Rent private housing
Advice on leases, deposits, which flats and areas to consider, student support and how to avoid housing scams.
If you are not planning to live in University accommodation, it is strongly recommended that you start looking into private accommodation in advance of arriving in Edinburgh. We also recommend that you keep updated on the impact of Covid-19 on housing in Edinburgh.
Leases and deposits
If you entered into a lease (also known as a private rented tenancy) after December 2017, you can end your agreement at any point.
You should give your landlord at least 28 days' notice in writing if you want to end your tenancy.
More information on private rented tenancies can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Private accommodation deposits act as a guarantee against:
- damage to the property
- cleaning bills if the property is left in poor condition
- unpaid bills (including rent)
If there are no such issues, after you have given notice and ended your tenancy, you should expect to get your deposit back.
More information on tenancy deposits can be found on the Scottish Government website.
The Advice Place
There’s plenty of support available to help you find somewhere suitable in the private sector. The Advice Place offers a variety of services to help, from flatmate finding to contract checking.
You can receive advice in person or via phone, email, or video call during opening times or by appointment.
Free lease checking service
Advisers from The Advice Place can read over your lease (also referred to as a tenancy agreement) before you sign it and answer any questions or worries about renting private accommodation in Edinburgh.
Avoiding housing scams
Please remain vigilant about accommodation scams, which can affect a few students each year. The Advice Place have useful information to read before viewing any private properties, before viewing anything, ask yourself the questions recommended on the advice place webpages
Our health and wellbeing services can provide support for your physical and mental health, even if you are not living in University accommodation.
These services include:
- the Chaplaincy
- Student Counselling
- Student Disability Services
Rent Guarantor Scheme
The purpose of this scheme is to enable the University of Edinburgh students to rent private accommodation that may not otherwise be available because a UK-based rent guarantor is required. The scheme has up to 100 places and is open only to overseas and EU continuing students, and in exceptional circumstances to UK students where no UK guarantors are available.
This may be useful to you in your second year of University. First year, final year, and part-time students are not eligible under this scheme.