Privately rented accommodation comes in different types and sizes from bedsits, to shared flats to individual houses – furnished and unfurnished. Rents across Aberdeen vary accordingly with most landlords requiring a deposit for the property and some rent payment in advance.
You will normally be required to pay a deposit as well as your first month's rent in advance. You can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment for assistance in meeting the cost of a deposit or rent in advance. Your deposit must be held in a tenancy deposit scheme, not by your landlord.
A tenancy deposite scheme is:
- where your deposit will be held for the length of your tenancy
- must be registered by your landlord within 30 working days
- doesn't charge you or your landlord
- Your landlord has to give you information about your deposit, for example confirming when they registered it and with which scheme, but they must also confirm they (the landlord) are registered with the local authority.
If you are on a low income you can apply for a Local Housing Allowance to help you pay rent.
The Local Housing Allowance:
- depends on the area in which you live and the number of bedrooms your household needs
- may not pay the rent in full
- check the rate which applies to you, so that you can then choose a place that suits you
- Citizens' Advice or other advice agencies can also give you advice on housing benefit and pre-tenancy determinations.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
A property which is to be inhabited by three or more unrelated persons requires by law to have a licence to operate. This type of accommodation is particularly popular with students. As part of the licensing process the landlord is required to ensure the property has fire doors and hard wired smoke detectors. You should ask the landlord to confirm their HMO licence number and/or check with the council.