Scotland for Ukrainians: a guide for displaced people

This guide includes information on visas, travel, accommodation and life in Scotland.

Housing options

Renting a property

You have the right to rent your own property in Scotland. Properties are available across Scotland and you can choose where to live. Jobs, schools and other services are available throughout the country. You can search for properties to suit your needs.

There is high demand for properties in Edinburgh and Glasgow. For this reason, you may wish to consider a different part of Scotland. In some smaller towns it can be easier to find schools and cheaper accommodation.

Some properties can include furniture or you can arrange your own. You may have to undergo a credit check and pay a deposit. Your local council can provide advice on how you can search for properties to rent, how much this will cost and whether financial support is available including help with a deposit. There will also be information available on all council websites.

Changing address is possible, even if you have already started opening a bank account or are applying for benefits. Existing bank accounts and benefits can be transferred to your new address.

Advantages of renting privately

If you are able to privately rent, please consider this option. By doing so, you will free up accommodation for those who are unable to rent their own home.

When renting privately, you can choose where to live. Properties are available across Scotland.

There are other advantages to renting privately:

  • some properties are immediately available
  • you can search and review properties to suit your needs and circumstances
  • properties can be rented furnished, unfurnished or partly furnished
  • you can consider rental costs across Scotland before making any decisions.

Searching for properties

If you think renting privately is for you, you may find it useful to contact the Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland or a letting agent. They can help with advice regarding:

  • where to look
  • what is available in your preferred area
  • deposits requirements
  • ongoing monthly rental fees
  • notice periods for renting
  • council tax payments
  • the strong protections in place for privately rented tenancies

A letting agency can advise on services and facilities in the neighbourhood, how much the property will cost and how to make deposits and pay fees.

You can search for private rental properties online. There are many websites that you can look at properties that are available on, including:

Property locations, types and costs

The information in the table below is taken from Private Sector Rent Statistics, Scotland, 2010 to 2022 and shows the average monthly rent price for different housing types throughout Scotland. The rent on individual properties may vary from the prices shown below but this information can be used as a guide.


1 Bedroom  Properties  Per calendar  month

2 Bedroom  Properties  Per calendar  month

3 Bedroom  Properties  Per calendar  month

4 Bedroom  Properties  Per calendar  month

1 Bedroom  Shared  Properties  Per calendar  month

Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire












Dundee and  Angus






East Dunbarton












Greater Glasgow






Highlands and  Islands






Lothian  (including  Edinburgh)






Perth and  Kinross






West Lothian






Table 1: Private Sector Rent Statistics, Scotland, 2010 to 2022

Checking your landlord’s registration

You can rent a property from a private landlord. You will need to make sure your landlord is registered with the local council where the property is located.

You can check this using the Landlord Registration Scotland website. If your landlord is not registered, they are renting the property out illegally.

UK guarantor

 Sometimes private landlords and letting agents will ask you to provide a guarantor to secure a tenancy. A guarantor is a person who agrees to pay your rent if you don't pay it. 

Where a person can’t provide a suitable guarantor, landlords may ask tenants to pay rent in advance as an alternative. The maximum amount of rent which a landlord can ask you to pay in advance is six months’ rent.

Tenancy agreement

If you rent from a private landlord, you will be given a private residential tenancy agreement often known as a PRT. Under the PRT and wider housing law, private tenants have important rights that you should know about.

Your tenancy is open-ended, which means it doesn’t have a fixed length or a set date it will end. Your landlord cannot include an expected end date or minimum period in your tenancy agreement.

If you are a joint tenant, all tenants are responsible for the rent, together and separately. This will apply for as long as the tenancy continues.

To end a joint tenancy, all the joint tenants must agree to end it and give the landlord written notice that they want to leave. You can transfer your interest in the tenancy to someone else, if you have your landlord’s permission.

Tenancy deposit

When you move into a rented property, most private landlords or letting agents will ask you for a deposit.

A deposit is a sum of money which acts as a guarantee against damage to the property, cleaning bills if you have left the property in poor condition, any unpaid bills or rent that you are responsible for.

You cannot be asked to pay more than two months’ rent for a deposit.

