Every year, many students are scammed when looking for accommodation, especially using sites like Facebook and Gumtree...
Every year, many students are scammed when looking for accommodation, especially using sites like Facebook and Gumtree. There was a recent article on BBC News highlighting the issue in Edinburgh.
Here are some handy hints to help you stay safe when renting.
- Do not pay any money before signing a tenancy agreement
Be wary - there are fraudsters looking to scam people by getting money out of them for flats which maybe do not even exist.
- Give yourself plenty of time to visit properties
If possible, come and stay in Edinburgh first with a friend or in a hostel (you pay by the night or there might be a weekly rate). This way, you can visit the prospective flat and see what it is like before you sign a tenancy agreement and pay a deposit.
- Protect your deposit – When you pay make sure you get a receipt (in writing, signed/dated) so you can prove that you paid this money. All deposit must be paid into a deposit scheme approved by the Scottish Government. For more information about Tenancy Deposit Schemes check out the Shelter Scotland website.
- Make sure you read fully what you are signing.
If there is anything you do not understand, ask for a day to think about it, so that you can seek advice and get the information checked.
ENSA Advice can help with a whole range of housing issues, including tenancy and rental agreements. Current Edinburgh Napier students can call 0131 229 8791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Shelter Scotland provides advice on tenants and landlords rights and responsibilities.
Useful Contacts & Websites
- email@example.com – Edinburgh Napier University accommodation
- Landlord Accreditation Scotland - the flats listed on this site are registered as they should be with the national body. You need the full address of the property including postcode to check an accreditation.
- Edinburgh city council registration check: call 0131 469 5293. You need the full address of the property including postcode to check registration.
- ESPC - residential letting website
- Student Pad - residential letting website
- www.lettingweb.co.uk - residential letting website
- Edinburgh Evening News (local paper).
- campus noticeboards