If you are moving to the UK for a long-term stay, say six months or more, then you will need to find accommodations that are appropriate for such a duration. Living in a hotel for that long can certainly put a damper on your experience. There are plenty of options and opportunities available, but there are plenty of others looking just like you are.
It is certainly not impossible to find a long-term place in the UK, and by following these six simple guidelines, it can be a stress-free experience.
1. Decide on Your Preferred Space
When moving to the UK, you essentially have one of two options: share a flat with a roommate or roommates, or you could rent your own space on your own. Deciding on this first is the key to finding an appropriate long-term accommodation in the UK.
While it may seem obvious that you would want your own space, there are some considerations to be made. Sharing a flat with someone already established in the UK can offer many benefits. Typically, the bills for utilities are already all set up, so you can just pay your share without dealing with logistics. Also, these places are often furnished, enabling you to avoid the costly start-up costs and hassle of furnishing a place. In many cases, these situations allow for the other people staying in the house to vet you – so you can avoid any background checks or proof of income.
2. Searching for Apartment Shares
If you have decided on sharing a space with housemates, then there are several options to ease the search. Again, this situation can be ideal for someone who does not mind living with others and would prefer a more turnkey move-in process. Websites like MoveFlat and Spare Room offer the opportunity to search for people already in a flat looking for roommates. MoveFlat is perfect if you need more detail about your future housemates, as it typically has loads of information and pictures in the ads. Spare Room does not get quite as personal but has a variety of handy search features that will make your search far less stressful and mysterious.
3. Searching for Private Space
If you have decided to go it alone and start with a space all your own, then you may need to consider your options for assistance. GumTree could be a useful source, as often people post available rentals. However, the site can be cumbersome to work through and there are certain pitfalls involved in working directly with another individual.
Ideally, you would be searching for flats that are being offered by reputable real estate agents. You could easily spend time contacting agencies and seeking assistance directly from them. You could also look for an agent via PrimeLocation. Alternatively, you could utilize aggregate sites like Zoopla, Rightmove, and Accommodation.co.uk that display listings of available rentals based on your search criteria. It is highly recommended that when looking for a space, you utilize a reputable source like those mentioned above, rather than just replying to a random ad.
4. Consider Location
While we can often be limited by budgets and availability, location is quite important when deciding where to find accommodation in the UK. Being close to work or school is obviously ideal. Also, if you are relocating with family, considering the local schools and parks should also play a role in where you to decide to look.
London alone is a huge city that is made up of a seemingly endless list of little settlements sprinkled about. Each of these areas features their own vibe, so it is important to take this into account when scoping potential landing spots. Narrowing down a location can help focus your search and reduce what can feel like an overwhelming amount of options.
5. Think About Furnishings
Many long-term rentals are furnished, and this is ideal, to say the least. Moving abroad for a long-term stay is cumbersome but having to figure out the logistics of furnishing a new place can feel impossible. Fortunately, any location that does happen to be unfurnished will usually disclose that fact in the advertisement. It is always worth asking if furnishings are provided, just to confirm. If a flat is unfurnished, take this into consideration as you are planning your moving budget and startup costs.
Before deciding on your location for your long-term stay in the UK, you should have a firm budget laid out. Decide the maximum you can spend on rent after considering all your bills, incidentals, and the up-front costs of moving (shipping, fees, deposits, etc.). Once you have a good idea of what you can afford, then you can make a better decision on where specifically to move. Some cities are obviously more expensive than others, and areas around those cities can vary greatly in rental costs. There is no use looking in a pricey area if you are trying to pay a lower rent. Having a solid budget will ensure you move to an area in the UK that you can afford to live.
Moving abroad can be overwhelming. There are lots of considerations to be made and plans to develop. However, deciding where to move does not have to feel like such an impossible task! With some perseverance and by following these six guidelines, finding long-term accommodation in the UK can feel far less daunting.
I hope these six items were helpful to you and wish you the best on your move to the UK. Stop by the comments and leave some feedback for this blog post before you leave!