Finding an accommodation in Glasgow or Edinburgh is anything but a walk in the park.
Glasgow being a student city, the hardest time to find a flat is from July to October. If you plan to arrive during this time of year, maybe consider a reconnaissance mission to view some flats and book one in advance.
On the other hand, you should have more choice if you arrive around April-May when the student year ends and flats become available little by little.
There are 3 ways to find accommodation :
Best websites to find accommodation:
You can find everything on Gumtree, from accommodation listings, job offers and it’s also a marketplace for secondhand items.
Spareroom is specialised in flat shares.
You will also find most of ads on ZOOPLA.
Finding accommodation with Facebook groups:
Facebook groups are also a gold mine to find a private accommodation or a flat share.
Here is an incomplete list of the most famous ones for Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Finding accommodation with a letting agency:
Letting agencies are abundant. They require almost automatically supporting documents and references (jobs, minimum salary, …).
Most of the agencies will ask for at least one guarantor. Not many agencies accept guarantors living outside the UK.
If it’s your first year in the UK and you have no job and no guarantor, you can be asked to pay your rent from 6 to 12 months in advance. Some organisations can vouch for you as a guarantor in exchange of some money (such as Housing Hand).
When you rent in Scotland, your deposit is managed not by your letting agency or your landlord but by a neutral organisation My deposit Scotland. They keep your deposit until the end of your contract and once the checkout is done.
The deposit is usually equal to around one month, one month and a half of rent.
Landlord registration number
If you deal directly with a landlord, don’t forget to check their registration number on the official website: https://www.landlordregistrationscotland.gov.uk/.
How to choose your accommodation
Here are some points you need to be careful with when you view a flat in Scotland.
- Windows : double glazing is rare and windows are often worn out, giving the flat a poor insulation and increasing the heating bills!
- Ceiling height : Glaswegian tenement houses are very appealing but the big flats with very heigh ceilings are hard and expensive to heat.
- Payment system for gas and electricity : monthly payments or top-up.
Just in case: Youth hostels and hotels
However, if you can’t find accommodation immediately, here are our recommendations concerning hostels and hotels.
89 Buccleuch Street,
Glasgow G3 6QT Scotland
Open from June to the end of August
3 min away from Sauchiehall street
5 W Register St,
Edinburgh EH2 2AA
Find our articles about expatriation here.