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Thread for accommodation questions for 09/10 entry - READ & POST HERE FIRST :o)

We will begin updating this for 10/11 entry - please be patient! Until then, all of the answers to most of your questions can be found in this thread already - please read it. Then add to this post if you've got any other questions and we'll do our best to help.


***FINDING PRIVATE ACCOMMODATION IN EDINBURGH***

It seems that the university is claiming that they will only be able to offer bunk bed twin rooms to large numbers of students for the new year. Obviously, sharing a room isn't the nicest of prospects to look forward to however nice your prospective roommate might be, so I thought I'd put together a little section on finding private accommodation for those who decide not to accept their offers. Remember, you do not have to accept the accommodation offer if you don't want to do so and there are plenty of alternatives - Edinburgh has a lot of very good flats on offer to students.

I want to join an existing flat

Look on the university student union forum here (the link brings you to the accommodation forum). This is generally the first port of call for people to advertise spare rooms, or you can place an advert saying you're looking for a room. Most people advertising on here will be Edinburgh University students.

Or alternatively, try the Edinburgh Gumtree page here.

You can also go into the Potterrow student union in Bristo Square during the festival, and at the back inbetween the SU office and SU shop, there is an accommodation notice board.

I want to find my own flat and some flatmates

This is really easy to do, and if you've got a spare few days in which to head to Edinburgh even better. There are loads of student flats in Edinburgh with 2, 3 or 4 people being the norm so you don't need to have many people. There are loads of people on TSR discussing getting private accommodation so it might be worth PMing them to see if they want to join up with you.

If you are looking to share with 2 or more people you are NOT related to, you need to make sure that your landlord has a HMO licsence on the property which is a legal requirement for rentals to unrelated groups of 3 or more adults.

Landlords and Property Management Companies

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 I'd advise avoiding ones which aren't, esspecially as you're new to the area. Check with the council if in doubt. Private landlords (ie: not large rental/property management companies) are generally better as you can always get hold of them incase of problems and they usually only own one or a few flats, meaning the upkeep is generally better. There are lots of property management companies in Edinburgh, some with better reviews than others. Grant Management is considered to be a company to avoid by most of the student population, and the majority of students know someone who has been messed around/fobbed off/generally had a bad time with GM. I personally would never live in a flat managed by them regardless of how cheap the rent had been made. Other popular management companies are Edinburgh Letting Service, Crichton Stuart, Dove Davies and Edinburgh Property Management, although obviously there are more. I have friends who have rented with all of these companies and they are considered to be better than GM, although I am not saying that all of these are wonderful. As I said you are better off with a private landlord if at all possible.

Finding a flat

You can use the websites I gave above, or alternatively there are loads of search engines where private landlords and property management companies advertise. The most used ones are city lets, s1 rental, letting web, ESPC, letting in Scotland, Student Pad. Again, this list as with the property management isn't exhaustive. Each of the PM companies I listed above also have their own websites.

There is plenty of property available in Edinburgh, so you should be able to find something. Some of my friends came up this summer for 1 week and found a flat easily.

Where shall I live?

The main student areas of Edinburgh are known as Marchmont, Newington, Tollcross, Bruntsfield, New Town and Old Town. Basically, if you have a map of Edinburgh, this is the area which is encircled by Queen Street in the north, then to the east, as far as Holyrood Park and Dalkeith Road, to the south it would be north of Strathern Road level, then to the west, Lothian Road which then becomes Bruntsfield Place. All of these areas are within a 20-25 minute walk of the George Square area of the university, and within walking distance of most popular clubs, pubs and also supermarkets.

(Obviously people live outwith this area, but I am speaking in general terms)

How much will it cost?

Housing here is more expensive than a lot of the UK, and I cringe when I hear how little friends at university in different parts of the country are paying. The thing to remember is that Edinburgh is a capital city, and you want to live in the centre of it, so compared to London and many other capitals, Edinburgh is pretty reasonable on the pricing front.

