Updated 2 years ago

Looking for accommodation in Scotland? Find out, in this article, how to proceed.

Finding accommodation will definitely be one of your priorities when moving abroad. Scotland attracts many expatriates every year, especially for the numerous opportunities it provides at different levels. However, it can be quite difficult to find accommodation there, especially if you are not yet on the spot. Moreover, the United Kingdom applies clear and strict regulations when it comes to rental. So it is best to inquire about these before making your move.

 Good to know:

Most owners prefer to rent their property to expats who are already on the spot and who have already visited the premises. This is particularly why your remote search could be vain.

Find accommodation

In case you have family or close friends or relatives in Scotland, you could probably start by seeking their help to find accommodation. Indeed, this can be quite helpful as they will be aware of relating formalities and the local rental market's features.

You can also seek the help of a real estate agency. However, make sure to specify clearly your expectations and budget. Consider booking a hotel room or a short term rental as you might not find accommodation directly on your arrival in the country.

In all cases, housing offers are available on the Internet. Take the time to choose the one which best suits your needs, depending on the city or neighborhood where you would prefer to settle, especially if you are going to work.

Lease and rent

Depending on your situation, the property owner may request for an advance payment equal to 6 months of rent, especially in the case of the unemployed. Otherwise, you will generally have to pay a deposit equal to a month's rent. If you have found accommodation through a real estate agency, you will have to produce proof of payment.

The lease contract has to be written and must contain all conditions agreed between both parties (either the owner and the tenant, or the real estate agency and the tenant), before being signed.

The lease contract must thus include the following:

  • the owner's or real estate agency's name and address
  • the owner's registration number (which authorizes him to offer his property for rent)
  • the duration of the lease (start and ending date)
  • the rent price, mode and date of payment, as well as any scheduled date of increase
  • the deposit amount and the way in which it is preserved
  • persons appointed for interior decoration, repairs, as well as internal and external maintenance
  • the number of tenants
  • conditions and restrictions (smoking, pets, guests, etc.)

The lease contract will be signed on the day you move in, unless you have made a prior trip.

 Good to know:

You will have to may Council Tax Charges at rates varying from one area to another (A, B, C, D, etc.). This local tax is intended for water supply, waste water treatment, refuse collection, among others. Make sure to inquire about the monthly amount to be paid so as to avoid any surprise.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Housing in Scotland 
Expat.com – Accommodation in Scotland Forum 
Scottish Borders Council – Council Tax Charges www.scotborders.gov.uk
S1Homes www.s1rental.com
Right Move www.rightmove.co.uk
Zoopla www.zoopla.co.uk

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.