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University of Edinburgh Accommodation Thread for Entry 2012/13

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    PART 1: OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH ACCOMMODATION THREAD

    Please do not post room numbers in this thread. It is visible to anyone, whether they are a member or not.

    Applications are open and you should apply ASAP, even if Edinburgh is only your insurance. http://www.appform.accom.ed.ac.uk/mo...plication.aspx

    If you are a new or current student looking for private accommodation in Edinburgh, please see post #2. For links to other threads discussing accommodation in Edinburgh see post #3.

    Before posting questions in this thread please read through post #1, post #2 and post #3 to ensure your query has not already been answered! There is also a ‘Search This Thread’ tool at the top of the thread which may well help find your answer.

    There are official Facebook groups for every university residence for the academic year 2012/13. Go here to find yours.

    The University of Edinburgh owns a vast array of accommodation throughout the city. All properties are managed by Accommodation Services. They are based in the Reception Centre at Pollock Halls, and can be visited in person as well as contacted in a number of ways. See here for contact details.

    You can view various maps to see where this official accommodation is located throughout the city here.

    You can download the university’s official accommodation guides for September 2012/January 2013 entry here. No guide has yet been published for September 2013, although it’s fair to assume that little will change. Prices should all relate to the academic year 2012/13, but be sure to double check.

    Is accommodation guaranteed?

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    The current policy in place is that you will be guaranteed an offer of university accommodation if you meet the follow conditions:
    Your online accommodation application must be submitted by August 16th (n.b. this maybe subject to change, although the date has held fast for several years now).
    You must hold an unconditional firm offer on UCAS by August 30th.
    You must ordinarily reside outside the City of Edinburgh boundaries.
    You must be studying at the university for the full academic year.

    The university does NOT guarantee to provide you with the precise type of accommodation that you want, and if you reject an initial offer of accommodation it is highly unlikely they will make you another one. Couples and families are NOT guaranteed accommodation.

    Generally, if you are coming to Edinburgh on an exchange from abroad, you will also be guaranteed accommodation. If you are arriving on exchange from within the EU, you must be on an official institutional exchange.

    If you come from the City of Edinburgh you are not guaranteed accommodation. However, many applicants apply despite this and are made offers. Anecdotally, the majority of Edinburgh-based applicants are allocated accommodation in Pollock Halls. This was previously policy but it no longer officially stipulated.


    I’m a Postgraduate - is my accommodation guaranteed?

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    Postgraduates from outside the EU
    If you are a new single postgraduate from outside the EU, you are guaranteed an offer of University accommodation if you meet the following conditions:
    Your accommodation application is received by 31 July in the year of entry to University
    Your place of study at the University is be confirmed to us as being unconditional (UF) by 31 July in the year of entry to University
    You are studying at the University of Edinburgh for the whole academic year, starting in September.
    We guarantee only to provide an offer of accommodation to all new single postgraduate students from outside the EU.
    We do not guarantee to provide you with precisely the type of accommodation you would prefer.
    Postgraduates from within the EU
    In general, we give no absolute guarantee of an offer of University accommodation to any postgraduates from within the EU.
    However, we are committed to trying to offer University accommodation to new single postgraduates from within the EU, on a first come, first served basis.
    If you are a postgraduate from within the EU wishing to apply for University accommodation, you must make sure:
    Your accommodation application is received by 31 July in the year of entry to University
    Your place of study at the University must be confirmed to us as being unconditional (UF) by 31 July in the year of entry to University
    You will be studying at the University of Edinburgh for the whole academic year starting in September.
    All applications will be dealt with on a first come, first served basis, based on the date on which the accommodation application is received by us.
    It is therefore in your interest to apply as soon as possible after 15 February in the year of entry to University.
    In the event that we are able to make an accommodation offer, we do not guarantee to provide you with precisely the type of accommodation you would prefer.
    However, it will be centrally located University accommodation with other new postgraduate students.
    This is extremely unlikely. Postgraduate housing stock is very limited and it is advisable to find alternative accommodation if you are an EU applicant.


    So does the guarantee work?
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    The accommodation guarantee has caused some issues during for entry in 2008, 2009 and 2011 due to the vast popularity of the university amongst applicants. Some measures have been taken to address this, including but not limited to the increase in entry requirements to the university. In the past instances accommodation was vastly oversubscribed and the university struggled to arrange housing for everybody. The good news is that Accommodation Services appear never to have compromised on their promise: they have ensured that an offer of accommodation is made to every applicant who is eligible even in oversubscribed years. However, offers to attend the university were significantly lower in the last cycle (September 2010 entry) and consequently there was far less pandemonium than in previous years. The consensus is that it will never be that oversubscribed again but you should be aware! Details of what happened in ’08 and ’09 are below, for your perusal.