In general, rental rates start at around £300 per person per month excluding bills and go up to in excess of £400. However, you should be able to get a decent room for less than £320. Bills are generally around £20-25 each a month in my own experience. As a student you will not have to pay council tax and as a result you don't have to pay for water either. Therefore, try not to live with someone who is working unless you can come to an agreement on council tax payment. It is usual that there will be a stair cleaner to clean the communal staircase and each flat pays their share each month - the others in your building will be quick to let you know the procedure when you move in.

Leases are usually always for 12 months, with little room for negotiation. You will be expected to pay rent every single month regardless of whether you are living in the property or not. This is standard procedure, unlike in some other university towns and cities. Many students chose to sublet their room in the summer months to people who are living in Edinburgh for the festival, or stay in the flat themselves working in the city.

Deposits are usually one month rent, 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!).

What are the properties like?

All properties here are old tenement style flats, with a shared staircase and 2-4 properties on each floor, usually with 3 or 4 floors. There is usually a shared garden for which you will have access. I've never known anyone to live in a house. They all have very high ceilings and usually contain huge rooms with large windows. A lot of the windows are only single glazed so if you find one with double glazing you've got a good deal, meaning the flats can get very cold in winter. Get used to sleeping in layers and using sleeping bags if you want to live here and save on bills! Some flats have lounges and others don't (it is normally around £320 for a seperate lounge) but most have a large kitchen with sofas here. There is generally only one bathroom. A lot of properties have lots of cupboards for storage and many have lovely, tiled fireplaces which although are no longer in use make brilliant decorative pieces in your bedroom!



---- I hope this is of some use to people... and good luck flat searching! It is easier than you think!






-----------------------------------

Hi,

As accommodation questions seem to be surfacing I thought it'd be nice to keep everything on one thread and pool the resources that we already have into one thread. There have been loads threads over the last few years where people have asked the same questions again and again (as obviously everyone always wants to know the same thing) so to try and stop the repetitive questions, I thought I'd make a proper thread using information current students have given in the past. I'll add to this when I've got more time, at the moment I've gone back as far as this time next year looking for useful threads.

University of Edinburgh wiki - contains photos.

The wiki is a very good point of reference for any questions and has been created by several of the current students who are the 'main' posters in the Edinburgh forum. This means our opinion is already reflected here, so we don't need to write it again. Please read the wiki.

APPLY ONLINE NOW - if you have accepted Edinburgh as your firm OR insurance place. It is NOT first come, first served. It does not matter when you apply as long as you meet the deadline, which is in the summer.

Applications are now being accepted.
Again, it does NOT matter when you apply.
Accommodation isn't issued by order of application.

*New*

Ensure you apply for accommodation using an email address which you will still have access to in September. Offers are sent out via email and you have to accept the offer by clicking on the link and paying your deposit over the internet. This means you should NOT use an email address from school, college, work or anywhere else where you might not be able to access it come the end of august. Many schools and colleges delete students from their user areas after exams in June meaning you can't access your email which is fundamental for after results day. This also applies to the general UCAS form, ensure you're using something you'll be contactable on until you arrive at university.

(Otherwise you end up in a mess like I did where come results day you realise you can't recieve any accommodation emails and then end up having to completely reapply just to change your email address)


**NEW**


Room Sizes:

There are a lot of questions about the room sizing and whether one should apply for a small, medium or large room. The general concenus from current students is that you should always apply for the SMALL room size where ever possible - particularly if you are concerned about money - because the size difference between the rooms is marginal.

This "choice" only came into opperation about 2 years ago (I didn't get a choice) and is simply being used as another way for the university accommodation services to get more money out of students. Paying an extra £10 a week for a "big" room will gain you a room which is say, 30cm wider than that of your flatmate with the "small" room.... you may as well donate £10 a week to Uni AS people as you're getting very little for the extra money.

08/09 (last yr) entry accommodation application discussion

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)


Detailed stuff:


Pollock meal times

Mini fridge? What to and what not to bring!

Should I bring a TV?

Should I bring my bike?

Can I bring my dog to Edinburgh?


From the Edinburgh University website:

Will I be guarenteed accommodation?

