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Houses in the UK
Before taking the big step and moving to the UK, take some time to decide whether you want to rent a house or buy it. The process of renting houses as a non-UK citizen or resident has become more tricky after Brexit.
How do I find a house to rent in the UK?
In case you want to rent a house you need to consider a number of things. First of all, it’s important to understand if you want to rent from an agency or a landlord. Both situations have pros and cons that need to be carefully addressed. For instance, renting directly from a landlord will involve fewer initial costs. On the other hand, an agency will offer you full support in arranging repairs for you.
The easiest way to find properties is to search online. Just select the desired area and arrange viewings.
If you prefer a more conventional way, then visit local estate agents.
Remember to not pay any amount of money in advance without seeing the property first.
Can a foreigner rent a house in the UK?
Foreigners looking to rent a property in the UK should be aware of the national average for rental: £ 600 per month. However, in London, the rental price is £1,572 per month.
The process for renting a house as a foreigner is a bit different than it is for residents and UK citizens. For instance, before starting the whole renting process you must be in possession of a UK bank account. This applies also to those residents coming from overseas. Additionally, the landlord or letting agency might want to run a credit check to assess your credit score. In case your score would be negative, you should still be able to rent a house. However, you might need the help of a guarantor.
How to rent a house in the UK
When it comes to renting a house gather your documentation beforehand so to speed up the process when the time will come. You will need:
- Passport and Personal Data
- Employment Contract
- Bank Account
- Credit References
- Standard References
- Additional Documents and other items
In addition to these, your future landlord will need to verify your immigration status. Additionally, you will have to submit financial documents to prove that you are employed or have a certain amount of money in your bank account.
Lastly, as a renter, you will have to pay a deposit which, according to British law, cannot exceed 5 weeks’ rent.
Buying a house in the UK as a foreigner
There are no legal restrictions on British expat or non-residents buying a property in the UK.
As a non-resident you are perfectly able to buy your future home in this country however, banks may offer you less advantageous mortgage terms or higher interest rates.
Beware that those with less than 2 years of residency in the UK or without a job may face stricter requirements.
What documents do you need to buy a house in the UK
Gather your documentation in advance so to be sure to have everything under control. You will need:
- proof of identity
- proof of address
- proof of source of funds – including your last 3 months’ payslips
Buying a house in the UK
Once you have all your documentation ready, it’s time to look for properties. When doing so, keep in mind important criteria such as location, transport links, energy performance, condition, and drawbacks.
The following step is to make an offer. Take this decision only when you feel perfectly ready. This might take a while and might require more than one visit to the property. Plus, don’t be afraid to make a lower offer than the original price. A verbal offer can be negotiated at any given time but must be justified.
If your offer is accepted then the job is done. You officially have a new home. Inform your real estate agent to stop actively searching. Moreover, you should receive a memorandum of sale from the estate agent which outlines your offer in writing as well as details of the legal representatives for each party.