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Off-Campus Accommodation

The Off Campus Housing Office (OCHO) is pleased to offer students affordable, well managed accredited off campus housing options. The residences may be located within walking distance to available public transport or NMMU shuttle service.

Even though these properties are accredited by the OCHO, the University holds no legal jurisdiction and students ‘take up lease agreements in their own capacity. All students are advised to stay in accredited off campus accommodation for at least one semester. In the event of students choosing to stay in non-accredited properties, the OCHO will not be held liable for any dissatisfaction and problems that arise there nor for accommodation payments.

It is advisable that you secure your accommodation prior to departure from home and payment of deposits will ensure all bookings are made timeously.

The Off Campus Housing and Vacation Accommodation Office guarantee accredited off campus housing options for all students coming to Nelson Mandela University for their first year of study who meet the deadline of 15th of December (see below regarding late applications)

Accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis and it is important to apply early in order to avoid disappointment when you are not offered your first choice of accommodation.

Applications start on the 22nd of November 

As a first year or new student to Nelson Mandela University applying for residence is easy provided the following steps are followed correctly and this process should not take you more than 30 minutes. Please do not hesitate to contact our office and one of the friendly staff will assist you on 041 504 2921.
Students can visit the off campus housing website via the link below http://ocho.mandela.ac.za and download the application form. 

We normally start allocating our senior students first whom have reapplied for their current residences from the second week of December.

New and First year applicants are allocated spaces from mid-December and we find that our small properties in the Summerstrand and Humewood areas are fully reserved by the 20th of December followed by our Central or City Centre residences.

Placements or accommodation offers will continue until the University closes in December.

We will forward you an offer of accommodation via email and you will have five (5) working days to accept the offer and settle the applicable deposits in order to secure your room.

Should no deposit be paid on or before the 10th of January, please consider your booking cancelled and your room will be advertised.

Please make sure that your contact information such as email addresses and cellphone numbers remain active throughout the application process. Should it change, you must advise us in writing via email to offcampus.accommodation@mandela.ac.za


Can I afford the rent? Does my bursary or sponsorship cover the entire semester’s rental period? Please check with sponsor the limit of your funding for residence.

Lease Agreement

Each student will be required to sign a lease agreement with the respective Accommodation Service Provider (landlord) which is a binding legal contract for the duration of the stay once they have decided to book and reserve a room. The student must ensure that he or she receives a copy of the lease agreement.


Each student will be required to pay the refundable damages deposit which is equivalent to a month’s rental. At the end of the lease period, the accommodation service provider will refund the student the deposit in full unless the student incurred willfull damages at the residence

Willfull Damages? If a student causes any damages to the residence, he or she will be held responsible to pay for the repairs. This does not include normal wear and tear.

NSFAS funded students must settle the upfront fees such as the refundable breakage deposit (R500) and administrative fee (R500) as this is not covered or paid for by NSFAS. These amounts are for the student’s account.

Private bursary students and cash paying students must settle the refundable breakage fee of R2000 when applying for small properties in Summerstrand/Humewood/Central/North End, etc.  areas.


Each student must ensure that they register for the residence after he or she has registered academically at the University

Confirmation of Residence Registration

This is a confirmation letter advising the Accommodation Service Provider that the student has been registered for the residence as per the rental invoice.

YES, the student must ensure that he or she is not a resident within the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan area. The student must be from out of town atleast 60km from Metro.

Students should be prepared to cover the first month’s rent whilst waiting for NSFAS to respond. For more information, please contact Financial Aid offices at 041 504 1111

Off campus residences are self-catering residences and range from commune buildings to apartments, townhouses, freestanding houses, garden cottages or bachelor units.

There is a variety of rooms to choose from ranging between standard single rooms to en-suite single rooms. Sharing/Double rooms or for a more affordable rate even a triple room.

Students must bring a waterproof mattress protector, bedding and towels and this is not supplied by the accommodation service provider.

Big Properties students must bring their own cutlery, crockery, pots and pans, etc.

Small Properties a fully fitted kitchen is supplied for all student tenants.

Our Accommodation Service Providers are required to burglar proof all open windows and doors on ground floor level leading to the outside.
An intruder alarm is highly recommended.
In residence that accommodates more than 20 x students, a PSIRA graded security guard must be stationed within the residence 24/7.
Reliable transport is provided by the University on the day that the academic programme commences (classes start)

If you submit your application after the deadline, please do not worry.

We will update our website on a daily basis with any vacant rooms, http://ocho.mandela.ac.za

If you no longer require accredited off campus accommodation for any reason, please email offcampus.accommodation@mandela.ac.za no later than the 10th of January and we will be able to offer the room to another student and refund you the deposit.