If you have paid a landlord a deposit, they must pay it into an approved tenancy deposit scheme. They must give you further information about this within 30 working days of the start of your tenancy. This information should include, for example, the amount paid and the date it was paid, the address of the property, confirmation that the landlord is registered, and contact details for the scheme.

If your landlord has not paid your deposit into the scheme within this 30-day timescale, you can take them to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber). There they could be told to pay you up to three times the value of the deposit.

If there are no issues when you move out, the tenancy deposit scheme will pay your deposit back to you in full. If you pay a deposit and the tenancy does not go ahead, the deposit must be refunded to you in full.

It is against the law for a landlord or letting agent to charge a fee or premium, or enter into a loan arrangement with you, as a condition of granting, renewing or continuing your tenancy. They can only charge you rent and a refundable deposit, and the deposit must not be more than two months’ rent.

Help with a tenancy deposit and rent guarantee schemes

If you are having problems saving enough money for a deposit, rent-deposit or guarantee schemes may be able to help you. These schemes provide a financial guarantee to the landlord on your behalf.

They work in a number of different ways. In some schemes you repay the deposit over time and it is given back to you when you leave.

In others you won’t need to pay the deposit back, but you may have to pay money to the scheme if the landlord does not return the full deposit to the scheme because of damage or unpaid rent or bills.

The local council in the area you wish to live in will be able to give you details of rent deposit or guarantee schemes in their area.


Your landlord can only increase your rent once in a 12-month period, and must give you at least three months’ notice that they are going to do this.   

Council tax

Council Tax is a local government charge on all domestic properties payable to the local council.

You will usually have to pay council tax if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home. Discounts and exemption information can be found online.


You can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) if your home doesn't reach a minimum standard of repair (known as the repairing standard).

Ending a tenancy

Your landlord cannot end your tenancy without good reason. They can only end it by giving you ‘notice to leave’ for one or more of 18 reasons (grounds), or while the emergency measures are in force, for an additional three reasons.

If your landlord asks you to leave, they must give you: 

  • 28 days’ notice - if you have lived in the property for less than six months or the landlord is using one of the six ‘behaviour’ grounds or
  • 84 days’ notice - if you have lived in the property for more than six months and the landlord is not using the ‘behaviour’ grounds

If you disagree with the reason given in the notice to leave given to you by your landlord, you do not need to leave your property until such times as your landlord has obtained an eviction order from the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber).

If you think that your tenancy was ended unlawfully (for example, the landlord served you with a notice to leave on the grounds that they intended to sell the property, but then they let it to another tenant), you can apply to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) for a wrongful termination order. The Tribunal can award you up to six months' rent.

If you want to leave the tenancy, you must give your landlord 28 days’ notice in writing. In your notice you will need to state the day you want the tenancy to end (this is normally the day after the notice period has ended).

For more information on any of these rights, please visit the Scottish Government’s website for further information on renting from a private landlord.

Financial assistance

If you are not working or on low income you may be able to get help from benefits to be able to meet costs.

Universal Credit has a housing element contained within it. Any housing benefit will be limited to the housing allowance. You may be able to apply for a Discretionary Payment. You can find more information on what benefits are available from the UK or Scottish Government, in the section of this document called ‘Settling into life in Scotland’.

To help with the cost of living crisis, emergency measures have been brought in to help people who rent their homes. This includes temporary restrictions on rent increases and the enforcement of evictions in certain circumstances.

For additional support please visit Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter Scotland or the Citizen’s Advice Scotland.

Being matched with a host

If you are not able to rent privately, there is a government approved accommodation matching service which matches you with a Scottish household (known as a ‘host’) under the Super Sponsor Scheme. This is likely to mean sharing the host’s home with them. Hosts are asked to provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. They do not have to provide accommodation after six months, but some choose to.

Hosts are located all across Scotland. The majority of hosting placements are available outside of bigger cities. In regional communities, people are more likely to have extra rooms. As part of the matching process, you will be asked about your needs and preferences. You can mention anything that is important to you. This may include gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or dietary needs (for example, being vegetarian or vegan).

