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Tenants, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hints & Tips, Student Accommodation

Cost of Living: Money-Saving Tips for Student Tenants

Cost of Living: Money-Saving Tips for Student Tenants The cost of living crisis is biting hard, and many students are feeling the pinch.  According to the 2022 Student Money Survey, the average student now spends £924 per month, while 82% of students worry about making ends meet. What’s more, four in five have considered dropping out of university at one point or another.  If you’re living away from home during your studies and you’re struggling with money worries, here are a couple of handy tips to help you save and spend wisely in rented accommodation.  Cost of Living Tips: Advice for Student Renters Be energy-aware to cut bills Some rental properties will bundle up the rent and utilities into one payment. However, it’s more common for tenants to pay the electricity and/or gas bills themselves.   Try to be mindful of your energy usage to lower your monthly bills. Don’t leave lights on when rooms are empty (and switch to energy-efficient LED bulbs where possible); keep doors closed so heat doesn’t escape; try to charge laptops, tablets, and smartphones at uni, and don’t leave your gadgets plugged in and on standby all day and night. If you have flatmates, consider cooking together regularly (you can split the cost of the ingredients, too). That way, you’re all in the same room, and the oven/microwave/hob is getting used once rather than several times one after the other. Bonus points if you use a slow cooker — it can be far cheaper to run, as per the table below, and you’ll often have plenty left over. With the new 52p/kWh electricity cap, here’s how much certain items and devices will roughly cost to run. Take a note of where you can cut down usage to save money. Item Cost 1 kWh fan heater/ electric radiator 52p/hour 2kWh fan heater/electric heater £1.04/hour 3 kWh immersion heater  £1.56/hour 5w LED light bulb  0.26p/hour 60w light bulb  3.12p/hour 40w electric blanket  2p/hour 8KG washing machine (A rating)  26p/cycle 8KG washing machine (D rating)  55p/cycle Tumble Dryer – Heat Pump – A rating  £1.13/cycle Tumble Dryer – Condenser – C Rating  £2.33/cycle Oven  52p/hour Electric hob halogen per ring  85p/hour Electric hob induction per ring  £1/hour Microwave 900w  47p/hour 200w slow cooker  10p/hour 42” TV  6p/hour Computer monitor  1p/hour  Xbox One S  6p/hour PS4  7p/hour Amazon Echo Dot  0.2p/hour Sonos One  0.7p/hour Google Nest Mini speaker  0.2p/hour Laptop  2.5p/hour American style fridge freezer  2.5p/hour 60p/day Freestanding fridge freezer  1.45p/hour 35p/day Under counter fridge  0.6p/hour 16p/day 7.5kWh electric shower  6.5p/min 9 kWh electric shower  7.8p/min Can’t switch energy providers? Switch your broadband deal instead Most fixed-rate energy deals are off the table at the moment, and switching energy providers is harder than ever. But that doesn’t mean you can’t switch and save elsewhere. Changing broadband providers can be a great way to shave a few pounds off your monthly expenses.  Broadband prices are pretty competitive at the moment, and a few of the big-name providers (like BT and Virgin) even offer special student deals, usually on a rolling contract.  Check out Save the Student’s guide to the best student broadband deals to see if you’re on the best deal. Heads up: before switching any utility provider, check the terms of your contract. There might be a fee for cancelling the contract early, which could make switching more expensive. If you’d like to get more posts like this in your inbox, sign up for our regular newsletter.

