Every year, many students are scammed when looking for accommodation, especially using sites like Facebook and Gumtree. Here are some handy hints to help you stay safe when renting.
Do not pay any money before viewing the property and signing a tenancy agreement
During the Festival period and onwards 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): www.hostelworld.com/edinburgh.
This way, you can visit the prospective flat and see what it is like before you sign any papers or pay any money over. When you pay make sure you get a receipt (in writing, signed/dated) so you can prove that you paid this money
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 for an appointment.
Useful Contacts & Websites
www.shelterscotland.org/advice is a good site for checking out rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and Scottish housing law.
The University Accommodation Service provides support for new students looking to rent in the private sector from the end of August on Merchiston campus, 10 Colinton Rd Edinburgh.
Check the website for dates: http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/undergraduate/accommodation