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    In 2008, Accommodation Services was forced to lease Portsburgh Court from the private student accommodation provider Unite, and a number of freshers spent their first few weeks in Edinburgh in hostels and hotels arranged for them by Accommodation Services. There were also reports of some rooms in Chancellor’s Court, Pollock being turned into twin rooms.

    In 2009, oversubscription was an even more serious issue. The leasing of Unite accommodation was once necessary. Students were also allocated what would ordinarily be postgraduate accommodation. Accommodation Services also leased some 50 rooms at Jewel and Esk college, 4 miles from the university. A majority of rooms in Chancellor’s Court, Pollock were converted to twin rooms.

    In 2011 a number of additional buildings were leased including accommodation at QMU. Masson House in Pollock Halls was reopened. There was also substantial twinning of rooms in Chancellor’s Court in Pollock Halls.


    What does this mean in practical terms if you are applying for entry in 2012? You are guaranteed a room if you meet the eligibility criteria, but it may well not be the room you want. If you are an insurance applicant you may well be considered a lower priority when allocation is taking place (although unlike other universities, you should still be guaranteed something). Likewise, allocation is liable to take longer if there are more students who need to be accommodated. And you will only be made ONE offer. If you turn down your offer you will not receive another. UPDATE: Accommodation Services has increased the number of residences available for 2012/13 via the private market. This may well abate the issues of previous years.


    How do I apply?

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    Applications for official accommodation take place online. Applications are currently not being accepted. For entry in September 2011, applications were accepted from February 22nd - it’s reasonable to assume that the date will be about the same in 2012. Once applications open, you may apply whenever you want. Applications are now open. Apply here: http://www.appform.accom.ed.ac.uk/mo...plication.aspx Accommodation Services do NOT operate a first come, first served system - so you are at no advantage if you apply early. The deadline has been August 16th for several years - but be aware this may change! Ensure that you apply for accommodation before this date, as applications will not be accepted late in any circumstances. Applications for postgraduate students close on July 31st. Non EU postgraduates should be aware that it is necessary to pay a £250 deposit when applying - this is refundable if you do not move into university accommodation. If Edinburgh is only your insurance offer you should still apply as soon as you can. Offers are made via MyEd and you will be notified of updates by email. Therefore, ensure you apply for accommodation using an email address which you will have access to at all times throughout August and September. Do NOT use an email address from school, college, work or anywhere else where you will not be able to access your inbox during August.


    Accepting an offer of accommodation

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    Offers of accommodation will not be made until the summer. The very first offers for September 2012 started to go out in the first week of June. In order to be eligible for an offer, you must hold a firm, unconditional offer from the university. This means that if you have applied using predicted grades, your offer from the university will not become conditional until your exam results are confirmed (in the case of Highers/Advanced Highers in early August, and in the case of A Levels in mid August). You must accept the offer of accommodation through the Accommodation Services channel on MyEd. Acceptance of the offer will include agreeing to your tenancy agreement and payment of a £250 deposit. The deposit is paid by card. You should pay using a card that you are likely to still have a year later, as the deposit is refunded to the original payment card. The card processing site is known to struggle with international cards, so if it won’t accept your payment there’s no need to worry. It is possible to pay the deposit by card or cash upon arrival in Edinburgh. You should confirm with Accommodation Services if this is what you intend to do.

    Bear in mind that once you receive an offer of accommodation, you only have seven days to accept or decline. After that time has elapsed, the offer will be withdrawn. You do not have to accept, but if you decline, another offer will not be made.

    What if I don’t like the accommodation offered to me?

    If you have a medical reason that requires a certain type of accommodation then you should provide evidence when applying. If you are offered inappropriate accommodation contact Accommodation Services as soon as possible to notify them. They will make you another offer. In other cases, it is worth pointing out that in recent years there has been a tendency for Accommodation Services to occasionally reconsider. In cases where they have made particularly strange offers (e.g. mature student placed in standard freshers’ accommodation) they have made a second offer. They have also facilitated “swaps” - where one student has been offered one kind of accommodation but has found someone else they want to swap with. This is all anecdotal however, and is certainly not official policy.


    Room Sizes

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    There are a lot of questions about the room sizing and whether one should apply for a small, medium or large room. The general consensus of students past and present is that you should always apply for the SMALL room size wherever possible: the difference in size between different classes of room is often marginal, and significant savings in rent can be made if your room is classed as “small”.