Tenants, Edinburgh, HMO Properties, Student Accommodation

Edinburgh Students HMO Checklist 

Edinburgh Students HMO Checklist  For students studying in Edinburgh, an HMO is a popular choice of accommodation. More affordable than many other property types (and often more sociable), they come with many advantages.  If you’re thinking of letting a room in an HMO in the capital, read our checklist to help you find the right property to meet your needs.  Our Edinburgh Students HMO Checklist: First thing’s first: Find an HMO letting agency. When looking for an Edinburgh students HMO, it’s a good idea to use an HMO letting agency. These agencies will work with licenced HMOs in the city, allowing them to help you find quality accommodation that’s right for you. It’s best to use an agent that has professional body membership such as The Property Ombudsman and the Scottish Association of Landlords.  Next, check the documentation: Check the landlord has a valid HMO licence. Before agreeing to move into an HMO, it’s important to check if the landlord has an HMO licence. You can do this by contacting the local housing department. They’ll have an up to date list of all the licenced HMOs in Edinburgh.  Ask to see gas and electrical safety certificates. As well as making sure an HMO property is licenced, you should ask to see up to date gas and electrical safety certificates. Electrics should be checked every five years, while gas safety checks need to be carried out annually. Carefully assess the Edinburgh students HMO: Check proper fire safety measures are in place. We also recommend checking that proper fire safety measures are in place in an HMO. It’s a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the property has working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers installed on each level of the building.  Make sure the property is in good condition. When you view an HMO, take a good look at the state of the property. Make sure all areas are clean and in good condition. It’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that repairs are carried out to communal areas, including ensuring that electrical wiring, water and gas pipes, baths and toilets, radiators and water heaters are all working as they should. The structure and exterior of the property, including the walls, gutters and window frames should also be in a good state of repair. Get answers to your questions: Find out who you’ll be living with. When viewing an Edinburgh students HMO, it’s a good idea to find out who you’ll be living with. Since HMOs are shared houses where tenants tend to eat and socialise together, it’s important to ensure that you’re comfortable around them. You don’t want a mismatch of personalities. This is even more important if you are signing a joint tenancy with the other people living there as you will be responsible for any rent payments they miss. Ask questions. When viewing a student HMO in Edinburgh, don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out if it’s the right property for you. Make a list of things to ask before you go so that you don’t forget anything. Suggestions include “What broadband do you have and who pays for it?”, “Does a cleaner attend the property?”, “Is there parking?”, “Is there any shared storage?”, and “Where will my deposit be protected?”.  Read more: HMO Letting Edinburgh: Everything Students Need to Know  Living in an Edinburgh students HMO can be a great idea if you’re seeking affordable, sociable accommodation while studying in the city. Contact us today to find a licenced HMO that meets your needs and budget.


Tenants, Hints & Tips

Going Home for Christmas: Everything Tenants Need to Know

Going Home for Christmas: Everything Tenants Need to Know The Christmas holidays will soon be upon us, which means you’re probably already making plans to go home and eat your body weight in turkey and mince pies.  However, before you head off to celebrate the festive season with your loved ones, you must ensure your property is safe and secure.  Not only is Christmas a popular time for burglaries, but household problems are also more common during this season. Issues such as burst pipes and boiler breakdowns can often occur during the winter months as temperatures plummet.  So, read on to find out the top things tenants need to know before going home for Christmas. 1. Check all windows and doors are locked Always check (and double-check) that all the windows and doors are shut and securely locked when you leave the house to go home for Christmas.  If you have a spare key, make sure it’s not hidden in a place that’s easily accessible. Thieves are accustomed to checking in obvious places such as under doormats and flowerpots. Instead, leave it with a neighbour you trust.  And if your property has a burglar alarm installed, make sure it’s set before you leave for Christmas. 2. Make the house look occupied Another way to deter burglars from breaking into your home is to make it look occupied. You can do this by leaving a light on or hanging coats up in the porch or hallway. In some houses, you can set the lights to switch on at a specific time with an electronic timer. This can be an easy and affordable way to create the illusion that someone is at home during the festive period.  Also, avoid broadcasting your plans on social media since this can make criminals aware your property is empty. 3. Carry out essential property maintenance Drainage issues are common during the winter months. However, fortunately, you can often quickly fix them yourself. Try using a drain unblocker and plunger before calling an emergency plumber to your home at Christmas.  You should also ensure your radiators are bled and that the boiler pressure is topped up.  Keep in mind that any emergency callouts not classified as emergencies will be chargeable to you. Callouts over Christmas can be very costly. 4. Find out utility companies phone numbers We recommend having the phone numbers of your utility companies on hand in case of emergency. If there’s a power cut in your area, please contact SP Energy Networks  If there’s no water in your area, please contact Scottish Water 5. Check smoke alarms are working It’s essential to think about fire safety when leaving your property to go home for Christmas. Check the smoke alarms on all levels to ensure these are working (replacing batteries, if necessary). You should also ensure there are no fire hazards while you’re away, such as Christmas tree lights left on or overloaded electrical sockets. Have a safe and happy Christmas from all of us at Cairn! Going home for the holidays lets you spend quality time with friends and family — and take a well-earned break from your work or studies.  However, if you plan on vacating your property for longer than two weeks, please make sure you let us know. Contact us here.  We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Tenants, Glasgow, HMO Properties, Letting, Student Accommodation

