Finding a suitable home in the right location is essential for a positive expat experience in Aberdeen. Negotiating an unfamiliar city and its property market is always a challenge for new arrivals, so expats should do some homework before they move.
Expats should take some time to familiarise themselves with the various areas and suburbs in Aberdeen to narrow down their choices. Other factors expats should decide on before starting their search for accommodation include their budget; proximity to work, schools and public transport; and the type of property they want to live in. Most expats tend to rent rather than buy a home in Aberdeen, at least initially.
Types of accommodation in Aberdeen
From Aberdeen’s distinctive granite townhouses to luxury apartments, newcomers to the city are sure to find a home that meets their needs.
There are fully furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished accommodation options in Aberdeen. Those on short-term assignments for work who won't be in the city for long will likely want to opt for fully furnished housing. Those in the city for a longer period may prefer unfurnished accommodation. It's quite easy to purchase reasonably priced furniture.
Expats on a tight budget will find plenty of house-share options in Aberdeen, especially given it's a university town. Renting an individual room in a larger house shared with others is fairly common among students and young professional expats starting out in Aberdeen.
Some new arrivals choose to rent short-term to start with, via a holiday-let website. While the cost of short-term rental is higher, the property is usually furnished and all bills are included.
Finding accommodation in Aberdeen
Finding property in Aberdeen can be a challenge for new arrivals who don’t have much knowledge of the local market. Some expats will be lucky enough to have their accommodation arranged by their employer but, for those who need to find a home on their own, there are a number of resources.
Before moving to Aberdeen, newcomers should browse property portals online to get an idea of what's available within their budget. While it is possible to deal directly with property owners, most people enlist the services of a letting agent who has local knowledge of Aberdeen’s property market.
Renting accommodation in Aberdeen
Landlords or agents will typically require references from the expat's employer or previous landlord, so it is always best to have these ready, along with proof of identification.
It's standard to pay the equivalent of one or two months' rent as a deposit when signing a lease. Note that according to Scottish law, charging more than two months' rent as a deposit is illegal.
The terms of tenancy agreements can vary and can be negotiated between tenant and landlord. Generally, landlords rent their properties for between six months and a year.
Before committing to a contract, expats should find out whether utilities are included in the rental price. In most cases, expats will need to budget for gas and electricity as additional costs. They will also need to factor in the cost of council tax.