An offer of accommodation will be discussed with you by a representative of the local council or the Scottish Government. We would encourage you to consider any offer seriously. Welcome accommodation is temporary and moving on from this will help you and your family settle into Scottish life more easily. Staying with a Scottish host is a good way to get to know Scotland and what you want to gain from your time here better.

If you are offered a match with a host, you might want to get to know your host before accepting their offer of accommodation. Matching teams can arrange for this to take place in person at a Welcome Hub, in welcome accommodation or by video call if your host is not close to the hub or welcome accommodation.

Once both you and your host have agreed to the accommodation arrangement,  local council representatives will arrange transport to your host’s accommodation.

In very rare cases you might be offered council housing or social housing. This is a property you and your family would not share with anyone else. However, there are very few such properties available and they are used for people who are particularly vulnerable and require a lot of support. It can take a very long time for such a property to become available.

If you have questions about the matching process and accommodation, please speak to a representative of the local council or the Scottish Government at your temporary welcome accommodation.


Safety is very important. Under the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme, safety checks will be carried out before you are matched with a host and move into their accommodation. These person and property checks are detailed in the sections ‘Person checks’ and ‘Property checks’.

If you have found a host outside of the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme, you should speak to your local council to check whether your host has completed their checks. Only hosts who have completed their checks can receive a host thank you payment. This includes hosts through the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme or the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. You can find more information on host responsibilities and host thank you payments in the sections ‘Host responsibilities’ and ‘Finances’. 

Person checks

Under the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme, all scheme hosts and everyone aged over 16 who lives with them will have completed an ‘enhanced disclosure check’ before you move in. This is an identification check carried out by an agency called Disclosure Scotland, which includes:

You can find out more about Disclosure Scotland and the identification checks they carry out.

If you have a Scottish Super Sponsor visa, you will only be matched with hosts who pass these person checks.

If you feel unsafe in your accommodation, you can contact your local council representative or contact the police on their non-emergency number.
If you are in immediate danger or have an emergency, call one of these freephone numbers:

  • 999 and 112 - 999 is the main national emergency response service in the UK. In emergencies, call 999 for police, ambulance, fire brigade, coast guard or rescue, and Mountain Rescue. 112 is the European equivalent to 999 and can also be used in the UK
  • 101 – for non-emergencies, you can call 101 for the police
  • 111 – for non-emergency health issues, call 111 or visit NHS 24 online. The NHS is the UK’s national health service. NHS 24 provide telephone and online services for healthcare information and advice in Scotland.  NHS 24 uses the free and confidential interpretation service, Language Line, to support callers who do not, or prefer not to, speak English.

Property checks

All host accommodation offered under the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme has had to pass a property check.

The council has visited the home to make sure it is safe, not overcrowded and passes other housing checks. These checks include: fire, gas and electrical safety, heating, bathroom, washing and cooking facilities and that there is no rising damp.

If you have any concerns about the safety of the property you are living in, contact your local council.

Follow-up welfare and integration support

Once you have been matched to a host, your council will organise a follow-up visit to make sure that everyone in the house is safe and well. They also offer you support to integrate into the local area and access services, including:

  • benefits, if you need them
  • finding work
  • registering with a doctor (known as a ‘GP’) and a dentist
  • registering with local schools, childcare and further and higher education
  • finding classes for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • advice on mental health services and support with accessing specialist services if needed

When you are accessing public services, interpretation support has to be provided for you if you need it. You can find more information on language support when accessing public services in the section of this document called ‘Language support’.

Host responsibilities

Hosts are asked to commit to providing suitable accommodation for a minimum of six months, but can offer up to 24 months under the Scottish Super Sponsor scheme.

However, sometimes it is not possible for a hosting arrangement to continue for a variety of reasons. The section of this document called ‘What happens if you can no longer stay in your accommodation’ has information on what to do in this situation. After six months, hosts are asked to give two months’ notice if they want to end the arrangement. This is to allow time for other arrangements to be put in place for you.


Your hosts are asked, if they can, to help you to adapt to life in Scotland. Some may choose to do so, but they are not obligated to do so.

They may support you with checking that you have enough food and supplies - such as toiletries - when you arrive, and whether you have access to a mobile phone and internet to stay in touch with family members. If you need any of these things, hosts are not expected to buy them for you.

