Private housing - often referred to as "the private sector" - is accommodation, usually in flats, owned by individuals or property companies who rent out to tenants.
There is a huge amount of this type of housing available in Edinburgh.
Over 50% of the students at Edinburgh University live in privately-rented accommodation.
Sometimes, private accommodation is managed directly by the property owners themselves.
However, if a landlord owns many properties, they may be managed by a company specialising in lettings.
Flats can vary considerably in size, from small apartments for one or two persons to spacious properties housing six or more individuals sharing as a group, or a family with children.
A typical flat for a group houses three or four persons.
It's worth noting that another, less common type of private housing is a lodging - where the property owner lives on the premises, and rents out rooms to tenants.
A lodging is generally let on a self-catered basis, where the tenant either shares the owner's kitchen or has their own cooking facilities.
This article was published on Sep 10, 2008