    The choice of room sizes is something that was only introduced in 2007. It is commonly viewed amongst students as a ruse by Accommodation Services to squeeze more money out of their tenants. The general rule of thumb in most cases is that paying an extra £10 a week for a “large” room might gain you an extra 30cm width. The larger rooms do not represent good value for money.


    Internet and Phone

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    As of 2009, all data connectivity and telephony in university owned accommodation is provided by Keycom. The standard internet speed is 12Mbps and is included in your rent. If you wish to upgrade this to a premium service you may pay £50 directly to Keycom (this cost may be subject to change). This upgrade is alleged to increase the speed to 20Mbps, however, there have been numerous complaints from those who have paid for the premium service that there is little noticeable difference. Over the years of KeyCom, the “free” service has improved dramatically although the standard network can suffer from being somewhat slow and overloaded at peak times. Keycom have provided wifi in most public areas in self-catered accommodation and all public areas in catered accommodation, but this is considered a supplementary service and will generally not work in bedrooms. To see exactly what is available where, see this page.

    Telephony is also provided by Keycom, through their Keytalk service. You are provided with a VOIP phone in your room which has a direct dial Edinburgh (0131) number. Calls to all other rooms within Accommodation Services are free. Outgoing calls are all charged through topping up your prepaid phone account. Keycom pricing for phone calls (as of September 2010) can be seen here.

    There is a 24 hours university computer lab in Pollock Halls.

    Mobile phone reception in Edinburgh is generally good on all networks outdoors, although reception can sometimes be intermittent inside university accommodation.


    Residence Life

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    Residence Life is now being taken very seriously by the University of Edinburgh and has evolved substantially in the past 5 years. The current aim is to bring the ratio of residents to Resident Assistants (RAs) down to 1 to 40.

    For residents in Pollock Halls they have a Warden (a university employee who lives in the building and oversees RAs, events, discipline etc) and several RAs who are all current students at the university with experience of living in university accommodation who live with you. They are responsible for running events, offering advice etc.

    If you live in a self-catered residence then you will also have a team of RAs living on site. However, instead of a Warden there will be an accommodation manager who will also manage the building, with reception hours most days of the week as well as being in email contact. They should be your first port of call if you have queries about payments, require a reference or need to report issues with your flat.


    Leaving at the end of your tenancy

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    Accommodation Services should provide you with a letter towards the end of your tenancy remind you when the final move out day is. You will be expected to return all keys to the relevant member of Accommodation Services staff by the morning of the last day. You may move out before this date but will not receive a refund for unused rent. If moving out early, you are encouraged to return your own keys rather than entrusting them to flatmates or friends. Along with the reminder letter you should also receive a set of instruction regarding the cleaning of your room or flat. Ensure that you follow these closely, as the penalty for not complying will be charged at exorbitant rates and deducted from your deposit. Consequently it is important to complete your inventory when you move in.


    Catered or Self-Catered?

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    It is important to dispel the initial myth surrounding this choice. Neither is the better option socially - you will not miss out by choosing one over the other. It is really a fairly straightforward choice. Do you want to live in a flat or on a corridor? Do you want a kitchen or a pantry? Do you want a living area or a common room? Do you want to choose what you cook and when you eat, or be secure in the knowledge that there will always be food available at a set time? In recent years rent costs for both have swelled rapidly, but there is a huge premium for those living in catered accommodation. Do bear in mind that if you live in catered accommodation, you will still have to make or buy your lunch. You pay for breakfast and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner at the weekend. Pollock Halls is on the other hand, the largest single community of students in the city and there are advantages such as the onsite shop selling all the essentials you may need as well as a cash machine. If you live in a self-catered flat you’ll be much more a part of a smaller a potentially close knit community in the wider Edinburgh cityscape. It all boils down to what you prefer as a person - but there are no solid advantages of the one form of accommodation over the other.


    Twin Rooms in Pollock Halls

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    Essentially twin rooms are a matter of luck. Most of them are simply normal sized rooms with a bunk bed in. These are miserably cramped, with only a couple of square metres of floor space after the bed and desk. However, if you are lucky you may get one of the twin rooms on the fourth floor of Chancellor's Court or in John Burnett House. These rooms are two or three times as large as a standard room, and perhaps the largest in Pollock. They have two single beds, and in most cases have large balconies. Best of all they cost no more than the other twin rooms.


    Food at Pollock Halls (Thanks to fwapper for this)

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    The JMCC is where you will be eating for the year if you stay in Pollock Halls. The food it serves is marginally better than your average school dinner, but the illusion of variety disappears after a month or so as by then you will have eaten every meal they make at least once.

