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Housing Options

Options to Rent


1.  Social Rent

Properties provided at an affordable rent by the Council or a Registered Social Landlord.  To access this type of property you must register on a waiting list.  Your application will be assessed according to your current circumstances and you will be awarded points or prioritised accordingly.  Demand for this type of property is extremely high and waiting times can be very long.

There is no restriction on how many waiting lists you can be on, however in most cases you will have to apply to each organisation for housing in Aberdeen City.  For Aberdeen City Renting a home from the Council - Council Housing Applications it is possible to apply online or by filling out a paper application form.  Information on how to apply to other organisations with housing in Aberdeen City is available through their websites.

If you are interested in housing in Aberdeenshire you can apply to various organisations through the website Apply4homes


2. Mid Market Rent

Sometimes known as Intermediate Rent this is rented accommodation leased at a discounted level below the Local Housing Allowance which is set by the Government.  The rent level will normally be higher than social rent but significantly lower than private rents in the area.  This type of property is normally managed by a Registered Social Landlord.  To qualify prospective tenants must meet certain qualifying criteria, which may include restrictions on income level.  Priority is usually given to applicants who are current tenants of the Council or an RSL, followed by applicants who are on the waiting list of the Council or an RSL.

These properties are becoming more widely available and new developments are often advertised in the local press.  RSLs currently managing this type of property are listed below:


3. National Housing Trust Mid Market Rent

This is a new initiative to deliver rented property for a fixed period of up to 10 years before the property is sold to the tenant or on the open market.  The rent level and qualifying criteria is similar to the Mid Market Rent section above, and the property is managed by an RSL.  At the end of the fixed period the properties will be sold on to the tenant or on the open market by the original developer.  While existing tenants may be given the change to purchase these properties there will be no discount given on the price.  Some developers, however, may offer tenants incentives to help them save for a deposit during the duration of their tenancy.  Further information on how the  National Housing Trust scheme works is available on the Scottish Government website.

RSLs managing this type of property are:


4. Private Rented Property

There is a large private rented sector in Aberdeen, however rents are generally high and a deposit will be required to secure a property.  Details of property to rent and letting agents operating in Aberdeen City can be found on the Aberdeen Solicitors' Property Centre website.   Information on your rights and responsibilities as a private tenant is available on the Scottish Government website.


5. Rent a Room

This may be an option especially for those looking for short term accommodation.  Rents are generally lower than renting a full property and often include the cost of gas and electricity, Council Tax and other costs.  There are various websites available to help you locate suitable accommodation.  Always exercise caution and never send money before you have viewed the accommodation.


Options to Buy

There are several options available for those interested in purchasing property at a reduced cost.  It should be noted, however, that in all cases you will normally be required to provide a deposit and be able to obtain a mortgage.  The amount of the deposit will be determined by your lender and may be up to 20% of the purchase price.  Not all lenders are willing to fund these types of purchase so you will not have access to the full range of mortgage products on the market.

1. Shared Ownership

The owner purchases part of the dwelling and rents the remainder usually from an RSL.  The owner can buy tranches of 25%, 50% and 75% of the property.  Several RSLs have this type of property available although some may have restrictions on who qualifies:


2. New Supply Shared Equity

The owner purchases part of the dwelling with the remainder funded by the Scottish Government through an RSL.  Unlike shared ownership the owner pays no rent on the retained share.  Owners can normally buy in at any level from 60% to 80%, and in some exceptional instances as low as 51%.  Normally a percentage, sometimes known as a golden share, will always be retained in order to ensure the property remains affordable in the future.  For further information go to New Supply Shared Equity on the Scottish Government website.


3.  Open Market Shared Equity

The Open Market Shared Equity scheme allows people on low to moderate incomes to buy homes that are for sale on the open market.  The scheme is open to priority group applicants which include social renters, disabled people, members of the armed forces, veterans who have left the armed forces within the past year, and widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel.

The minimum equity stake that buyers must take in a property is 60% and the maximum equity stake is 90%.  Grampian Housing Association administers the scheme locally for the Scottish Government and further information can be found on their website.


4. Discounted Low Cost Sales (Low Cost Home Ownership)

These are properties sold directly by a developer at a price lower than the open market value.  Applicants must meet criteria set by the Council.  The percentage paid will vary for each development and will be given in the guidance notes available at the time of marketing.  Future sales will be controlled to ensure these properties are retained as affordable housing whenever possible.

This type of property will be advertised in the local press and will also be listed in the Low Cost Homes for Sale section of this website.

If you are interested in properties in Aberdeenshire you can get more information on low cost homes from the  Aberdeenshire Council website.  You will have to meet the qualifying criteria in order to apply.


5. Help to Buy

Help to Buy is a scheme operated by the UK and Scottish Governments to assist people who can afford a mortgage but do not have a large deposit.  For further information please visit Help to Buy for New Build Properties if you are interested in buying direct from a developer or Help to Buy for Existing Homes if you are interested in buying on the open market.


Back to the Low Cost Home Ownership home page.