We’ve recently been asked a lot of questions from students about finding accommodation within Edinburgh, especially by our lovely Postgraduate students. The thing is, I am no expert in all things accommodation, although I wish I was sometimes! Instead I have decided to link you to those who are there from the University of Edinburgh to give incoming students advice. This blog post will hopefully point you in the right direction as to where is best to ask your questions and also provide you with information that you can sit and read without having to pick up the phone or send an email.
1. University of Edinburgh Accommodation Services. Many incoming students don’t realise that the University’s Accommodation Service does a multitude of things beyond providing University owned accommodation to students. My experience within UoE Accommodation was absolutely brilliant and I actually met most of my closet friends at Edinburgh there but if private accommodation is something you’re looking into, Accommodation Services provides a lot of advice and help to both current and incoming students.
The section on Private Housing on the Accommodation Services website can be found here. This webpage provides information ranging from advice on council tax to links to lists of Edinburgh area estate agencies and property managers. It’s quite a comprehensive page full of links and information and I used a lot of these links myself when I moved from halls to private housing. It is also important to note that Accommodation Services run an accommodation advice centre which opens at the start of every academic year. The centre will be open daily from 10am to 4pm from the 1st of September to the 12th of September 2014 (including weekends!). If you can’t wait to ask a question (anything from ‘I’m not sure where to look for a flat? to ‘I’m having problems with my landlord’) or have an pressing issues, please get in contact with Isobel Weatherall from Accommodation Services via the Advice Centre Facebook page or through her email (Isobel.Weatherall@ed.ac.uk).
2. EUSA Advice Place. Our brilliant Student Union, usually called EUSA for short, also has a great place to go for information. It is aptly named the Advice Place and it’s website gives information focusing upon tenancy rights and searching for accommodation. Their website can be found here. Once you are in Edinburgh you can visit the Advice Place in person as it is inside one of our student union buildings, Potterow. Important links to note are their Tenancy Rights Checklist, Rental Checklist and their page on other student’s experiences.
The Advice Place is warm and welcoming and full of people who are more than happy to answer your questions. You can send them an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), contact them via Facebook or Twitter or get in touch in another way.
3. Renting Scotland. Renting Scotland is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and Shelter Scotland and provides a lot of useful information about being a tenant within Scotland. Their renting guides give comprehensive information on everything from looking at properties to getting repairs done. The website really is a hub of information and I found it incredibly useful to use alongside University of Edinburgh sites. It has been especially useful for me lately as I’m out to move out of my current flat and into another one!
4. Living costs. Our fantastic International Office provides estimated living costs on their website. These are particularly useful if you’re trying to work out a budget for once you’ve arrived in Edinburgh. The International Office also provides a whole load of information on Student Life in Edinburgh which may be particularly useful for those of you who are coming from outside of the UK.
A great blog post was written by our intern last year, Anna, all about the wonderful and vast areas of Edinburgh. It’s definitely worth a read! Please remember that there are lots of places and people within the University of Edinburgh who are willing to give you advice and information about finding accommodation so please utilise the contacts above! They are more than willing to help and I am sure that no question you may have will be silly or stupid. Remember to keep calm, read the advice and get in touch with the Accommodation Services or the Advice Place if you ever need any help!