    If you don't mind endless soggy, bland shades of beige then all is well, but if you have any appreciation of food whatsoever then it becomes a chore to go. I know about a dozen people who are moving to self catered accommodation after the first semester simply to escape the JMCC. Although it has to be noted that these people are almost exclusively mainland European with high standards for food - one Italian only lasted three weeks before he moved out.

    On the rare occasion they produce something appealing (like jam doughnuts) there is such a scramble for them that they are gone in seconds. The place is also horribly disorganised, understaffed and overcrowded, with bottlenecks forming everywhere as dozens of people stand waiting for food/cutlery/condiments... you get the idea.

    To sum up: if you go to the JMMC hungry the smell when entering will put you off, and at the end you leave full, but never satisfied. But you can have as many helpings as you like.


    Pricing

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    Catered

    Prices for all catered accommodation available for entry 2012 can be viewed here. These may be subject to change in 2013.

    Self-Catered

    Prices for all self-catered accommodation available for entry 2012 can be viewed here. These may be subject to change in 2013.


    Payment

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    You can pay rent to Accommodation Services in a number of different ways. You can pay in full by card online. You can also pay in full or instalments in person at Pollock Halls reception centre. You can pay by recurring payment by credit card. Accommodation Services can also issue an invoice and send it to a third party sponsor, if your accommodation is being funded by another institution for example. The most common means of payment is by direct debit, which can be arranged on a monthly or semesterly basis. Full details can be seen here.


    Insurance

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    Basic insurance cover is included the cost of your rent. Insurance is provided by Cover 4 Students, a specialist student insurer. The cover insures personal possessions on a new for old basis against theft, fire, flood, burst pipes, storm, vandalism, explosion and lightening. The insurance policy does not cover your possessions outside of your room. It is possible to purchase extensions to your policy to cover items such as computers, musical instruments and mobile phones when out of your room - the premiums are generally the market average although do check their competitors to see if you can get it cheaper. See full details of the University of Edinburgh insurance policy here. Anecdotal evidence on TSR in past suggests that they are reasonably reliable as insurers and will generally pay out on genuine claims without too much fuss.


    Car Parking

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    Car parking is available at the following properties: Blackett Avenue, Darroch Court, Kincaid’s Court, Blackwood Crescent/ Causewayside, Sciennes 1, Sciennes 2, East Newington Place, Hermit’s Croft, Robertson’s Close, Roxburgh Place, Warrender Park Crescent, Warrender Park Road. Availability is strictly limited and you MUST purchase a parking permit in order to park in the car parks. The charge for the 2008/09 academic session was £97.20. Parking at Pollock Halls is very limited and currently the official policy is that parking permits will not be issued for use in Pollock. See Accommodation Services' parking page here.


    What does the accommodation look like?

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    The Accommodation Services website now allows you to take a virtual tour of several of its properties. You can do this here.

    We also have a library of photos that various members have taken. You can view it on photobucket, here. The location of each photo is detailed in its title.


    Council Tax

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    Accommodation Services annually informs the City of Edinburgh council that all their tenants are students and therefore are exempt from payment of council tax.


    University accommodation after first year

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    It is possible to remain in official university accommodation after first year. The only residence available for those looking to continue self-catered in a single room is at Blackfriars Street. There are otherwise small 1 and 2 person flats available (although most of these are on a full 1 year lease), as well as larger flats around the city suitable for between 3 and 5 people. Accommodation Services will hold an accommodation fair for continuing students during the early spring, and applications are made in person at Pollock Halls reception centre. Allocations take place on a strictly first come, first served basis. If you want to remain in Pollocks Halls or standard self-catered flats then you can apply to become a House Assistant or a Resident’s Assistant. You will live with other assistants and be the first point of contact for a large number of freshers in your building. You will however, receive a discount on your rent.


    See post #2 for details on private accommodation in Edinburgh. See post #3 for handy links to other threads about accommodation in Edinburgh.

    Disclaimer:

    This post does not represent the views of the University of Edinburgh or Accommodation Services in any capacity whatsoever. The thread is intended to offer information and advice in an informal and personal capacity. Any advice given in this thread by me (or any other poster) is not given in any official capacity as a representative of the University or Accommodation Services. If anything is ever in doubt it is always recommended that you check with Accommodation Services.
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    PART 2: PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION IN EDINBURGH

    Living in university managed accommodation may not suit you, or there may be issues with the supply of accommodation once again this year. So do remember that you do not have to accept the offer of accommodation if you do not want to and there are plenty of alternatives - Edinburgh has a lot of very good flats on offer to students. The following advice is also fully relevant if you are a continuing student looking for new accommodation.

