Finding a suitable home in the right location is essential for a positive expat experience of 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.
It's a good idea for newcomers to save time by using the services of estate agents who know the area well and therefore make it easier to find properties that meet expats' requirements.
Types of accommodation in Aberdeen
From Aberdeen’s distinctive granite townhouses to luxury apartments, expats are sure to find a home that meets their needs.
New arrivals will find fully furnished, semi-furnished and unfurnished accommodation options in Aberdeen. Expats 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 searching for unfurnished accommodation, on the other hand, should find it 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. So renting an individual room in a larger house shared with others is fairly common among students and young professional expats starting out in Aberdeen.
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 that can assist.
Before moving to Aberdeen, expats 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 new arrivals enlist the services of a letting agent who has local knowledge about Aberdeen’s property market.
Renting accommodation in Aberdeen
Once expats find a place they're interested in, they can start the process of applying to rent it. Landlords or agents will typically require references from the expat's employer or previous landlord, so it is always best to have these ready.
It's standard to pay one month's rent upfront as well as one or two months' rent as a deposit. But if expats have no credit history in the country, letting agents might ask for as much as six months of rent in advance. To avoid this, expats can try renting privately instead as the deposits charged by private landlords vary quite widely and there's a better chance of not having to pay quite so much rent in advance.
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.