Renting Privately

You can rent a home from an individual or company-based landlord. Some are managed directly by the landlord and some landlords use a letting agent to manage the tenancy.

Private landlords need to register with their local council so that they can be sure they are suitable people to let out property. Check the private landlords database to find out if a landlord is registered. If the landlord is not registered, they should not be letting out property.

Some landlords and letting agents also choose to join a professional body such as the Scottish Association of Landlords, Landlord Accreditation Scotland or the Council of Letting Agents which ensure their members work to a high professional standard.

What kind of rent will I pay?

The rent you will pay will depend on a number of things, including location, size and condition of property, as well as the prices in the area.

What kind of housing is offered?

The private sector has a wide range of homes on offer, including:

  • Houses or flats
  • Supported accommodation
  • Sheltered accommodation

How can I find a private rented home?

There are lots of ways to find a private rented home:

  • Ask around – family, friends or work colleagues
  • Adverts – check out ads in shop windows, notice boards, community centres
  • Online – there are lots of websites listing renal properties
  • Your local Council – some council advice centres may have lists of accommodation available to rent

If you are a student your Student Accommodation Office should have lists of reputable landlords who rent to students.

What kind of tenancy agreement will I get?

If you rent from a private landlord, you will get a Short Assured Tenancy, which offers you certain rights.

Private landlords need to register with their local authority so that they can be sure they are suitable people to let out property. Check the private landlords database to find out if a landlord is registered. If the landlord is not registered, they should not be letting out property.

Some landlords and letting agents also choose to join a professional body such as The Scottish Association of Landlords, Landlord Accreditation Scotland or the Council of Letting Agents which ensure that their members work to a high professional standard.

Will I need to pay a deposit?

Private landlords usually ask for a deposit – often 1 – 2 months rent in advance. Landlords MUST put the deposit into a Rent Deposit Guarantee scheme within 30 working days of starting the tenancy and they must inform you that they have done so. If the landlord does not handle your money correctly, you may be entitled to compensation.

For more help and information, contact your local council or visit the Shelter Scotland website page on private renting.