    The university’s Accommodation Services offers a fairly handy overview and guide to private student accommodation in Edinburgh here.

    EUSA also provide some advice on their webpage, along with a flatfinder. EUSA’s Advice Place is also happy to offer impartial advice on accommodation in Edinburgh.

    What do I need to do first?

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    Decide what you want. Do you want to join an existing flat? Do you want to find a new flat with a group of flatmates? Or do you want to live in private halls of residence?


    I want to join an existing flat

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    A starting point is to look on the EUSA forum. This is generally the first port of call for those who want to advertise rooms for rent. Most people looking for tenants on this site will be existing UofE students.

    You can also see what is on offer outside the union office in the Potterrow dome in Bristo Square. Legitimate advertisements will always be stamped by EUSA.

    An alternative is to try the Edinburgh Gumtree page. You will find however, that a lot of posts here are regarding entire flats to rent so it will take some work to sift out the individual room listings.

    I want to find my own flat and some flatmates
    If you are looking to share with 2 or more people who you are NOT related to, you need to ensure that your landlord has an HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupancy) licence for the property. This a strict legal requirement for rentals to unrelated groups of 3 or more adults in Scotland. The legislation provides a great deal of protection for tenants, so do not be tempted by landlords who are prepared to let to a group of 3 or more tenants without an HMO.

    Finding a flat in Edinburgh is generally very easy, particularly if you are able to dedicate a few days of your time in Edinburgh to searching. Most flats in Edinburgh are suited to 2-4 people, so you do not need a large group of flatmates to be successful. There are larger flats for 5-7 people, but these are rarer and you are often charged a premium for them. If you are a continuing student looking for flatmates, then look around you. Do you current flatmates want to continue living with you elsewhere? Do you have friends from courses or societies who need somewhere to live? Look on the notice boards at Potterrow to see if anyone is looking for flatmates. For new and old students alike, looking online, at EUSA’s forums, on TSR and on Gumtree is the best way to find flatmates.


    I want to live in private halls of residence

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    If you want to live in student halls of residence in the private sector then you can turn to either Unite, iQ or Fresh Student Living. Unite currently operate five properties in Edinburgh, on McDonald Road, Lady Lawson Street, James Craig Walk, Potterrow and Chalmers Street. The leases are generally significantly longer than those offered by Accommodation Services, and the prices are substantially steeper. You do generally receive a higher standard of accommodation, but it is all self-catered. Some students love Unite and others hate it, so you may want to read up on the company and find out about other students’ experiences before committing to anything with the company. You can take a more in depth look at what Unite offer in Edinburgh here. Alternatively there is iQ accommodation - another private operator who entered the Edinburgh market in September 2010 with properties on Grove Street and Fountainbridge. They, like Unite, offer a mix of shared “flats” as well as studio flats and all their rooms are ensuite. You do a pay a premium here as well and you can expect a longer lease, but once again the standard of accommodation appears to be good. They are new to Edinburgh but it’s reasonable to assume that reviews, be they good or bad, will be forthcoming over the next few months. So once again, before you commit do your research. You can take a look at what is available here. Finally there is Fresh Student Living's offer at Beaverbank in Broughton. While this is slightly further away than Unite and iQ (expect to spend 30 minutes walking to George Square), it is well connected by buses. Once again, tenancies are longer than those offered by Accommodation Services and the setup of rooms appears to be in "flat" form. Pricing is initially competitive (although this seems to be a promotional offer in advance of 2011/12 only). While they are brand new, the standard of living looks good. For further information visit their website here.


    Landlords and Letting Agencies

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    You want a landlord who is accredited by the Edinburgh City Council landlord accreditation scheme, which means the landlord and the property has to adhere to certain rules and regulations. Not all landlords are part of this scheme and it is generally advisable to avoid ones which are not, esspecially if you are new to Edinburgh or to private letting. You can peruse the directory of accredited agents and landlords here.

    The pro and cons of whether you choose a private individual landlord or a letting agent tend to vary, although there is really no better option. Private landlords are generally easy to contact and are more interested in the upkeep of their property, although it can work conversely if the landlord is a bad one and is uninterested in helping tenants. Letting agencies can often suffer from being slightly faceless and often somewhat overstretched. However, they are far more experienced in letting property and will often directly employ workmen who can carry out repairs etc without having to contract outside contractors.
    There are lots of property management companies in Edinburgh, some with better reviews than others. As in all areas of life, there are good and bad reviews for the vast array of letting agents in Edinburgh; so do some research into companies before agreeing anything with them.


