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Lost Left Property Policy - University-Owned Accommodation

Purpose Statement

To ensure property found within University-Owned Accommodation, at the end of your contract, is dealt with consistently and in accordance with our service standards and procedures.

Applicability and Scope

The policy should be used when property is found on site, within University-owned Accommodation including bedrooms after a contract has ended. Anyone handing in property found outside of these locations will be directed to the Estate Security Service.

The property may belong to students, their guests, employees of the University, or members of the public.


Lost property: Personal items of obvious value found on site, including communal areas

Left property: Personal items of obvious value left behind by students or guests in a bedroom or communal area after their contract has ended

Personal items of obvious value can include:

Technology - such as laptop, mobile phone, iPad
Identification documents - such as passport/visa, birth certificate, credit/debit card
Jewellery and watches

Our responsibilities

Any items of lost or left property found on site and in bedrooms, will be handed in to reception, where it will be recorded. Personal items of obvious value and likely to have been left behind by mistake will be placed in a safe or secure storage area. We will make every effort to try and locate the owner of the property.

Lost or left personal items of obvious value will be retained for 28 days. Unclaimed items after this time will be handled as outlined later in this policy.

Your responsibilities

You are responsible for clearing all your personal belongings from your accommodation, including your rubbish, before returning your room keys to reception. Near to the end of your undergraduate or postgraduate contract, we will  email you information about departing your accommodation. If you have a shorter contract (such as Semester one/two) or are departing part way through your contract, you should contact your reception for further information about the departure process.

Before you depart, you are responsible for collecting any mail or parcels which reception is holding for you.

You are responsible for ensuring that any parcels you order will be delivered before your departure and any deliveries due after your departure are addressed to your new address.

You are responsible for notifying friends and relatives of your departure date, so that gifts or other parcels are not ordered by third parties for delivery after your departure.

You are responsible for monitoring or diverting your university email account so that you can check whether we have notified you that you have a parcel to collect. 

Claiming your property

To claim an item of property, contact your Village reception where you will be asked to give a blind description of the item (a description without seeing the item) even if it is found in your bedroom. Once we are satisfied that your description matches that of the item, we will then show you the item and ask you to verify that it is your property.

Unclaimed property and our actions

Unclaimed personal items of obvious value will be disposed of in an appropriate way

Technology - such as laptop, mobile phone, iPad will be collected through the University’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Scheme

Identification documents - such as birth certificate, credit/debit cards will be shredded, and passport/visas will be subject to HM Passport Office advice

Jewellery and watches - will be donated to local charities and a record kept

Minor Items

Property left behind after your contract has ended, which does not fit the category of ‘Personal items of obvious value’, e.g. clothing, shoes, CDs or books, will be donated to local charities where possible or recycled. Open foodstuffs, alcohol, toiletries, consumables, bedding and pharmaceuticals will be disposed of.

Mail and parcels

Mail addressed to students who have left their accommodation will be marked “returned to sender” via Royal Mail.

We may decline to accept delivery of parcels addressed to a student who has already left their accommodation.

If we receive a parcel addressed to you after you have left, we will dispose of items that are obviously perishable or promotional.  If we believe the item is suitable for storing, we will contact you via your university email account and ask you to confirm within 28 days if you would like us to keep your parcel (for up to 12 weeks after our first contact) for collection when you return to Newcastle, or arrange for it to be collected sooner, or if you would like us to dispose of it.  If you do not reply within 28 days or have not collected the item within 12 weeks of our first contact we will open the item and dispose of it as we see fit, without liability to you.

We will not use suppliers’ formal returns processes or arrange onward delivery.  If we cannot return to sender and you do not arrange collection, the item will be disposed of as we see fit, without liability to you. You may still be liable to pay the supplier for items that we have disposed of under this policy.

When we contact you to arrange collection, we will give you a collection reference and notify you of our requirements in terms of providing proof of identity.

Parcels that are delivered to us that are not identifiable as belonging to our residents or past residents, and that can’t be returned to the courier who delivered it, will be disposed of as we see fit without liability.


If you leave behind any property which cannot be given to charities or recycled (e.g. televisions, fridges and freezers) it will be disposed of via the Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment process.

Original policy implementation date: January 2008
Last review: May 2023
Next review date: January 2024
Policy owner: Senior Management Team, Accommodation Services