Location and cost of private rent

What the private rented market is like in East Lothian

Private rented housing is most readily available in the east, especially in Haddington, North Berwick and Dunbar. Around half of rental properties have two bedrooms or less with only a small percentage (c.15%) of one bedroom houses. Availability of private lets varies constantly.

Where to look

  • Websites which which advertise property to let, see Links to renting agencies websites, below.
  • Including specialised lettings sites of local solicitors, estate agents and letting agents
  • Local newspapers such as the East Lothian Courier or Edinburgh Evening News. have ‘To Let’ pages. These are available at local libraries (or online).
  • A free ESPC newspaper contains many properties for let each week.
  • You can place an advert in the ‘accommodation wanted’ sections of local newspapers.
  • Check windows and notice-boards of local newsagents, supermarkets and small shops for adverts, or alternatively, place your own advert. Usually this is free of charge.
  • Ask around: particularly in country areas some lets may be “advertised” by word of mouth.
  • If you are interested in flat sharing, these websites specialise in advertising rooms in shared flats or houses.

Finding a good landlord - accreditation

All landlords must be registered, and some may also be 'accredited', which will give you additional peace of mind. See Landlord Registration and Accreditation.

It is an offence for a landlord or agent to make any charge other than the rent and a refundable deposit (maximum of 2 months’ rent).

Rent levels in the private rented sector

Rent levels are similar across all parts of East Lothian. A one-bedroom property is likely to cost between £450 and £500 per month. A two-bedroom property is likely to cost between £500 and £600 per month, in most areas. In North Berwick, fewer properties cost less than £600 per month. A three bedroom property is likely to be rented for around £750. Most private landlords ask for a deposit at the start of the tenancy, usually equivalent to one month’s rent.

Help with rent cost in the private rented sector

If you are out of work or have a low income, the private rented sector may still be suitable for you. Local Housing Allowance (LHA) may be available to help with the rent costs. The LHA amount due depends on your income and the size of your household. A calculator is available for you to check entitlement. If you will be relying on LHA to help pay your rent make sure you know how much help you will get, before you start looking for a property. If you are struggling to pay the deposit, the Council may be able to help through the Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Links to letting agencies websites

This information hould not be seen as an endorsement of the companies represented here - we do not know what standard of service they provide.

There is also a list of local estate agents.