    Finding a flat

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    The afore mentioned websites are all useful in the pursuit of a flat. There are also a number of property search engines where both private landlords and letting agents advertise available properties. The most used ones are City Lets, s1 Rental, Letting Web, ESPC, Letting In Scotland and Student Pad. While this list is not exhaustive, it should provide you with everything you need to find available flats.


    Where should I live?

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    The main student areas of Edinburgh are Marchmont, Newington, Tollcross, Bruntsfield, New Town and Old Town. If you look at a map of Edinburgh, this is the area which is bordered by Queen Street in the north, Holyrood Park and Dalkeith Road to the east, Strathearn Road and Mayfield Place to the south, and Bruntsfield Place to the west. All of these areas are within a 20-25 minute walk of the George Square and are within walking distance of most popular pubs, clubs and shops.


    Pricing

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    Housing in Edinburgh is more expensive than in most cities in the UK, so expect to pay a lot. In general, you can expect to spend an average of £300/person/month excluding bills although depending on where you choose to live and your budget, this can be in excess of £400. Most students in Edinburgh find that it is possible to rent a decent room in central Edinburgh for less than £320. Bills can vary dramatically depending on specific circumstances, but a figure of £25/month/person is a reasonable average to work with. There may be a stair cleaner to clean communal areas and each flat will pay their share monthly. In some cases cleaning duties are shared on a rotational basis by residents. Current residents will generally inform you of relevant procedures.

    Leases are almost always 12 months in duration when renting HMO licensed properties, with little room for negotiation. This may be different if you are in a pair living in a non-HMO licensed property, in which case you may have a minimum duration of tenancy (typically 6 months) followed by a rolling tenancy. Rent will invariably be payable monthly in advance, regardless of whether you are living in the property or not. Many students chose to sublet their room in the summer months to people who are visiting Edinburgh during the festival, or stay in the flat themselves while working in the city. Bear in mind that if you intend to sublet, you should ask your agent or landlord for permission, and that the terms of your tenancy agreement may prohibit it.

    Deposits are usually equal to one month’s rent (often +£100 or so), which can sometimes be used in lieu of a 12th month payment. All breakages and repair costs are generally paid for by the landlord, not the tenants (unless of course you break it by being stupid/drunk). See the section on insurance for more information on this matter.


    Payment

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    Most landlords and lettings agencies will expect payment by direct debit or standing order. Most agencies will also generally allow payment by bank transfer, cheque and cash; but frequently charge additional fees if you choose to pay this way.


    Council Tax

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    If everybody at your address is a student, then you are exempt from paying council tax as well as water charges. In order to confirm that you are exempt you will need to contact the City of Edinburgh council and provide the matriculation numbers of all students living at the address. Some letting agencies state that they will do this on your behalf, but do not rely on them to do this. Legally, you are obliged to inform the council as soon as possible.

    If there are non-students residing at the address then you may be eligible for a council tax discount. You should contact the council, the CAB or the EUSA Advice Place for more advice.


    Insurance

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    In privately let accommodation, buildings insurance will already be held by the landlord. You will however, require contents insurance. A number of landlords/agencies will also require you to be covered by Tenants Insurance. Tenants Insurance covers you in the event of damage to your property; ie if you were spill wine on a carpet or damage a wall, the insurance would cover the cost of rectifying this, rather than the landlord making deductions from your deposit. It is a fairly unusual form of insurance which was seemingly invented by HomeLet to make money. Several agencies will attempt to steer you to a specific provider, but avoid this as a different provider may well be cheaper. Endsleigh include Tenants Insurance in some of their standard student policies. Bear in mind that many insurance policies may not be designed for those renting their homes, so take care when searching that the policies you consider are suited to your needs.


    Car Parking

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    Unless you are fortunate enough to have a parking space associated with your property, you will almost certainly be living in a controlled parking zone. In order to park you will need to apply to the City of Edinburgh council for a parking permit. The current cost for a permit in zones 1-4 (central Edinburgh) is £160/year, and in the outer suburbs is £80/year. See further details on the council’s residence parking permit page.


    What are the properties like?

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    A lot of properties in central Edinburgh are old tenement style flats, with a shared staircase and 2-4 properties on each floor, usually with a minimum of 3 or 4 floors. There will often be a shared garden for which you will have access. Ceilings will be high, rooms generously proportioned and windows often single glazed (bear in mind that all these characteristics are charming but will increase energy bills). Some flats have living rooms but some have been converted into additional bedrooms; in these cases landlords tend to furnish the kitchen in a kitchen/diner style. You will often find that older flats can have several interesting period pieces as well as adequate storage. Rental of houses in central Edinburgh is uncommon as there are very few on the rental market that are HMO licensed, although they do turn up occasionally. There are also a large number of tenement flats built since the 1960s.


