The United Kingdom comes out as a great destination for exports especially those from the commonwealth countries. Any speaker of English will find it more comfortable to live in the UK than other countries in Europe that have their own languages. But even as so many expatriates move over to live, work, study or join their families in the UK, it matters a lot to be aware of the housing and rental situation in the country.
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Just as a heads up for someone who isn’t much aware, housing represents the largest non-financial asset class in the UK . For this reason, the UK ranks among the top European countries with the most outstanding housing amenities offering high quality housing and a whole array of facilities to make them as comfortable as possible. Here, 30% of homes ownership lies in the hands of rental occupants, 40% owners through mortgage, 18% social housing, and remainder, 12% privately rented. As you plan to move to the UK, one factor to be rest assured of is a comfortable and standard housing to either rent or buy.
Renting options in the United Kingdom for expats
Whether you are interested in renting a studio apartment in the city centre or purchase your dream home in the countryside, understanding the UK housing market is key. There is much more in store for you regarding renting, buying, or even building as the common housing components in the UK. However, finding adequate housing in the UK is out rightly a difficult aspect especially for someone who is relocating to the UK for the first time.
Renting a house or buying a house in the UK will solidly depend on the number of people that will be living with you. However, your budget will help you decide whether you will need a short-term or long-term rental, or a furnished or unfurnished apartment or even a house. For someone who is coming to the UK to stay long enough, you may probably consider buying a house. However, most people would consider renting as an option of housing in the UK.
Types of Houses and Housing in UK
In the UK, there are different types of houses. So, the option you pick will come from a variety determined by your budget and taste. What this means is that house and rent prices will vary given the city you want to live in and the area of your choice. Nonetheless, in UK you are likely to meet these types of houses;
- Detached houses
- Semi-detached houses
- End of terrace
Renting a House in the UK
Despite the UK having a central government body responsible for housing, the housing policy in the UK has since devolved to regional governments. This means that the rental laws, procedures, and availability of social housing could partly register some sort of variation. You may already be renting and considering moving to a new place or even attempting to rent a house for the first time in the UK. There is no problem but there are certain factors that you might have to consider first.
Do you want to rent privately? If yes, one thing you must have at the back of your mind is that rents are commonly high in the UK. Besides, rents are prone to an upward change annually. However, when renting a house, you have to pay a deposit and the first month rent so you should have this in your budget. Additionally, most private rented property is let based on a certain shorthold tenancy. Your landlord will have a right to terminate your tenancy period after six months or even at the end of a longer fixed term.
Find yourself a short-term or temporary rental as you organise yourself to find a much more befitting place of your choice. Apartments on a short-term lease in the UK are often presented as furnished and are much easier to secure especially in the informal markets. In the meantime, you are free to find a house to rent through a letting agency, websites or even the newspapers. Take note that with a letting agency, you will have to pay a fee for the services offered.
Renting and Social Housing in the UK
In the UK, social housing is also known as council of estates, public housing, or council housing which also provides a majority of rented accommodation. However, in recent years, the number of private rental housing has grown to surpass the number of social housing. The role of non-profit making housing associations was of more significance which subsequently led to the rise of social housing.
However, the present notion of social housing in the UK refers to the lower-cost rented housing. The landlords have the singular role of providing this since the housing regulator has their registration as a social landlord. A social landlord could either be a housing association or a council. All that matters to this effect is that social housing is cheaper and offers greater security from eviction unlike the private rented housing. If you are coming to the UK for the first time, this could be a very good option if you are in need of accessible or adapted housing.
Most areas have the social housing allocation left for the council who have a waiting list of people showing interest. The local council has a policy on who qualifies for social housing. The priority goes to this category of people. But the common consideration is that you must have lived in the particular municipal area for a certain number of years. The public housing allocation policy is also applicable to persons intending to rent sheltered housing.
Renting a House in the UK as a Foreigner
As a foreigner coming in to the UK for the first time, you are probably unfamiliar with how the housing and renting system works. So, you must take into consideration a number of factors before deciding on where to live and what type of housing you will need. However, with renting a house, you have the freedom to test different places in a bid to find something that perfectly suits you. Flexibility is a key factor of consideration that will likely make your house hunting a smooth process. One fact is that finding a house to rent in the UK is much easier than finding a house to buy.