you confirm that your conduct and properties will comply with the Code standard, so it is important that you read and understand the comittment before joining online.

There are three steps to membership:

1. Declaration and payment of fees

2. Successful completion of the online skills -based training course on managing off-street properties for shared student living

3. Allowing a verifier to access a sample of properties for inspection visits

For further information on costs and to apply online click here

Online skills based training

All landlords who sign up to the AfS / Unipol Code must pass the online skills training module before a verification visit is arranged.

Using videos and text the course is designed to impart essential information about renting to students and about the Code. The course takes around one hour to complete and is backed up by a set of documentation that landlords will find helpful in understanding and applying legal and good practice standards relevant to the student accommodation sector. The material in the course is based on the ANUK landlord handbook together with some specialist material, knowledge of which is necessary for operating the student sector.

The course has an introduction and is then in five parts

  • Module 1 - Introduction to the online course (includes introductory video)
  • Module 2- Introduction to the Code (includes introductory video)
  • Module 3 - Equality, Diversity, Marketing and Tenancy Commencement
  • Module 4 - During the Tenancy and the End of the Tenancy
  • Module 5 - Health and Safety

Module 6 - The Environment, Sustainability and Dispute Management 

After each module there is a short multiple choice quiz to show that the information has been assimilated and understood.

Once completed successfully landlords can then download a certificate for each module as proof of continuing professional development. It is also possible to download a certificate for successful completion of the full course.

Click here to proceed to the online training programme. You will need to sign up as a new user to view the content. 

Dispute handling

By joining the Code you are committing to conduct and property standards in line with the Code. This will help to reduce misunderstandings and disputes with tenants. The Code contains a complaints procedure and tenants can complain online.