    See post #3 for handy links to other threads on Edinburgh accommodation.
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    PART 3: Conclusion and Useful Links

    Conclusion

    So there you have it, hopefully the full and comprehensive guide to accommodation, both university owned and private in Edinburgh, that you were looking for. It is quite possible that some important points have been missed out from these posts, so if there is anything that has been forgotten or skimped on, then please go ahead and ask a question below. Edinburgh students past and present will be more than happy to try and answer as best as they can, and share their experiences of living and renting in Edinburgh with you. Many thanks to oxymoronic for her original accommodation thread for entry in September ’09, which is linked above.

    And remember, to discuss anything relating to application/entry to the University of Edinburgh in September 2011 apart from accommodation, head over to our stickified and officialised discussion thread.

    Here are some handy links that we’ve compiled over the years to other threads - if your question isn’t answered in this thread then maybe it’s in one of these:

    Official accommodation thread for entry 10/11

    Official accommodation thread for entry 09/10

    Official accommodation thread for entry 08/09

    Why did you apply for your accommodation/where did you apply 08/09


    Where is the best place to live in Edinburgh?

    Price of accommodation, artorscience's post in particular

    UNITE at Edinburgh

    Where to live/prices for after first year

    Edinburgh is my insurance choice, do I still apply?


    Self catered accommodation = single sex (in general)

    Last year’s postgraduate accommodation discussion thread


    Detailed stuff:


    Pollock meal times

    Mini fridge? What to and what not to bring!

    Should I bring a TV?

    Should I bring my bike?

    Where can I buy a bike in Edinburgh?

    Can I bring my dog to Edinburgh?

    Are there mirrors in the rooms?

    To access university account when not on university network - ie from home or private accommodation

    Internet and gaming in university accommodation

    Postgrad accommodation thread 2010/11

    Does accommodation allow dogs?
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    Is it possible to get a decent 3 bedroom flat for 1050pcm or less that is between George Square and Prince's Street, rather than in Newington or Marchmont etc? My flatmate wants to be more central and my other flatmate and I want to be close to the uni but the first flatmate doesn't want to pay more than 350pcm and I'm struggling to find anything at the moment. I've found loads of flats in Newington but she doesn't want to live there anymore. I'm thinking Tollcross/Grassmarket maybe even Pleasance would suit her in terms of distance from Prince's Street yet still be close enough to George Square.
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    So just firmed my offer from Edinburgh and as we can all start applying for accommodation as of tomorrow I was just wondering where everyone's thinking of applying? Catered or self-catered?
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    (Original post by Emmie3303)
    Is it possible to get a decent 3 bedroom flat for 1050pcm or less that is between George Square and Prince's Street, rather than in Newington or Marchmont etc? My flatmate wants to be more central and my other flatmate and I want to be close to the uni but the first flatmate doesn't want to pay more than 350pcm and I'm struggling to find anything at the moment. I've found loads of flats in Newington but she doesn't want to live there anymore. I'm thinking Tollcross/Grassmarket maybe even Pleasance would suit her in terms of distance from Prince's Street yet still be close enough to George Square.
    That's a tall order, but not undo-able. Depends on what you mean by decent, of course. A lot of places are OK, but not exactly the lap of luxury. Try Citylets - it collates rentals from across the city. I found one on Broughton Street - List of Flats here

    It's at the bottom, three bed, £990 pcm, and very central.
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    (Original post by NeoNerd)
    That's a tall order, but not undo-able. Depends on what you mean by decent, of course. A lot of places are OK, but not exactly the lap of luxury. Try Citylets - it collates rentals from across the city. I found one on Broughton Street - List of Flats here

