Living in Aberdeen
Aberdeen has a large student population, and student accommodation in the city is in very high demand. Generally it can be quite expensive, so it is wise to begin your search for accommodation as early as possible. There are a number of student accommodation providers within the city, and a substantial amount of private accommodation available for rent.
Please note that North East Scotland College does not have its own student accommodation.
Accommodation providers and useful websites
Below are some websites which you may find helpful in your search. Please note that North East Scotland College does not endorse or accept responsibility for information on these websites.
UNITE has properties in locations close to North East Scotland College City Campus. The accommodation is fully equipped with everything you need, including wi-fi, inclusive bills, study space and social areas.
Centro Court Studio Apartments
Luxurious furnished studio apartments in purpose built blocks in the Centre of Aberdeen.
Liberty Living is a private sector provider. Rents are all-inclusive with no hidden costs, all utility bills, internet and room furnishings are included in the price. Much of this accommodation is let to local universities.
Homes for Students
Homes for Students offers student accommodation in Powis Place, and are happy to speak to any prospective students interested in securing somewhere to stay. Rental rates from this provider generally start from £150 per week.
St. Peter's Studios
These studios offer a state-of-the-art living environment for students, with rental rates starting at around £172.50 per week.
StuRents aim to help you find the right student accommodation at the right price.
ASPC is one of the biggest solicitors’ property centres in the country, carrying listings for rental accommodation in Aberdeen and across the North East, including many student lets.
Other useful websites include:
- Student Accommodation.org (student accommodation portal)
- EasyRoommate (flatshare – spare rooms and rooms to rent)
- spareroom.co.uk (helps those looking for a room to find people with a room to rent)
- CityLets (accommodation database listing properties available for rent)
- Rooms For Let (nationwide website advertising properties for let in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
- Letting in Scotland (property letting and accommodation rental throughout Scotland)
- Gumtree (Aberdeen) (rooms and property advertisements, as well as flatmate advertisements)
Don't forget, you can also look for accommodation in local newspapers such as The Press & Journal and the Evening Express. Another popular way for people to find out more about accommodation opportunities is through word of mouth - a lot of student housing changes hands on an informal basis, so it's always worth asking friends and other students in your classes if anyone knows of a suitable property to lease.
The Shelter Scotland website has housing advice for everyone. Although Shelter Scotland does not provide accommodation, they offer expert advice about housing across the country and will provide you with guidance regarding student accommodation, too.
What to consider
Before you agree to take on any accommodation, be sure to:
- View the property;
- Ensure it is well maintained, secure and doesn’t suffer from damp/draughts;
- Make sure the location of the property is in a safe area;
- Ask for a rent or tenancy agreement which clearly sets out the terms and conditions of your lease;
- Ask for an inventory of all the materials that are left in the accommodation and check that it is correct;
- Report any missing items to the landlord immediately, or anything that was already damaged when you moved in;
- Keep the inventory in a safe place and check again carefully before you move out;
- Get a rent book or some form of receipt for all monies paid to the landlord.
When going to view a property, always stay safe by taking someone with you and let other people know where you're going.
Full-time students do not have to pay Council Tax during their academic year; however there are still occasions when some students may be asked to prove they are exempt. There are a number of issues to be aware of:
- You must be a full-time student, as only full-time registered students are eligible for Council Tax exemption;
- If there is a non-student living with you (at the same address) then you will be eligible for exemption and they will be eligible for a 25% Council Tax discount;
- You will be expected to pay Council Tax during summer holidays unless you are on a continuing course (e.g. having just completed year one of a two year HND course) - in this case the Council should give automatic exemption, but if you do not continue into year two then exemption will be revoked;
- If you withdraw from your course, at any time, your exemption will no longer apply.
If you watch TV, you should have a TV Licence! Every household in the UK is legally obliged to have a TV licence. Your parent’s licence will not cover you whether you are in a flat with friends or staying in Halls of Residence and you can be fined if you are caught operating a TV or equipment for watching TV - this even applies to streaming television or films online. Fines can be as must as £1000, but a licence only costs £145.50. There are a number of ways you can pay for your TV licence:
- Direct debit (the payment is automatically taken from your bank account);
- Debit or credit card via www.tvlicensing.co.uk or by calling 0844 800 6790;
- Paypoint payments available in shops and Post Offices;
- Cheques (please see the TV Licensing website for the appropriate address)
The full payment does not have to be paid up front; you can choose to pay quarterly or monthly to spread out your costs. If you move flat you can take your TV licence with you - simply change your details on the TV Licensing website.
Gas and Electricity
If you are living in a flat or student residence then you must check whether your monthly/weekly rent covers the cost of utilities, too. If not then you must find out who your supplier is and ensure that your bills are paid on time. This can be a considerable cost, so be sure that you have budgeted for this expense. Nobody wants to be without hot water and heating during an Aberdeen winter!
The most common suppliers in the UK are Scottish Power, British Gas and NPower. If you want to do a bit of research and find out which supplier can offer the best deal, the uSwitch website can be extremely helpful: www.uSwitch.com – please bear in mind that you might have to check this is ok with your landlord first.
It's important to look after your possessions! A recent report from the Home Office stated that:
“Students own more expensive goods per head than the rest of the population. It is no surprise that 1 in 3 students becomes the victim of a crime each year. Added to that fact, young people (ages 16-24 year old) are around three times more likely to be victims of burglary than people in other age groups, with makes students all the more vulnerable.”
It is also important to consider your possessions and what they mean to you. There are a number of insurance companies who specialise in student insurance – the most well know is Endsleigh. You can also use some comparison websites such as Compare the Market or Money Supermarket to check current rates and deals.