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As a dynamic capital city, Edinburgh attracts expats in large numbers every year. Despite being the second biggest and densely populated city in Scotland after Glasgow, it has a particularly attractive labour market, specialising in financial services. Combining breathtaking old world architecture with a modern vibe, Edinburgh is also rich in green spaces along pedestrian streets and paved paths. Accommodation is expensive though, which leads many people to flatsharing.

Rent prices

Rent prices in Edinburgh have soared by up to 40% in the past seven years, making more and more people considering flatsharing. Currently, an average one-bedroom apartment in Edinburgh costs around £1,017, whereas an average two-bedroom apartment about £1,273. However, you can find a room in a shared apartment from £425 to £795 depending on the area.

Note that heating and utilities are not included in this price and, in the winter, they can get quite substantial as many houses in Edinburgh are old and require a lot of heating.

 Good to know:

If you’re a student, the University of Edinburgh can help you find affordable accommodation. Find out more here.

Districts & neighbourhoods in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is divided into several neighbourhoods: the City-centre, Leith, Morningside and Bruntsfield. The City centre itself is divided in the Old Town (with the historic Royal Mile and a UNESCO-status skyline) and the New Town, full of Georgian houses.

Stockbridge, located on the Water of Leith, is a charming area full of Victorian and Georgian terrace houses. It is home to some of the most expensive properties in the city and preferred by affluent young professionals.

Leith is a hip district by the port, with a young and creative vibe. You are likely to find not only environment-friendly apartments in Leith, but also many bars and restaurants.

Morningside and Bruntsfield are quieter and family neighbourhoods, just a few minutes away from the city centre. These are particularly popular with students and expat families thanks to the presence of schools. Morningside is considered quite posh, while Bruntsfield is famous for its golf courses.

Accommodation types in Edinburgh

You are more likely to find furnished housing units in Edinburgh. In case you would prefer to rent an unfurnished housing unit, you will still find an oven, a fridge and a washing machine. Most rooms for rent in shared flats are furnished as well, which is useful at least in the beginning.

When looking for accommodation in Edinburgh, make sure to distinguish between owners and real estate agencies. Never make any payment prior to verifying the owner's registration number. Find more relevant information on the Landlord Registration website here.

Note that Edinburgh's residential buildings are rarely equipped with a lift. Moreover, several criteria are taken into account by owners and real estate agencies when it comes to letting a property. You will thus be asked whether you are a smoker and if you are planning to move with your pets. In case you are moving in with pets, you could have to pay a higher deposit amount.

How to find accommodation in Edinburgh

When it comes to finding accommodation, a remote search will only give you an idea about the types of accommodation available in Edinburgh and rent prices. Note that it is best to be on the spot to look for accommodation and sign your lease contract. But you can still browse offers on the Internet and in local newspapers, whether you are on the spot or not.

A real estate agency may help you find the ideal housing unit according to your preferences and budget. Expats in Edinburgh claim that you can find accommodation within 5 working days. If you have friends, relatives or contacts in the city, word of mouth may also help.

Finally, you have the option of renting from the City Council. Like many Scottish cities, the Edinburgh City Council offers accommodations for rent. These include apartments (flats) of several sizes, maisonettes and cottages in various areas of the city and the outskirts. Anyone can apply for a council house in Edinburgh, by registering with EdIndex online.

Find more information on how to register with EdIndex here.

 Useful links:

Scottish Borders Council – Council Tax Charges
S1Homes
Right Move

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