    It's at the bottom, three bed, £990 pcm, and very central.
    Thanks, that's great! I hadn't noticed that before when I searched . I guess by decent I mean clean, not really dingy and a decent amount of space. We saw a brilliant, huge flat last year that we would have had to pay a lot of money for and it just wasn't worth it, especially when you add on the bills.
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    I can't decide - it seems like self-catered tend to be single-sex flats and I'd rather die than spend the whole of the first year living with just girls, argh! What about you?
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    Bonjour all -
    From what I can gather it seems that self-catered accommodation in the first year at Edinburgh appears, for the most part, to be single-sex. Just wondering whether this is always true and what people's experiences are of this system - the thought of living with only girls for my first year makes me want to cry but I don't particularly want to live in catered halls.
    Thank you!
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    Exactly the same! I wanted to go self-catered so I could learn cooking skills and buy my own food but I'd really rather not be living with all girls for the first year :| I'm not too bothered about ensuite, obviously I'd prefer it but it's not end of the world if I have to share..
    Pollock seems okay, a lot of students in one area, seen mixed opinions on the food.. It's just quite expensive
    Ahhh can't decide
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    The flats themselves are mostly single-sex, but not the entire building. And it's not like you can't have guys in your flat.
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    Yeah, it's a bit of a walk away from my departments and I can't be arsed to pay that much more for them to feed me - I don't eat regular meals at home anyway. I just don't really like the all-girls flat thing - that's my only qualm. Argh, choices!
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    (Original post by finestory)
    Bonjour all -
    From what I can gather it seems that self-catered accommodation in the first year at Edinburgh appears, for the most part, to be single-sex. Just wondering whether this is always true and what people's experiences are of this system - the thought of living with only girls for my first year makes me want to cry but I don't particularly want to live in catered halls.
    Thank you!
    Each individual flat will mostly be single-sex. But not each building or block. My floor of my building had one male flat (mine) and two female. Also, in Kincaids court, there is a block of 12 person flats. These are mixed sex.
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    Pollock is extremely expensive for what you get. The most expensive rooms are £191 a week. Which is almost as much as I pay for my entire flat for a month. The food is OK, but not great. You also don't get lunch.

    Self catered is single sex in every flat, but not in every building. It's not overly different from Pollock in this respect - next door you could have a flat of men. Or, in some places, live in a mixed-sex flat.
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    I have a tangentially-related question. When a self-catered flat is listed as 'single', does that only mean 'single' size or single occupant?
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    Hmm, do you know the cheapest accommodation in Edinburgh?...and any info about the living expenses please?...I'm an international student who got an offer from University of Edinburgh, but still considering it due to financial problems...just want to know if I can afford...thanks and I wish to hear from you all soon.
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    (Original post by NeoNerd)
    Which is almost as much as I pay for my entire flat for a month.
    Ooh, and I thought my rent was good for a month! Which area are you in that your rent is that low?
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    Does anyone have any experience of getting university accommodation after first year? I think I'm going to be looking for flats alone as my flatmates have basically decided that they want to live somewhere different to me. I can't find any information on what the university actually offers. Are they studio flats or 1 bedroom in a bigger flat?
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    (Original post by Emmie3303)
    Does anyone have any experience of getting university accommodation after first year? I think I'm going to be looking for flats alone as my flatmates have basically decided that they want to live somewhere different to me. I can't find any information on what the university actually offers. Are they studio flats or 1 bedroom in a bigger flat?
    There's not much around, and due to student numbers that'll stay the same. The number of UG's coming in September is up on last year, and PG's have just been told that they won't be allowed to renew their leases for next year as they need all the space for new students. There's the stuff on South Bridge (above Blackwell's) which is all studio flats. Then there is Blackfriars Street (basically Smart City Hostel leased to the university) which is for continuing students only where you get a single study bedroom with ensuite. I've long thought the studio flats look a bit bleak (and pricey), and Blackfriars Street is just not worth it unless you are absolutely desperate. Personally, I would make some effort to look for a new group to share with before going with the university. Otherwise, have you considered being an RA? They're recruiting now, need lots of them (so if you're not a dunce then you should get the job) and you get 75% off your rent...
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    (Original post by nearlyheadlessian)
    There's not much around, and due to student numbers that'll stay the same. The number of UG's coming in September is up on last year, and PG's have just been told that they won't be allowed to renew their leases for next year as they need all the space for new students. There's the stuff on South Bridge (above Blackwell's) which is all studio flats. Then there is Blackfriars Street (basically Smart City Hostel leased to the university) which is for continuing students only where you get a single study bedroom with ensuite. I've long thought the studio flats look a bit bleak (and pricey), and Blackfriars Street is just not worth it unless you are absolutely desperate. Personally, I would make some effort to look for a new group to share with before going with the university. Otherwise, have you considered being an RA? They're recruiting now, need lots of them (so if you're not a dunce then you should get the job) and you get 75% off your rent...
    Thanks . I was told ages ago on a visit day that they are snapped up really rapidly. To be honest I think South Bridge is a bit busy for me. I'm not quite desperate yet :p:. There is someone I could share with but they might be moving to a different country next year.

    I'm taking an interruption of studies this year because of anxiety and I just don't think I'll be able to handle coming back next year and taking on the responsibility of being an RA. It's a good suggestion to bear in mind for the future though, so thanks .

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