Mostly students coming to Edinburgh for studies prefer to stay in halls for their first year, So that they learn about the new place. In their second year they usually prefer property to rent in Edinburgh. If you plan the same then make sure that you start looking for property to rent in Edinburgh during the spring term of your first year.

As a student you must always remember that you have the same rights as any other private tenant. Hence if you are renting Edinburgh student accommodation from a letting agent or a private landlord, you must find out whether the property needs to be licensed. Read the tenancy agreement carefully and in case you are not happy with it then you must seek advice immediately.

Landlord must have a license
If you will be living with your friends then you must check with your local authority in order to ensure if your landlord needs to get a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO) license for the property he is renting out.

If it is a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ then there are a certain requirements that must be met. Firstly, there must be five or more unrelated people sharing the property and secondly, it must have three or more storeys. The second condition is however flexible as some local authorities may even choose to license houses with smaller numbers of occupants or storey’s.

Guarantors and the tenancy deposit
When you find a suitable property to rent in Edinburgh, most of the landlords and letting agents will attach a few requirements. These include the need to pay a deposit and the requirement of proving a guarantor before they draw up a contract.

As a general rule, you must never hand over the money until you have had had a good look around the property.

This includes checking for any obvious signs of disrepair, badly fitting doors or windows, damp precisely anything that is not secure enough. For this purpose you must always take someone else with you to get their views on the property.

A deposit is asked to cover any missing rent or damage caused to the property. Don’t forget to take a written receipt for money you are paying to a landlord or letting agent. Also, ask the landlord to provide you with an inventory of the contents of the house.

This deposit must be returned to you if all fees have been settled and the property has not been damaged beyond normal wear and tear.

You will also be required to provide a guarantor who agrees to cover costs if you don’t pay the rent, or cause significant damage to the property. A guarantor is usually a parent or guardian.

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