The Fresher's Guide to Finding Rooms for Rent in Edinburgh: Navigating the Epic Quest



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 5, 2023
February 6, 2024

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The Fresher's Guide to Finding Rooms for Rent in Edinburgh: Navigating the Epic Quest

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So, you're back home for the Christmas holidays, and your friends can't stop raving about their fantastic £400-per-month student house in Manchester. Envious of their en-suite bedrooms and garden barbecues, you start picturing your own dream student flat in Edinburgh—the epitome of adulthood with bill payments and the freedom to set your room aglow with candlelight.

But hold on tight because the reality of flat hunting in Edinburgh is more like a treacherous journey through an overcrowded, rejection-filled nightmare. Brace yourself for the ups and downs as we embark on this wild adventure together.

Table of Contents

what is the reality of rooms for rent in Edinburgh for short stays?

House or No House, That is the Question!

Picture-perfect student houses may be all the rage in some cities, but sorry to burst your bubble—Edinburgh isn't exactly the hub for those. Here, it's all about cosy flats, where we embrace the art of living on top of each other.

If you're determined to find a house, your best bet is to explore areas closer to King's Buildings. But if your heart longs to be nearer to George Square, be prepared to downsize your dreams and settle for a flat with a maximum of six bedrooms.

Time to adjust your expectations from an eight-bedroom mansion to a more realistic setup. In such situations, splitting into girls' and boys' flats has become a popular choice for many.

Crunching the Numbers: Assessing Your Budget

Let's talk money. Finding a flat in Edinburgh for less than £450 per month is like finding a unicorn—it's incredibly rare. In fact, brace yourself for prices in the nicer areas soaring beyond £600 per month. That's why it's crucial to team up with flatmates who share a similar budget. After all, financial harmony is key, alongside finding people you can tolerate living with.

If you're looking to slash expenses, consider scouring websites like Gumtree to find spare rooms for rent Edinburgh. These hidden gems can often be snagged for around £400 per month. Alternatively, you can explore the option of moving in with a partner and splitting the rent for a shared room. Remember, not all landlords are open to this arrangement due to HMO licensing regulations. And while private halls may be tempting, they often come with a hefty price tag and restrictions on your candle-lit fantasies.

The Grand Location Dilemma: Where to Call Home?

Now, when it comes to choosing your ideal location, it's time to channel your inner explorer. Sure, you might have your heart set on living in Newington, but trust me, a few rejections will quickly broaden your horizons. However, having some preferences as a starting point never hurts.

If you're mixing with King's and George Square-based students, you'll want to avoid areas like Leith and New Town—unless you have a deep love for buses, of course. If you crave the buzzing student life, Marchmont is your go-to spot. It's like a sequel to Halls Life, with your friends likely just a street or two away. Plus, it's conveniently close to George Square—a dream come true for those notorious snoozers. Marchmont: your new home away from home.

But hold on. There's more! If you desire a vibrant neighbourhood with bustling amenities, Newington and Tollcross are your best bets. They strike a perfect balance between liveliness and proximity to uni. On the other hand, if you lean towards a more upscale and residential vibe, Bruntsfield and New Town will captivate your heart. And if your top priority is saving every precious pound, Leith awaits with its cheap rentals Edinburgh sans the hours-long commute to Central.

The Great Flat Hunt Begins: Ready, Set, Go!

Listen up because this part requires your utmost attention. The easiest route to finding a flat is through the luck of the draw—when some friends are moving out, you can seize the opportunity to take over their flat before it hits the market. This way, you can explore and secure the flat without battling other groups for it. Smooth sailing!

Now, if your friends' flats aren't up for grabs, brace yourself for the wild hunt. Gather your prospective flatmates for a strategy session, assign someone to take charge of organizing viewings, and create a group chat to keep everyone on track.

Rooms for rent in Edinburgh for short stays

The Grand Tour: Flat Viewings Unleashed

Ah, flat viewings—a thrilling mix of excitement and nerves. Most people kick off their search through websites like Rightmove or by directly contacting letting agents to arrange viewings. While it's rare, stumbling upon a flat rented out by a private landlord can sometimes lead to a more personal and direct relationship with the person who owns the place.

However, be prepared for the battleground of competition if you opt for the more common route of going through a letting agent. You'll likely find yourself amidst a crowd of at least five other groups vying for the same flat. The application process varies from agent to agent.

For example, Southside requires a lengthy application for every single flat, while Marchmont Flats has the owner meet all groups and make a decision on the spot. And let's not forget the University-owned accommodation Edinburgh, allocated through a nerve-wracking raffle process.

Sealing the Deal: Applying for Your Dream Flat

You've found it—the perfect flat that stole your heart in an instant. Now, drop everything and apply for it immediately. These gems tend to vanish like magic, so speed is of the essence. Sit down with your flatmates and tackle your applications together. Remember, there's no time for procrastination. But at the same time, don't settle for a flat you despise just because it seems like an easier option.

Stay patient and persistent, and trust that you'll find the right one eventually. Start early and increase your chances of securing a place before the mad rush begins.

Questions Unleashed: What to Ask the Landlord

When the landlord asks if you have any questions, don't be shy—ask away! Asking questions shows that you're a responsible and mature tenant and ensures you have all the necessary information. If the current tenants are present during the viewing, don't hesitate to inquire with them as well. They're less likely to sugarcoat the answers.

Double glazing is a must-know detail, as it can significantly impact how cosy or chilly the flat gets during winter. You'll also want to clarify whether bills are included and, if not, get an estimate of the monthly cost. These details will save you from any unwelcome surprises down the line.

Navigating the Application Maze: Guarantors and Beyond

Be prepared because letting agencies love their paperwork. Your application will likely require an extensive list of past tenancies, but the most critical aspect is securing a guarantor. This person will bear the legal responsibility of paying your rent if, by chance, you blow all your money on exotic hats or impulsive adventures. Typically, the guarantor must earn around three times your rent to qualify. They'll need to provide proof of their earnings, and if your parents don't meet the criteria, it's time to seek alternative options.

International students without a British guarantor face an additional hurdle. You may need to provide more forms and potentially pay a few months' rent upfront as a security deposit. Keep in mind that different letting agents have varying policies, so prepare accordingly.

Celebrate and Congratulate: Securing Your Dream Flat

Congratulations, you've secured your dream flat! Cue the fireworks and confetti. Once the euphoria settles, it's time to celebrate with your flatmates. You've triumphed after all the hard work, the sleepless nights, and the endless application forms.

But remember, the journey isn't over just yet. Before moving in, ensure you and your flatmates are on the same page regarding household chores, cleaning schedules, and bills. Establishing open communication channels from the get-go is crucial to ensure a harmonious co-living experience.

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From dreams to reality, the quest to find rooms for rent Edinburgh is nothing short of an epic odyssey. Navigating through the jungle of flat hunting requires patience, resilience, and a touch of luck. So buckle up, assemble your flat-hunting tribe, and embark on this exhilarating adventure to find Edinburgh city accommodations.

Despite the challenges, remember that once you find that cosy, candlelit sanctuary, it will all be worth it. Happy hunting!

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team at Houst is dedicated to providing up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals. If you have hosting inquiries, please write to us at For guest inquiries, reach out at We are here to help you navigate the world of short lets and look forward to assisting you with your needs.

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