Finding a place to live

This section provides information about the different housing options available, from council housing to buying your own home. It also has information on supported housing, student accommodation and mobile homes, as well as advice for young people leaving home for the first time and a section on moving home.

If you need housing advice, contact us for free.

Why are you looking for accommodation?

Whatever the reason you're looking for a new home, there is help for you find out more here.

Things to consider when looking for a place to live

This section outlines the things you should take into consideration when you're thinking about where you want to live.

Getting housing from the council or a housing association

If you're 16 and over you can apply for housing from any council or housing association in Scotland. Social tenancies are cheaper and more secure than renting privately.

Housing associations

Housing associations offer affordable accommodation. Some specialise in accommodation for specific groups of people and offer support services.

Housing cooperatives

Housing cooperatives are similar to housing associations. This page explains how housing co-ops work and what you need do to apply

Renting privately

Are you thinking of renting from a private landlord or letting agency? Things you should be aware of when looking at properties. tenancy agreements and what you should do before you move into your new home.

Buying a home

How to buy a home in Scotland. Includes grants that may be available to help you. If you are a council or housing association tenant, you may have the right to buy your home.

Shared ownership

Shared ownership is a property being owned jointly by landlord and tenant. Rules vary, so check your rights and responsibilities. Housing associations might allow you to share ownership of your home.

Housing if you have special requirements

If you need help or adaptations to let you stay in your home, or you're considering moving to a home where you can receive help or that is more suitable for your needs, check what options you have.

Student accommodation

When you are offered a place at university or college, you should be sent information about accommodation. If you don't receive anything, call the university's accommodation department.

Mobile homes and houseboats

An introduction on how to rent or buy a mobile home (sometimes called a park home) or houseboat.


Squatting is not an option in Scotland. If you are caught trying to get into someone else's property or living there without permission, you could end up facing criminal and civil action.

Young people: how to leave home

There are things that can help resolve problems at home or you can legally move out at 16. If you have nowhere safe to stay get emergency help from the council.

Moving home

What to do when you move into a new home, including how to end a tenancy, exchange your council or housing association home, and how to sell one property and buy another.

Asylum seekers and refugees

This section provides information on the housing rights of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. It gives advice on how to access support from the UK Border Agency.

Gypsy and Traveller communities

Talks about Gypsies/Travellers' rights on various sites, including access to pitches and your rights on site. It also looks at settled housing for Gypsies/Travellers and issues surrounding homelessness.

Crofts and crofting

A croft is defined as a unit of agricultural land. What you can do if you're interested in renting or buying a croft. Crofts were traditionally rented but some people have bought a croft, so find out more.

Last updated: 9 August 2016

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England