COVID-19 Update - If you are looking for information on your rights as a tenant please see here
If you are renting privately, there are a range of different options you could consider. Here we lay out the pros and cons of some of these options.
If you rent your room from an individual who also lives in the home, you probably have a live-in landlord
- Often the cheapest option
- Landlord may keep property in better condition as it is their own home
- Can be a good way to find flexible accommodation – for example, if you intend to only stay during the week.
- Your deposit does not have to be protected
- You don’t have exclusive rights to the space – your landlord can enter your room without your permission
- You can be evicted easily.
Privately Rented Accommodation
This is accommodation rented from a landlord or a letting agency.
- No fixed term – Private Residential Tenancies are open-ended, so you can end your tenancy when it suits you rather than being tied in for a specific period
- Landlords can only evict you on certain grounds
- Your deposit will be held in a deposit scheme
- Private landlords are held to a particular standard of repair by law
- You usually have to sort out your own bills, and organise having the internet set up.
- If you share your flat you and your flatmates will be ‘jointly and severally’ liable for payment of rent – this means if one person does not pay their rent, the landlord can chase any or all of you to make up the money.
- If you share your flat and end up not getting on with your flatmates, it can be difficult to leave without the agreement of the landlord
- Many private landlords require a UK-based guarantor, which can be difficult for international students.
Purpose-Built Student Accommodation
This is any accommodation that is built as 'Student Accommodation', such as University halls, and halls built by private providers such as Unite.
- Usually all of your bills are included, and internet is already installed.
- You can book months in advance, so you don’t have to worry about it later.
- Often has 24/7 security and maintenance on site so issues can be solved quickly.
- You will be living around lots of other students, and most likely within walking distance of campus.
- Often have communal facilities such as cinema rooms, and organised events for residents
- Generally the most expensive option
- Unlike other private-rented options can offer fixed-term contracts which can be extremely difficult to get out of early.
The University offers a variety of both catered and self-catered accommodation for students. Before applying, it is wise to think about what sort of service you require - perhaps you don’t want to have set meal times and would rather eat when you please, or alternatively you might enjoy the convenience of not having to cook for yourself.
Please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/accommodation/ for further information regarding University accommodation.
Private ‘Student Accommodation’ (Purpose Built Student Accommodation/PBSA)
There are a variety of companies that offer accommodation around the university and the city centre specifically for students. These are effectively self-catered halls which tend to consist of a number of bedrooms with a communal living/ kitchen area and bathroom. These kinds of properties can be an option if you want to live with a larger group of friends, as they are more likely to be able to cater to groups of 3 or more.
However, do make sure you read your contract with them carefully, particularly their cancellation policy. Should you need to leave before your lease end date you could find it extremely difficult to be released from these types of contracts.
On campus are two privately owned halls - Coopers Court and Hunter Court. Owned by Hunter Construction, they provide students with either en suite or shared bathroom rooms in multi occupancy flats. For more information, see http://www.hunteraccommodation.co.uk/
A vast majority of students move to privately owned accommodation at some point whilst at university. There is an abundance of places to look for accommodation in Aberdeen. It’s simply a case of taking the time to search through websites and call up any landlords or leasing agencies to organise a viewing of any property that you like the sound of.
We have our own online accommodation database, which you can find on the main accommodation page. It lists both rooms and flats owned by private landlords. All adverts have contact details, so students can phone up landlords directly. If you have any further questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leasing agents are a good place to look for one, two and three bedroom properties. They tend to advertise 4-6 weeks in advance – good if you’re looking for a property in the near future. Anything that you like, simply phone up and enquire. If you like the property, you may be asked to pay a holding deposit. You may also be asked for references, so have them at the ready to save time. If you are moving from halls into a privately rented flat, you should be able to get a reference from the company who owned your halls, or from the student accommodation office if you stayed in University owned halls such as those at Hillhead.
Other Useful Contacts
Local Newspapers- especially good for both rooms and flats from private landlords, there are two local newspapers which have property guide: the Evening Express and the Press and Journal.
If you have any problems or difficulties, please feel free to contact us here at AUSA Advice where we will be happy to help.