Renting from a private landlord offers you a lot of choice, however, it is usually more expensive than renting from the council or from a housing association.
Most properties are furnished – generally this will be stated in the advert.
Aberdeenshire Council have translated documents with useful information for private sector tenants (see their private sector webpages here). You can click on one of the following or choose from the downloads menu on the left.
How to find private rented housing
You can find out about private homes to rent in the following ways (all adverts for private rented properties should include a Landlord Registration number):
Search on the following websites:
Some local solicitors also advertise properties online, for expample: Aberdein Considine & Co (www.acando.com).
Local newspapers should be available to read in your local library. They are also available online:
- Visit the Aberdeen Press & Journal website - Tuesdays in the ‘Home’ section
- Visit the Buchan Observer website
- Visit the The Fraserburgh Herald website
- Visit the Evening Express website
- You can also visit the Gumtree website*
*Please note that anyone can advertise on these website. Make sure that the property and the landlord are operating legally.
You can advertise that you are looking for a rented property in a local newspaper.
You can find adverts for housing to rent:
- In local shop windows
- On supermarkets' notice boards
- In community centres.
Before you rent
Before you move into a private rented property, make sure that your landlord is registered. You can do so by contacting the local authority:
Aberdeenshire: phone 01467 628491 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aberdeen city: phone 01224 522299 or email email@example.com
Make sure you sign a tenancy agreement and that you understand what you are signing.
After you have signed the agreement and moved into the property, make sure you get receipts for any rent payments you make.
A private landlord will usually ask you for one month's rent in advance before you can move into the property.
The landlord may also ask you for a deposit in case you damage the furnishings. The deposit is usually anything up to two month's rent, but it cannot be any more than this. The landlord must pay your deposit to one of the providers of the three tenant deposit schemes. The landlord must let you know, in writing, that this has been done. For more information on the tenant deposit scheme visit the Renting Scotland or Shelter website.
Landlords or agencies cannot add on additional charges over and above your deposit and rent - these are called illegal premiums and may include charging for administration fees or credit checks. See the Shelter website for more details.
Support with your deposit
Both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils have schemes to help people with their deposits in certain circumstances (for example, when this support will prevent someone becoming homeless). For Aberdeen City phone 01224 523151 and ask to speak to a member of the Housing Advice Team (alternatively visit Marischal College and do the same). For Aberdeenshire Council, see details on this leaflet.
Paying your rent
You must ensure that your rent is paid in full and on time. If you are struggling to pay then you may be able to apply for Housing Benefit to help. To do this you must contact the council where you live.
For more advice on paying your rent, visit the Shelter Scotland website.
What are your rights and responsibilities?
As a private tenant you will have certain rights and responsibilities. Visit the websites below for further information:
- Visit the Shelter Scotland website
- Visit the Private Rented Housing Panel website
- Visit the Aberdeen City Council website
- Visit the Aberdeenshire Council website.
Renting a room (Shared Rented Accommodation)
You can also become a lodger by renting a room within a larger house. This means that you will be staying with other people you may not know at first and with this type of renting you have fewer rights as a tenant. However, it is a much cheaper way to find accommodation, especially if you’re on your own. For more information on your rights in shared rented accommodation visit the Shelter Scotland website.