For six months I had the wonderful opportunity of moving abroad for work. It was a dream fulfilled to live in England and I miss it everyday. I still find myself reviewing websites on rental properties in the city where I lived to see what’s available.
I wanted to give some insights on my experience and some tips on the paperwork you might want to prepare for!
Once my work visa was approved, I obtained a contract letter from my employer explaining the benefits I would receive while on assignment. For lodging, I spent one month in a local hotel and was then moved to a rental flat. It’s best to make sure this information is outlined in advance so you have no surprises on budget or available locations.
As part of my contract, I was assigned a local real estate agent who liaised with my company on the budget and logistics of payment. I suggest research on property fees before you arrive on site as they were dramatically different than my current location. Again, review your contract to verify it outlines who will be responsible for property and utility fees.
Once I had arrived on site, I had a teleconference with the real estate agent and we discussed my preferences in property types and budgets. From there we set up a time to tour properties based on our discussion.
I felt like I was on an episode of House Hunters as I toured 6 or 7 properties. On the day of the tour, I was met by the real estate agent who drove me around to the various properties. I was completely on my own without family to really provide guidance so it felt like a big decision to make on my own. Thankfully the properties were all listed on a website so I could at least share my options with family back home.
After viewing the properties, I narrowed down my top choices and the real estate agents submitted an application on my behalf. As my company had outsourced this process, it was the responsibility of the estate agent to communicate the status. Please know this will vary by contract etc.
Once I had submitted my application, I waited for confirmation of approval. The application felt very similar to what is requested in America. I submitted past rental history and references. The next step was moving in!
Once a date had been confirmed, my company worked with the real estate agent to obtain keys. On the day of my move they were installing new carpet so moving in was a little delayed. Thankfully all my earthly possessions at the time included a large suitcase and a couple of shopping bags. (Moving home required a packing company ha!)
Although I didn’t have much with me I did spend most of the day running to various stores picking up all the things I had forgotten…I needed rugs and cleaning supplies and bedding of course. Allow your self time to get settled in and run all the errands you need to do. Thankfully I moved in on a Friday so I had most of the weekend to try and make the place feel like home.
Have you had a similar experience? What tips do you have when renting abroad?