Moving to the United Kingdom

If you move to the UK, finding accommodation will be in a good position on your list of things to do. There are so many housing options and beautiful areas to choose from that the hardest thing might be deciding where you want to live. You’ll find more accommodation options available in major cities such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh, which also offer more career opportunities and a more vibrant lifestyle. Rents, however, can be very expensive.  London being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the real estate market is changing rapidly.

If you have in mind one of the small towns or one of UK’s villages, you’ll have the chance to find larger spaces for less expensive rents than in town residences, even though this benefit is outweighed through fewer employment opportunities and a much calmer lifestyle.

Types of housing in the United Kingdom

  • Semi-detached / individual homes
  • Bungalows (low house without floor)
  • Apartments
  • Duplex and triplex
  • Studios or furnished rooms

In cities, housing supply is mainly made up of apartments and studios. The further you get from the centers, the more houses and bungalows are available and within your budget. The price ranges vary enormously (for the price of a furnished room in central London you could rent or buy a house with a large garden in the north of England). Carefully assess your budget, your possible travel needs, and your lifestyle and accommodation expectations.

Finding accommodation in the United Kingdom

Start your search online on real estate search portals and real estate agency websites based in your target neighborhood, at for-sale.com for instance. Local newspapers and magazines offering classified ads can also be a very good source of information.

The safest way to rent or buy a home while protecting your interests is through an agency, although they often charge a fee. The UK has many laws protecting tenants and the agencies strictly respect them. There are many real estate agents in big and small cities in the UK and it is in their interest to find a home that suits you. Also, they are more than willing to be proactive in their research. However, expect real estate agents to send you email alerts rather than contacting you directly about potential homes in high-turnover cities. They also never share your personal information with other real estate agencies. Target the agencies that have the most to offer you. The market is changing rapidly across the UK, and the big cities are the places where the rotation is the fastest. It is common to see people renting homes without even seeing them. However, it is important to visit homes before signing a contract, especially when you are new to the country. Once you have found the accommodation you wish to visit, call the number indicated, always leave a message and be ready to call back if you do not receive an answer within 12 hours. Setting up e-mail alerts on property search sites and seeing new offers every day are also good ideas.

Pieces of advice

Do not wait for the contract to discuss rent and fees with your landlord or real estate agent. The deposit, the administrative costs and the current expenses (like the expenses or the tax of residence) are not always detailed in the real estate offers. Read the contract carefully before signing it and make sure you know your rights as a tenant in the UK before you commit. If you need to take public transport to work every day, consider transportation costs, which can quickly rise, especially in the South of England. For example, an annual subscription to the national rail company, can cost from £ 2,000 to £ 4,500 depending on your trip.

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