The List presents the unbiased, unaffiliated Student Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow. In Part One find out how to avoid things going wrong, and where to go when they do. In Part Two, the City Guides offer all you need to know aboutwhere to eat, shop, drink, what to see and where to be seen. Compiled by John Penders and Keith Cameron, illustrations by Paul Gray.
Late September always sees a panic of young people queueing out the phone booths and dashing from bedsit to seedy bedsit in the desparate last minute scramble for student accommodation.
Ifyou arrive with nowhere to stay, what not to do is panic. There are people to help you find accommodation.
HALLS 0F RESIDENCE
Both Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities operate catering halls and reasonable quality self-catering accommodation, though it is relatively expensive.
First year students from outside the Glasgow area have priority but even then space is limited and the waiting lists are long.
The same broadly applies in
Edinburgh. Ifyou are a first year and .
your college or university have not found youa place in halls, then you should still go ﬁrst to the respective accommodation office. It is their job to ﬁnd you somewhere to live and
they will suggest the alternatives to halls. which are as follows:
A few years ago Soft Cell released a song about loneliness entitled ‘Bed-Sit Land‘, and certainly this type of accommodation can be depressing even though it is one of the most popular among students. A bed-sit is a bedroom/sitting room with shared toilet and cooking facilities. Expect to pay £25—£3() per week. Sometimes gas and/or electricity is included but more usually this is slot-metered.
The ‘Young Ones' only had to kick down the door to occupy their little ‘home from home’ but for the rest of us finding a decent flat for four or ﬁve people is more difficult. It is much easier to find a vacant room in an already-occupied flat. especially if you are willing to share. Expect to pay a share ofall bills and possibly a
kitty for household expenses.
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Lodgings are not very common in Glasgow. perhaps because oftheir traditional image of 1 1 o‘clock curfews and stodgy dinners. If you‘re
used to your home comforts, didn’t secure a place in Halls, and have
plenty of money it might be an ideal choice.
In Edinburgh, a sizeable number of
students live in lodgings. The standards vary tremendously but most students regard digs as very much a temporary means of accommodations. Your accommodation office or student welfare officer should have a list of approved lodgings.
FLAT HUNTING ADVICE
Find somewhere — 8&8, Hostel, friend‘s ﬂoor, where you can dump your bags (and your weary body if you don‘t find somewhere straight
* away). Buy a street map. Arm
yourself with a notepad, pen and about £5 in 10p coins for phone calls. A reference from a previous
: landlord and/or bank manager could
put you ahead of the field (as, of course. will a smart appearance). You may need enough money for a
deposit which could be as much as
£200 plus a month’s rent in advance. Don‘t carry the money around with you; open a bank account and use a cheque. Always get and keep a receipt for any money handed over. Where to look If you are a University students, first stop should be the accommodation office. Professional advisors not only run University-owned accommodation but carry lists of ﬂats, bed-sits, etc. (NB, this does not imply that they have seen or approved them). They also have noticeboards where those letting or desperately seeking accommodation can leave details, as do most Colleges and Student Unions.
In Glasgow The Glasgow Herald and the Evening Times both have useful accommodation sections on Tuesdays and Thursdays or use The List‘s Classified Ads. Look out for ads in shop windows — the best used of these is ‘Benson‘s of Byres Road’.
In Edinburgh, both The Scotsman (Thursdays particularly) and the Evening News have property sections, advertising ﬂats and lodgings. Alternatively, you could advertise yourselfas looking for accommodation in those same papers, providing you have a temporary contact number. This will probably cost around £12.50 a week.
The List has a cheap Classified section and the Student newspaper operates a free accommodation service where you can place Accommodation Wanted ads.
You could also consider using property agencies to find a ﬂat for you. They will almost always charge a fee of around £60 as well as a deposit (usually one month’s rent) to cover any damage to the ﬂat during your tenancy. Be aware that it is illegal for an accommodation agency to charge a fee until you have been offered and have accepted accommodation.
Small Print So you‘ve found your ﬂat. In the euphoria ofdiscovering that bijou little studio overlooking the park, you will be tempted to sign blindly on the dotted line and hand over the cash before someone else does. But stop. It may pay you to check the small print; or better still have a copy scrutinised by a lawyer or student welfare office.
Depending on the type ofdeal signed, you will be either a ‘Protected‘ or ‘Unprotected Tenant’ Under the terms of the Rent Act.
Full protection means you have paid for a room or ﬂat where the landlord does not live on the premises and you do not receive any board or services as part of your rent. As a result you will receive substantial protection from eviction and from extortionate rent. (A fully protected tenant can apply to have his rent registered and usually reduced by the council.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Ifyou find a box of comﬂakes and some eggs on your doorstep every week, you may think either that the fairies have been or that your landlord is a real saint. In fact neither
,of these is likely to be true as this is
one of the chiefways a landlord can
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