Prices and Accommodation types, plus details about Internet

----

Obviously questions do always arise and we all certainly had loads before we came to Edinburgh. We don't mind answering questions at all, as obviously, we'd like to help prospective students as much as we can. I know the university accommodation website isn't very detailed, whereas the TSR site is pretty good at answering questions. However, we do also have lives to lead and get on with our degrees too. So many generic questions can be answered by using the links above and by using the search function. But as I said fire away with questions.... but it'd be easier if they're all in one place.

Thank you!

I hope you end up loving Edinburgh as much as I do :love:

Scroll to see replies

Reply 1
Hey guys

I'm Ricky from the University of Hong Kong
I'm coming over for an exchange semester in Edinburgh and I'll be staying at South College St!

Is there something I should know about South College St beforehand, either good or bad??

And anyone here who does live there??

THANKS
Student at University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh
Reply 2
Hi!
South College Street is literally 5 minutes walk (if that) from George Square (if you are doing a humanities based subject) and from there you can also get the shuttle bus to Kings Buildings (if its something within the college of science and engineering).
The flats are also very close to the students unions (clubs etc) and plenty pubs around. Its about 15 minutes walk to Princes Street (main shopping area in Edinburgh) and also this is where you can catch buses to other parts of Edinburgh if you need to, and also where Edinburgh's main train station is, Waverley - with excellent links to the rest of the UK.
Unfortunately I don't stay there - I just walk past it everyday!
Hope that was of some help :smile:
Also, they have MASSIVE kitchens!! Tesco is only 5 minutes away (or ScotMid for early morning food -- it's open 24/7).

I don't live in South College Street btw.
Reply 4
I have received an offer to study Infectious diseases and am now looking at accommodation. If anyone has any insight as to where might be good to go then your input will be appreciated. Or alternatively just discussion with people going to Edinburgh. Cheers
brtd
I have received an offer to study Infectious diseases and am now looking at accommodation. If anyone has any insight as to where might be good to go then your input will be appreciated. Or alternatively just discussion with people going to Edinburgh. Cheers

If you have any specific questions, people will be happy to answer them. Otherwise take a look at the Wiki article (written by members of this forum so encompassing some of the views of current students), or accommodation services' website for a general idea of the accommodation on offer.
Might be worth starting an official Accommodation 2009 thread and stickying it.
Reply 7
brtd
I have received an offer to study Infectious diseases and am now looking at accommodation. If anyone has any insight as to where might be good to go then your input will be appreciated. Or alternatively just discussion with people going to Edinburgh. Cheers


I have an offer to study Genetics, same year, have u decided on accommodation? I have no idea to be honest, but I'd be interested to hear what you have chosen.
Reply 8
I thought you couldn't apply for accommidation until the 31st January?
Reply 9
where do 1st yr vet students and gep students live in their first year?

i was looking at self catered on-suite places like blackfriers street but will i be miles away from another vetty person if i try for round there or were you also away from any vetties in your first year?

thanks for any help :smile:
nellied
where do 1st yr vet students and gep students live in their first year?

i was looking at self catered on-suite places like blackfriers street but will i be miles away from another vetty person if i try for round there or were you also away from any vetties in your first year?

thanks for any help :smile:

Hi nellied! Nice to see a fellow vetty applicant on the Ed. forum :biggrin: . I was looking at Blackfriers st too, but I think I'll go for pollock halls. Basically, I would live along/near to the bus route (no. 67 - http://www.lothianbuses.com/r67.php) This stops at Summerhall and Easterbush so it won't really matter in terms of getting to your lectures. Tbh, I think all the vet students will be scattered everywhere, so I don't think you will be really far from anyone. You don't have to apply for accomadation for ages yet anyway and since they do all of it at the same time you are not going to be disadvantaged leaving it a while to see where all the TSR vets end up. Anyhoo... Hope that helps!

x
Reply 11
xFuture_Vetx
Hi nellied! Nice to see a fellow vetty applicant on the Ed. forum :biggrin: . I was looking at Blackfriers st too, but I think I'll go for pollock halls. Basically, I would live along/near to the bus route (no. 67 - http://www.lothianbuses.com/r67.php) This stops at Summerhall and Easterbush so it won't really matter in terms of getting to your lectures. Tbh, I think all the vet students will be scattered everywhere, so I don't think you will be really far from anyone. You don't have to apply for accomadation for ages yet anyway and since they do all of it at the same time you are not going to be disadvantaged leaving it a while to see where all the TSR vets end up. Anyhoo... Hope that helps!

