Renting in Edinburgh: Salma pays £900 a month for this Royal Mile two bedroom flat
It's no secret that finding a home to rent in Edinburgh isn't always a cheap business.
However, different parts of the city do get you different things for your money. How people choose to spend their hard earned cash on their home life is an indivdual choice - with some preferring to spend more for a bigger space, more bedrooms and a garden, with others choosing to save as much as they can on their rent and spend the money on other things.
In this new series, the Edinburgh Evening News will take a look behind the curtains as the people of the Capital open their doors to us. If you think you would like to take part, details on how to do so can be found at the bottom of this article.
So sit back, make yourself at home...
First up we have Salma Anderson, a 26-year-old Customer Service Agent who lives in the city centre.
Full name, occupation, age and area of Edinburgh you live in
Salma Anderson, Customer Service Agent, 26, Royal Mile, EH1
How much do you pay in rent a month?
The total rent for the flat is £900 pm not including bills, and my flatmate and I pay £450 each.
I think we got a very good deal, given other flats I viewed that were more expensive, a lot less nice, and not as conveniently located. I feel very lucky to have gotten this flat. It's actually all due to luck, or fate - however you want to see it; I had been viewing multiple flats per day and was losing hope. I went along to the viewing for this flat because I thought the more flats I viewed, the more the odds of getting one would increase. The agency had a different way of selecting tenants, which I learned towards the end of the viewing - instead of vetting the applications and choosing the person with the highest income etc., they asked that we write our names down on pieces of paper, and the letting agent would pick one out of a hat. I was so nervous, holding my breath as I stood in the lobby of the building, watching her hand shuffle around in the hat. Then I heard my name. I opened my eyes, not realising they'd been shut. I was so relieved and elated, I started to tear up. I'd scored the perfect flat: walking distance from work, built-in wardrobes, lots of cupboard space in the kitchen, and a lift! I couldn't believe my luck.
What do you get for your money?
Two smallish bedrooms (but not as small as a box room), one bathroom (bath with shower overhead), living room, kitchen, all appliances electric (oven/cooker, shower, radiators etc.) It's a factored building (as in, a company comes to clean the landing/stairs), but there is no factoring fee.
I was very keen to live on the High Street, or somewhere in the Centre, as that's where my work is and that is where I go to socialise. Now that I live here, I walk everywhere - haven't spent money on the bus in months. The supermarkets are smaller than in more suburban parts of the city, but you can always order online if something is missing. I'm 5mins away from all the High Street shops and restaurants, and Edinburgh's nightlife hotspot is literally down the street. 'Location, location, location', as they say.
What's your favourite part of the home?
Convenience. I like that instead of paying a gas AND electric bill, I just have the latter. The kitchen is a decent size and has lots of storage space. There's a closet in the hall that's full of things I'd have no idea where else to store. It's easy to clean. It heats well in the winter, as opposed to Victorian flats, which I loathe. And as mentioned, the location is ideal.
What's your least favourite part?
If I could, I would remodel a few things: rip out the bathroom and start from scratch, update the single-glazed ancient windows, put in better carpeting, add a light feature. However, being unable to make permanent changes to the flat hasn't stopped me from sprucing it up - I've covered the kitchen walls in brick-effect contact paper, bought a trendy coffee table, bedroom furniture, and some decorative accents. The aesthetic of my home has always been important to me.
Then again, living on the most famous tourist spot in Edinburgh comes with its price; it can be pretty noisy with bagpipers, street performers, tours and the dreaded Silent Disco outside my window daily, plus the sounds drifting up from the Cowgate. I previously lived in a big, hectic city, though, so it doesn't faze me much. I'm not looking forward to the Fringe crowds, though.
How long have you lived there?
I've lived in this flat since September 2018, so around eight months.
I was living in Corstorphine, which seems such a distance now.
Does it feel like 'home'?
Yes, it feels like 'home', but I'm good at carving out a nice little niche for myself wherever I am.
What would you like your next home to be like?
Something a bit more spacious would be nice; perhaps a house. Central in a good school catchment area. I'm not bothered about having a garden.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO TAKE PART?
This is the first in a series of pieces looking at what the residentsof Edinburgh get for their money when it comes to rent. It's about what's available in different areas and how happy YOU are as residents to pay what you pay.
If you would like to feature in an upcoming 'Renting in Edinburgh' article - email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll need your name, age and cost of rent and you'll be happy for us to take pictures of your home to supplement the feature.
We look forward to hearing from you.