Top 5 tips to help you find a flat in Edinburgh

Congratulations! You chose one of the most beautiful cities in the world to live in! Now let’s find you a flat, and to make sure you have the best experience here are 5 tips to help you the place of your dreams.

Find the perfect flat in Edinburgh

1. Choose your neighbourhood

Edinburgh is a very safe city and there are some beautiful areas to live in at relatively affordable prices. Before signing the contract for the first flat you find, take the time to wander around the neighbourhood to take in the vibe and general atmosphere.

Most popular areas

Edinburgh best areas

  • Morningside & Marchmont
  • Stockbridge
  • Newington
  • Leith Walk & the Western Harbour
  • Portobello
  • Haymarket & Dalry
  • Tollcross
  • Bruntsfield
  • Corstorphine

2. Know your budget

When you rent a flat, you will need to pay rent plus bills, internet and council tax.  You will probably also need to pay a deposit (equivalent to one month’s rent).  Here’s an idea of prices:

  • Rent £350-650 per month (room in shared flat)
  • Rent £550+ per month (private one bedroom flat)
  • Power bills £40-80 per month total
  • Internet £ 20-65 per month total (Find your broadband)
  • Council tax £91-318 per month total (price per household, not heads)


Tip: Ask the landlord if you can speak to the previous tenants to ask how much they normally paid for the bills and which broadband they used. It’ll give you an idea of how much you might have to pay monthly.



3. Find a flat and/or flatmates

If you want company or simply to reduce the cost of living, you might want to share a flat with other people. Flat-sharing is the norm in the UK, both for students and adults in their 20s, 30s and even 40s.  Here are some websites and Facebook groups that will help you find the perfect flatmates and the perfect property:

Find flatmates to share with:Find a Flatmate

Find a flat:

Facebook groups:

Tip: There are a lot of students in Edinburgh and most don’t pay Council Tax. Make sure you won’t pay too much if you live with them!

4. Things to double check before signing

Before you sign, these are some suggestions for things to check:

  • Are the windows double glazed? Winters are cold in Scotland and old buildings can have drafts. Double glazing keeps you warmer.Contract Signing
  • Is there gas central heating? Like with the windows, central heating keeps you warm during our cold winters, plus it’s cheaper than electric heating! Tip: Make sure it works well and thatthere’s a carbon monoxide detector.
  • What are the average monthly bills?
  • Is it well lit? We don’t have much light in the winter (it goes dark at 3.30pm!), so make sure you get enough Vitamin D through your flat windows;)
  • Do the curtains/blind block out the sun? In summer, we have a lot of sun (it rises at 4.30am), so make sure it won’t wake you up!
  • Is the shower powerful?
  • Does it have a comfortable mattress?
  • Is it in a central location or easily accessible by bus?
  • Are your flatmates friendly and do you have a similar lifestyle and way of living? This is important – you all have to live together, so make sure you’re all on the same page!

5. ‘Must know’ when renting a flat in Edinburgh

  • Read the contract carefully before you sign and check anything you’re not sure about with the landlord or Citizens Advice. Keep a copy for your records
  • Ask your landlord for their registration number (if they have one), and check there are fire alarms and a carbon monoxide detector in the flat
  • If you live with flatmates, manage your own finances. Having proof that you were paying the rent directly to your landlord and paying your share of the bills might come in handy if there is any dispute
  • Make a note of gas and electric metre readings when moving in and out
  • Remember that the landlord must return your full deposit at the end of your tenancy. If you have broken the terms of the contract (e.g. not cleaned the flat, left before the notice period, caused unreasonable damage etc), the landlord may be entitled to keep part or all of your deposit.

**Need advice?**

NB: For short term accommodations, have a look at this blog post


Written by Judith Bellemare, Venture English

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