x


I was hoping people would be fairly scattered about, i really want ensuite tbh, although i know the liklehood of getting it is slim as demand is high - postgrad housing seems much nicer :frown:

I'm avoiding Pollock as i want to be able to cook my own food and reviews seem to suggest the food is a bit lousy anyway and people end up buying in their own all the time to make up for it and it costs more

Does anyone know anything about the tempoarary accomodation GEP students have to go in as we start on Aug 10th? and can't move into to our selected accomodation until coming up weekend.

Going up on the 21st to their invite day so hoping to ask some people there what they think - really excited now!!:biggrin:
Reply 12
What does everyone think of Darroch Court? The only thing I'm not too keen on is sharing a flat with another 3-5 guys.
Reply 13
Oh and another really silly question - sorry i feel so thick asking this - is there any chance that you can go and look at the accomodation other than pointing to the outside and going - thats it? (S/c that is)
nellied
Oh and another really silly question - sorry i feel so thick asking this - is there any chance that you can go and look at the accomodation other than pointing to the outside and going - thats it? (S/c that is)

I don't know but I would have thought that there should be provisions made for that on the post application open days. If it's not written in the material you have about visit days you could always shoot off an email to someone.

The self-guided tour of Accommodation leaflet states:
'The Accommodation Site Offices for self-catered flats are open between 9.30am and 3.30pm.'
Which posibly implies means that the Site Officers should be available to show you the interior most of the time... I would contact accommodation services, either at the onsite Pollock office when you're there or in advance.

Rian1988
What does everyone think of Darroch Court? The only thing I'm not too keen on is sharing a flat with another 3-5 guys.

All of the self-catered is very similar, Darroch is newer than most and has washing machines in the flats (although it is more expensive because of this). If you're not keen on sharing with others you should be thinking about catered accommodation as there's no way to be in a self-catered flat and not have the flatmates (on the other hand, in catered you're on a corridor of 10 or however many so you're not alone there either).
nellied
I was hoping people would be fairly scattered about, i really want ensuite tbh, although i know the liklehood of getting it is slim as demand is high - postgrad housing seems much nicer :frown:

I'm avoiding Pollock as i want to be able to cook my own food and reviews seem to suggest the food is a bit lousy anyway and people end up buying in their own all the time to make up for it and it costs more

Does anyone know anything about the tempoarary accomodation GEP students have to go in as we start on Aug 10th? and can't move into to our selected accomodation until coming up weekend.

Going up on the 21st to their invite day so hoping to ask some people there what they think - really excited now!!:biggrin:

Same here! En suite is a must for me :yep: but I read that only 50% of people who apply for it at PH get it.
nellied
Does anyone know anything about the tempoarary accomodation GEP students have to go in as we start on Aug 10th? and can't move into to our selected accomodation until coming up weekend.


:eek: You start then! We don't start until September! Is that so you can go over bits and pieces before the 2nd years come back? That's what I assume happens! That's not fair :frown: You get to start vet school before us :sad: I can't wait!

nellied
I'm avoiding Pollock as i want to be able to cook my own food and reviews seem to suggest the food is a bit lousy anyway and people end up buying in their own all the time to make up for it and it costs more


I've been eating school food so long it will probably be better!
x
Reply 16
artorscience?
All of the self-catered is very similar, Darroch is newer than most and has washing machines in the flats (although it is more expensive because of this). If you're not keen on sharing with others you should be thinking about catered accommodation as there's no way to be in a self-catered flat and not have the flatmates (on the other hand, in catered you're on a corridor of 10 or however many so you're not alone there either).


Thanks, it's not really the sharing bit I mind just the sharing with 5 guys, would be better if it was mixed I would have thought.
Reply 17
Rian1988
Thanks, it's not really the sharing bit I mind just the sharing with 5 guys, would be better if it was mixed I would have thought.


yeah... I don't really know why all of the flats are single sex, but that is across the board. The only person I knew to live in a mixed flat ended up living with the student helpers who are later years students who get cheap rent for helping out with freshers week etc. She hated it. Well not because she was living with boys, more because they weren't good people to live with!

