Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is responsible for insuring the property?
- Is it possible to drive in the UK under a driving licence issued in my home country?
- Will my property have a phone line and Broadband connection available?
- Will you take responsibility for the transfer of the utility service (Gas, electric, water, sewerage and council tax) accounts?
- Should I sign a lease before my work permit is available?
- Once I have made an offer, how quickly can I move in?
- What will a typical “furnished” property contain?
- What will a typical “unfurnished” property contain?
- Will I be able to fit my furniture into the property?
- Will my electrical goods be compliant with the UK voltage (220V)?
- Can I have pets in a property?
- How will schooling requirements influence my housing decision?
- If I find possible properties on the internet, can I visit these with the homesearch consultant the following week?
- How far in advance of my arrival can I commence the homesearch programme?
Who is responsible for insuring the property?
The landlord is responsible for insuring the building, together with any furniture or contents included in the lease. You are responsible for insuring your own belongings.
Is it possible to drive in the UK under a driving licence issued in my home country?
It is possible to drive in the UK for up to one year after taking residence, provided that you hold a current full driving licence, issued in your home country, and for the appropriate class of vehicle. If you hold a licence issued from a member of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or any EU member country) or one of the following: Australia, Barbados; British virgin Islands; Cyprus; Gibraltar; Hong-Kong; Japan; Kenya; Malta; New Zealand; Singapore; Switzerland or Zimbabwe, you can apply for a UK licence within the first year and not take a driving test. Holders of licences issued from other countries must take a UK driving test during the first year. If you do not pass the test during your first year, you will have to apply for a provisional driving licence and drive under restricted conditions (supervision) until a test has been passed.
Will my property have a phone line and Broadband connection available?
Most properties have a phone line available. The landlord may provide a working line which will need to be connected once the lease is signed. A line connection can usually be arranged for the day you move in. With respect to Broadband connection, this can take up to 4 weeks to arrange. Please also be aware that some areas in the UK do not have the capability of a wired Broadband connection i.e. BT.
Will you take responsibility for the transfer of the utility service (Gas, electric, water, sewerage and council tax) accounts?
Yes, we will arrange to contact the relevant companies, and notify them of details regarding the change of account. Council tax is the main form of local taxation in the UK. It is paid by residents to the local authority, and the base for the tax is residential property. The tax pays for the cost of local services e.g. Police and Fire Authorities, refuse collection, community services.
Should I sign a lease before my work permit is available?
No, as this may adversely affect your visa and work permit application.
Once I have made an offer, how quickly can I move in?
The average time to negotiate a lease is 7-10 working days. This is dependant upon the co-operation of the landlord, and it can take longer if the landlord is not readily available. Until the lease is signed, we are reliant on the co-operation of the landlord.
What will a typical “furnished” property contain?
Typically, normal furniture (e.g. beds, wardrobes, sofa, coffee table) and standard kitchen appliances (cooker, washing-machine and fridge-freezer). The property may or may not contain kitchen wares (e.g. cutlery; crockery; saucepans), linen and electrical entertainment equipment (e.g. TV). Please liaise with the homesearch consultant to clarify details, and if in doubt, also specify any specific requests on your “wish list”.
What will a typical “unfurnished” property contain?
Typically the following: carpets and curtains, cooker, washing-machine, fridge-freezer, dishwasher (white goods), although these may vary between properties. Please liaise with the homesearch consultant prior to making an offer to clarify details.
Will I be able to fit my furniture into the property?
Please be aware that the average UK house size is smaller than the average house size in Europe or USA. If you have any doubt or concern about your furniture size, please ask.
Will my electrical goods be compliant with the UK voltage (220V)?
Whilst it is possible to use certain items set up for other countries electricity supply (such as laptops, chargers etc) and from the USA a step-own transformer can be used, it is recommended for extended use that UK appliances are utilised.
Can I have pets in a property?
Yes, although you will need to specify this request in advance of the homesearch visit, as not all landlords will allow pets. Please be aware that this will also reduce the number of suitable properties available to you.
How will schooling requirements influence my housing decision?
We recommend that you locate a suitable school before you identify a conveniently located property.
If I find possible properties on the internet, can I visit these with the homesearch consultant the following week?
Please be cautious of this. In our experience, the data on the internet is not always up to date. The itinerary will be researched by the homesearch consultant on the day prior to your visit, and the itinerary will often change on the day of the visit due to properties being removed from availability.
How far in advance of my arrival can I commence the homesearch programme?
We would recommend no earlier than 3-4 weeks in advance of your arrival. Most landlords would expect a tenant to take up occupation within 2-3 weeks (subject to the lease being agreed).