If you need to, you can apply for benefits, including crisis grants. The section of this document called ‘Settling info life in Scotland’ has more information on this. You can reach out to your local council, the Scottish Refugee Council or Citizens advice to find out more about your entitlement.

When you have been matched with your host through the Scottish Super Sponsor Scheme and you are living in shared accommodation with your host, the host can ask you to pay a reasonable and proportionate contribution towards the household bills. Your host may ask you to pay to help cover the cost of water, gas and electricity consumed or supplied to the accommodation or to any shared facilities. Some hosts may not wish to ask for any contribution depending on their own financial circumstances. It is important to have conversations about finances with your host.

If you are the sole occupants in a separate property provided by your host, you are responsible for the property’s bills (excluding council tax, mortgage and factor fees). Hosts are not expected to cover the bills unless they volunteer to do so. You are responsible for these bills from the date you begin living in the property. You can apply for benefits and crisis grants to pay for these living costs. If you need help in accessing these, contact the Scottish Refugee Council on 0808 1967 274.

You can find out more about the role of hosts, in the online host guidance

Your host can receive a £350 thank you payment during the first 12 months of your stay. This payment increases to £500 once you have been in the UK for 12 months. The payment is paid directly to your host. The thank you payment is available to your host for a maximum of two years after your arrival in the country.

Your host’s council tax will not increase while you are staying with them. If you live in another home that your host owns, you will not have to pay for council tax.

You should not be asked to provide free or underpaid labour, including domestic work or seasonal agricultural work, in exchange for accommodation or food. You do not need to undertake household tasks on behalf of your host in exchange for accommodation or food. It is acceptable to discuss whether this may be appropriate if you wish to get involved.

Remember, if you have any concerns about your safety or feel uncomfortable about anything while you are staying with your host, speak to your local council or find more information in the section of this document called ‘Keeping safe’.

Agreement with your host

We recommend that you and the host write an agreement which sets out how your relationship will work. 

You do not need to do this, but it might be a good idea so you and the host have an agreed understanding about how things will work. This is called an ‘occupancy agreement’.

The agreement could include:

  • how you will treat the property (or area of the property) that you are staying in
  • if you are staying in accommodation by yourself (or with your family) - how the host will access the property
  • how the occupancy agreement will be ended by you or the host

What happens if you can no longer stay in your host accommodation

Hosts are asked to offer you accommodation for at least six months, and perhaps up to 24 months. It may be that you realise that the arrangements cannot continue, perhaps because the relationship has broken down with your host or because you have found somewhere else to live.

If you feel you cannot continue with the host you have been matched with, you should contact your local council as soon as possible. They will arrange support to help manage any issues that have arisen, or, where needed, match you with a different host.

There may also be instances where hosts wish to end the relationship early. They have the right to do so.

If your host has asked you to leave their accommodation, you should make the necessary arrangements to do so. Contact your local council as soon as possible. They will support you in finding a new place to live. If you refuse to leave your hosted accommodation, your local authority may speak to their safeguarding team or local police for advice. This is to ensure your safety and that of your sponsor.

As hosting is a temporary arrangement, you should consider options for securing settled accommodation during your stay in Scotland, such as privately rented accommodation. Your local council can support you to find such accommodation. 

If you leave your hosted accommodation temporarily

You may need to temporarily leave your hosted accommodation for various reasons. Before you leave, tell your host that you are leaving and for how long you will be away for. You and your host may want to agree how you leave your room or accommodation. For example, you may want to discuss where you leave your belongings so that your host can use your room while you are away.

If you are away for more than four weeks in a row your host must inform your local council. This will pause the thank you payment your host receives.

Applying for council housing

You can also apply for a property from your local council or housing association. Anyone over the age of 16 can apply. Your housing needs will be checked and your application will be held on a housing list. Not all councils in Scotland have houses available. Due to the existing demand for council and housing association properties, there are significant delays in properties becoming available. It will therefore be necessary for you to have alternative accommodation available, even if you are hoping to secure housing of this type.

For additional support, you can also visit Scottish Refugee Council, Shelter Scotland or the Citizen’s Advice Scotland.




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