Renting in Edinburgh: 10 Key Things to Know About Rentals in the Scottish Capital



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 5, 2023
July 27, 2023

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Renting in Edinburgh: 10 Key Things to Know About Rentals in the Scottish Capital

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Are you considering renting a property in the enchanting city of Edinburgh? Known for its historic charm, breathtaking architecture, and vibrant culture, Edinburgh offers a unique renting experience.

No matter if you're a local or a stranger to the area, it's imperative to have a thorough understanding of the rental market.

In this blog, we'll explore ten important things you should know about rentals Edinburgh, ensuring a smooth and informed renting process.

Table of Contents

1. Embracing the Charm of Edinburgh's Old Tenement Buildings

Most of Edinburgh's structures have a long history, dating to the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The city's architecture boasts a blend of old-world charm and magical allure, reminiscent of scenes from the Harry Potter series. You may immerse yourself in the city's distinct personality and take part in its enthralling history by renting a residence in one of Edinburgh's ancient tenement houses.

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2. Dealing with Uninvited Guests: Mice in Edinburgh Properties

Along with the old buildings, it's not uncommon to encounter some furry visitors in Edinburgh properties – mice. The age-old stonework and beautiful wooden flooring can provide tiny entry points for these small creatures. While encountering a mouse scurrying across the carpet may initially startle you, it's important to remember that mice have a long history in the city. Taking preventive measures to discourage their presence in your home, rather than attempting to eliminate them, is the common approach in Edinburgh city accommodation

3. The Significance of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) play a vital role in determining a property's energy efficiency. Rated on a scale from A (very efficient) to G (not efficient), the EPC provides valuable information about the property's energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. In Edinburgh's brisk Scottish weather, where heating is essential, a higher EPC rating can help reduce energy bills. It's crucial to maintain proper ventilation to prevent condensation or mould issues.

4. Exploring the World of Boilers

In Edinburgh, it's common for each flat to have its boiler hidden away in a small cupboard. If you encounter issues with heating or hot water, the problem usually lies with the boiler specific to your property. In such cases, assistance for Umega tenants is available.

5. Furnished Flats: Making Them Your Home

When renting a flat in Edinburgh, it's worth noting that most properties come furnished, including essentials like utensils, plates, and cups. This does not exclude you from adding your unique touch, though. There are countless ways to make your rental home feel like a haven, from converting the living room into an art studio to decorating the bedroom with your favourite Star Wars items. If the existing furniture doesn't meet your needs, consider renting a small storage unit to store the landlord's furniture while ensuring everything is returned to its original place upon moving out.

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6. The Importance of Viewing Properties in Person

Like the rest of the UK, applying for a property in Edinburgh cannot typically be done without first seeing it in person. This precautionary measure exists to protect tenants from potential surprises or misrepresentations. Unlike an image on a dating app, property photos may not always reflect the current state of the property. It's important to know what to look for at a viewing, even though you can ask a friend to go on your behalf.

7. Guarantors for Students

If you're a student in Edinburgh and looking for rooms for rent Edinburgh, having a guarantor is typically a requirement. If the renter is unable to make rent payments, a guarantor (usually a parent or other relative who resides in the UK and has a UK bank account) promises to do so. Given that they have different obligations, guarantors and co-signers need to be distinguished. If you don't have a UK-based guarantor, Umega may require 3-6 months' rent in advance and a double deposit.

8. Understanding Council Tax

Council tax is a separate expense from your regular taxes and is not included in the rent. It encompasses payments for water, and sewerage services and contributes to the maintenance of the city. The council tax fee varies depending on the location of the property within Edinburgh. But if they get a waiver, students are exempted from paying council tax.

9. Utilities, Expenses, and TV Licensing

Along with the rent, tenants are also liable for their utilities, including gas and electricity. Properties usually come with pre-existing suppliers, but you have the freedom to choose your preferred provider. It's critical to comprehend the many electric and gas metre types that might be installed in your rental home. A TV licence is also required per household, with options for monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments.

10. The Festival Fever: Edinburgh's Annual Transformation

As a tenant in Edinburgh, you have the privilege of experiencing the city's renowned annual festival. Each August, the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes over the streets, transforming the city into a cultural hub. All across the city, new venues, bars, and performances spring up, drawing tourists from all over the world. The population of Edinburgh practically doubles during this period, making it an exciting time to be part of the action. Embrace the festival spirit and enjoy living in the heart of the festivities.

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Renting a property in Edinburgh opens doors to a city steeped in history and brimming with cultural treasures. By familiarising yourself with these ten essential aspects of accommodation Edinburgh, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the process with confidence.

From embracing the charm of old tenement buildings to understanding tenancy agreements and managing utility expenses, each element plays a crucial role in ensuring a fulfilling and enjoyable renting experience in this captivating Scottish city.

Remember, as a tenant, you have rights, and it's essential to stay informed and empowered throughout your tenancy in Edinburgh.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at