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Guide To Renting A Property Abroad

Making the decision to move abroad is a big one that should not be taken without due thought and careful attention to detail. From moving to the USA, to South Africa or maybe even Canada or UAE, there’s a seemingly endless list to remember but perhaps the most important decision of all is; where are you going to live? If you have dreamt of moving to a specific destination for years and after return vacation visits, you know your heart is set on moving here then it is probably a clever choice to plant your roots and buy a property. However, if uncertainty is racking your brain and you’d prefer to take a more cautious approach in order to maintain a flexible life enabling you to move about as you please, then renting is probably an ideal route for you.
The decision to rent instead of buy is arguably a more favoured one amongst British expats living abroad. It not only gives you the ability to travel and explore whenever you please but also means you don’t have to pay any maintenance costs. This means you’ve no worries about having to fork out on unexpected expenses when something goes wrong!
At Britannia Pink & Jones we’ve helped a huge range of families move abroad over the years building up invaluable knowledge & experience about moving to a variety of destinations worldwide. We also know that the rental market can at times be a minefield. So with these two things in mind we’ve created the ultimate guide to renting abroad; including the most important things to consider when looking to rent a home in another country. We hope this will help ensure you have a smooth and enjoyable transition abroad.
Do your research so you know exactly what to expect – It’s all well and good deciding to move abroad so you can lounge around and enjoy the sun all day. However, you need to pinpoint the finer details so you are not left feeling disappointed and living a far harder life than you did in Britain. First of all, decide what type of location you would like to live in. Do the bright lights of a big city entice you or is it peaceful countryside life where you feel most at home? Depending on your preference you’ll then need to ensure that your chosen area is close to local amenities. You don’t want to be left having to walk 15 miles to pick up a pint of milk for your cuppa do you? Check local public transport routes and if you have children find out about local schools and make sure you know how far away your nearest hospital is.
Once you have familiarised yourself with the local area, it’s time to think about the specifics of the type of accommodation you’re looking for. Take into consideration how many rooms you’ll need, if you’ll need a parking space and if it’s a necessity for you and your family to have a garden. Make a list of all the desirables you would like in your ideal property abroad and when organising to view accommodation, keep these in mind throughout the process. Don’t make the mistake of getting too impatient and disregarding any qualities you originally wanted in your rental property. This is going to be your home, so you want it tailored to your own needs as much as possible.
Go down variety a of different routes when looking for your rental property abroad – Take time to investigate recommended agents in your chosen destination who have built up a good reputation for themselves. It could also be a good idea to try and find a professional that speaks both your mother tongue and your chosen destinations language for clarity and to avoid misunderstandings. Once you have a specific area in mind and are aware of its local rental costs, take time to familiarise yourself with the area by taking a stroll around the neighbourhood.
This gives you a chance to get a good feel for the community and to also look out for any letting signs about. Another way to find out about properties on the rental market is to grab an expat magazine from a local store as these normally feature a variety of property listings in the area. For most future expats it can be hard to control the excitement at the prospect of this new step in their life.
However, as the enthusiasm bubbles up inside you, remember to be patient and take time to view a number of properties before you commit to one. Being that bit more cautious will benefit you in the long run! Finally, never underestimate the power of word of mouth when looking for your perfect property. Ask around and chat to any locals as they will know the area well and could be the one to inform you of your dream home!
 Make sure you are aware of local regulations – In the UK, if you have the money then it is usually reasonably easy to rent a property. However, this does vary from country to country and in some it can be a lot more difficult to sign a rental agreement due to a range of factors. For example; in most parts of France, in order to finalise a rental agreement you need recommendations and guarantors. These offer peace of mind to the landlord in knowing that they are gaining a reliable tenant. Take time to find out about all the paperwork requirements and what a landlords requirements are in your chosen country. This information is best sought after from letting agents and will save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes down to signing on the dotted line.
Be one step ahead with hidden fees and charges – When renting you come out top trumps in regards to avoiding costs such as upkeep to the house itself. However, sometimes in foreign countries there can be extra charges for communal areas such as the swimming pool, hallways and any shared garden area that weren’t made all that clear to you when you signed the agreement. Take time to read the rental agreement before you sign it including any small print to check for any of these hidden charges.
Make sure you fully understand all parties rights and responsibilities – Before you finalise the rental agreement, avoid any later frustration and confusion by ensuring you fully understand your rights as a tenant and your landlords rights and responsibilities in regards to the upkeep of the house and eviction notices, etc.
If you’re in the midst of planning a move abroad then get in touch with us here at Britannia Pink & Jones to find out how we can help you! You can call us on 01536 512019 or drop us an email on removals@pinkandjones.co.uk.