If you’re planning to rent a property abroad, there are a number of things you’ll need to bear in mind if you want to avoid being stuck in a bad property, or paying more than you need to!
Here, then, are some of the main things to consider when renting a property abroad:
Search from home – while you still can!
One thing you don’t want when searching for a new home is time pressure. You don’t want to be making choices because you have to, you want to be picking a home because it’s actually the one you want.
That’s why it’s a good idea to start hunting several weeks before the big move. If you need help from an estate agent on the ground in your new country, that’s fine. It’s their job to find you a great property, and they’ll know the area better than you. (Making them, in this situation, worth their fee.
Make sure you view at least once
Yes, it might mean you have to pay for a cheap flight and a hotel room. But trust us, it’s nearly always worth it. The simple fact is that no matter how many photos you see or FaceTime tours you take, you simply can’t get the feel of a property unless you actually go there yourself.
And it’s not just about the feel of the property itself. You’ll also be able to get a better idea of the surrounding area, and whether it’s a community you actually want to live in. Remember, it’s not just the property itself; it’s the surrounding streets and the neighbours, too!
Get a translator or an English-speaking estate agent
The simple fact is that if you’re planning to rent abroad, getting an English-speaking agent or a translator is non-negotiable. Not legally, necessarily, but for your own sake! Every country – and likely every region in that country – will have their own unique rental rules and regulations.
The last thing you want is to get stuck paying excessive service charges, or stuck in a much longer lease than you planned, simply because you didn’t know what you were signing.
The other thing to consider is that in many countries, the legal agreement will be in the local language. In this situation, the agent will usually be able to recommend a translator who can put the document into English for you. Again, this could save you a lot of time, stress and money in the long-run, so it’s usually a worthwhile expense.
Check extra costs
In Britain and in many European countries, rent usually means you won’t have to pay extra costs such as service charges or maintenance fees. That won’t always be the case in other countries, so make sure you check in advance what extra costs will come alongside your rent.
It’s also worth researching how much your utility charges will be. The services will be similar wherever you are: broadband, gas/electricity, water, local authority payments and so on. However, the actual price of these services may vary depending on where you’re located, so ask your estate agent for a rough estimate before you sign up.
Prepare your documents in advance
Again, the country you’re choosing to move to will have a big impact on exactly which documents you’re expected to provide when renting. It’s rare to find a country that won’t lease to expats at all, but some countries might require additional proof of income, or proof of your credit history.
If they require proof of credit history in their country and you’re unable to provide it (which may well be the case) then it’s likely they’ll ask for additional proof that you’re a suitable resident. This can be anything from landlord references from your home country through to proof of credit rating elsewhere. It’s worth having all your documents ready to go in case they’re required!
If you’re planning to rent abroad and don’t want to pay over the odds for your currency exchange, Privalgo can help.
We offer bank-beating rates, total transparency and guarantee no hidden costs.