I was in flats in first year and we got to know the other guys in our building really well, and we were always in and out of each others flats. So its not like you're not going to meet any girls! Darroch is pretty cool as its got lots of stairwells which are interlinked, and the student helpers were really good at arranging things like barbeques etc in my year. I went to quite a few Darroch things even though I didn't live there.

'nellied'
Oh and another really silly question - sorry i feel so thick asking this - is there any chance that you can go and look at the accomodation other than pointing to the outside and going - thats it? (S/c that is)


To be honest, if you stood outside the buildings you were interested in and asked students as they were coming home (if you do it about 10 mins after lectures end you'll get loads of people coming home) I bet they'd let you come in and have a look at their flat. We had some people do that when I was in first year, they just rang the buzzers until someone in one of the flats let them in, and then knocked on our door, explained they were having a look around the university as a prospective student and said could they have a look at our flat. So we said yes! I also had someone from TSR come and visit my flat when she was applying too.
Reply 18
A couple of general questions about the areas I'm considering applying for. All self catered questions, mind :wink:

The flats on Cowgate - how bad are they for noise? Robertson Close looks quite nice, and it's close to everything I'd like to be close to, but I've heard horror stories of getting no sleep every weekend and having your doorstep smelling of vomit and piss in the mornings D: How much truth is there in that? Is it really that bad?

New Arthur place - is it any different from Darroch Court aside from the washing machines and being slightly less modern looking? What's it like in general? I've heard very little about it but it's in a nice location, IMO.

Warrender Park - how seperate is it from most of the other flats? I know it's roughly the same distance to walk to get to the main site of the uni, but it's seperation from the other flats makes me wonder if it'd be a bit of a ghostland for 1st years.
Reply 19
Komiyan

The flats on Cowgate - how bad are they for noise? Robertson Close looks quite nice, and it's close to everything I'd like to be close to, but I've heard horror stories of getting no sleep every weekend and having your doorstep smelling of vomit and piss in the mornings D: How much truth is there in that? Is it really that bad?


I personally wouldn't choose to live on Cowgate. One of my friends lived in Kincades (about 50m walk from Robertsons Close) in first year and hated it because she said it was always really noisy. She used ear plugs the entire year. RC is on top of the nightclub/bar Rush, which yeah it has cheap drinks, but I wouldn't choose to live on top of it if I had the option not to do so. Cowgate is basically the main clubbing area of Edinburgh and is therefore like any other city where university students get drunk and go clubbing. The very close proximity to George Square doesn't balance out the location of it otherwise, in my opinion.

New Arthur place - is it any different from Darroch Court aside from the washing machines and being slightly less modern looking? What's it like in general? I've heard very little about it but it's in a nice location, IMO.


Again, friends lived there in first year, only went once. Was very nice, similar to Darroch and any of the other residences on the inside - it is literally across the Pleasance court yard from Darroch, so location wise you're in the exact same spot. I'd say maybe even better because it is set back from the road, whereas if you get a room on the road side of Darroch you're next to a fairly busy road. Lovely views of Arthurs Seat.

Warrender Park - how seperate is it from most of the other flats? I know it's roughly the same distance to walk to get to the main site of the uni, but it's seperation from the other flats makes me wonder if it'd be a bit of a ghostland for 1st years.


I lived here in first year and loved it. There are 2 Warrenders - the crescent and the road. They share a resident assistant and we always went to their parties and vice versa. I certainly didn't feel at a disadvantage due to where I lived, if anything it was a bonus because if you join societies loads of people live in Marchmont in the later years so all of the society parties are generally in Marchmont as the private flats here are huge. When I arrived in first year I thought I was at a disadvantage and hated my flat as it wasn't close to Pollock, this lasted all of 2 days in freshers week, then after around October I seldom went to Pollock anyway. And it's only 20 mins walk if you do need to go there, but it will be more that Pollock people come to you. It sorta works that people meet up around George Square with friends rather than at their flats anyway, and then you have your friends in your building when you go home.... it is definitely not a ghostland, if anything, Marchmont is studentland.