Why We’re the Best Glasgow Letting Agents for Students

Why We’re the Best Glasgow Letting Agents for Students Are you looking for Glasgow letting agents for students? Here are three reasons why we’re the best around. Glasgow is ranked first in Scotland, fourth in the UK, and 39th in the world when it comes to the best student cities — and it’s easy to see why.  With an impressive mix of students, world-renowned universities, historic landmarks, breathtaking architecture, friendly locals, and vibrant, contemporary culture, Scotland’s biggest city is hard to beat.  If you’re moving to Glasgow to further your education, you’ve made a great choice. But you’re going to need somewhere to rest your head after a day of lectures (or a night in the student union). That’s where we come in.  Cairn has been helping students rent in Glasgow since 1999, and we can help you, too. Here are three reasons why we’re the best Glasgow letting agents for students.  Why We’re the Best Glasgow Letting Agents for Students 1. Helping Student Tenants from Day One Some estate & letting agents in Glasgow won’t take on student tenants. That’s not our style. We love helping students take that first exciting step towards living away from home. We also appreciate that it can be a bit daunting, to begin with. That’s why we’re always on hand to advise if there’s ever anything you’re unsure about.  On our website, you’ll find a few handy “how-tos” (here), and we make it super simple for you to report a repair in your property. 2. HMO Experts Moving to an HMO property as a student makes a lot of sense. You get to split the bill three, four, or five ways (or more, depending on the size of the property), and it gives you a chance to meet and live with new people. But not all HMOs are made equal.  As HMO experts, we make sure the properties on our watch are fully-licensed, inspected regularly, and safe for student occupancy.  Read more about our approach to HMOs here: Cairn: HMO Specialists in Glasgow. 3. Proudly Local Our Glasgow office is based on Gibson Street, a stone’s throw from the stunning grand main building of Glasgow University.  We think having that local presence is vital — you don’t want to deal with agents located two towns over. Rather, you should be able to pick up the phone and pop by for a chat if required. We also know the city like the back of our hands. If you’re unfamiliar with Glasgow, our localised team of letting agents can help you figure out the best place to rent in relation to your campus, taking class times and public transport into account.   Cairn: Your Glasgow Letting Agents Whether you’re moving at the start of term time or while classes are in full swing, we can help you find the right student flat in Glasgow for you. Get in touch to learn more. 


Tenants, Buy To Let, Hints & Tips, HMO Properties, Landlords, Student Accommodation

3 Reasons Why You Need an HMO Letting Agency for Your Property

3 Reasons Why You Need an HMO Letting Agency for Your Property Need help choosing the right HMO letting agency for your property? We’ve got you covered. HMOs can make fantastic investments, with rental yields for these properties far higher than standard buy-to-lets. Meanwhile, the demand for shared housing among professionals and students continues to grow due to its affordability and flexibility.  So, if you’re a landlord thinking about investing in an HMO property, you might be wondering: do I go it alone, or should I work with an HMO letting agency? Here, we share three reasons why enlisting the help of an HMO letting agency can make all the difference.  Why You Need an HMO Letting Agency 1. They Can Help Finding Suitable Tenants When it comes to letting out an HMO and maintaining cash flow, you must find the right tenants. Doing so reduces the turnover of tenants and keeps voids to a minimum.  This is where an HMO letting agency really earns their corn.  As well as using the most effective advertising techniques, an HMO letting agency will also interview prospective tenants to match them with existing housemates. They’ll also seek references from previous landlords and carry out the usual credit and employment checks on your behalf.   2. They Provide Ongoing Support  An HMO letting agency won’t just help you find suitable tenants; they’ll also maintain solid relationships with them (and their neighbours).  HMOs often require a more active, hands-on approach to management due to their popularity with student tenants. A good HMO letting agent will treat your investment as their own, ensuring rent is paid on time and issues, such as repairs or complaints by neighbours, are taken seriously and addressed promptly.  3. They Offer Expert HMO Licencing Advice For many landlords, HMO licencing can cause quite a bit of stress and confusion. An HMO letting agent can burden that responsibility and make sure your property is compliant with the necessary rules and regulations from day one. In Scotland, a property that is let to three or more tenants from more than one household is considered an HMO and will need a licence. An expert letting agency can assist you with the application process, providing advice and guidance along the way.  And since an HMO property can be inspected at any time, it must be maintained to the highest standards year-round. An HMO letting agency can help with this, too, recommending any remedial works to bring the property up to scratch. The best letting agents have experienced tradespeople in their contacts, who can then be hired to carry out the work as soon as possible — saving you from penalties, fines, and unhappy tenants.  The Qualities of a Leading HMO Letting Agency The leading HMO letting agents all have a few things in common: they’re knowledgeable, passionate, and have strong relationships with key stakeholders, from tenants and neighbours all the way to the HMO department of the local council.  They should also boast a strong reputation in the local area. We’ve managed HMO properties since 1999 and are the go-to HMO specialists in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Choosing the right HMO letting agent can be the key to achieving maximum rental yields and keeping tenants happy. Contact us to discuss your HMO property with an experienced agent.


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