When it comes to finding a place to live in your new hometown… we’ve got you covered!
Apart from finding the right job, accommodation is usually the next thing therapists want to work out when planning a working holiday. Although options and prices do differ across the UK, it is good to be flexible with location, as you will have more to choose from. Here are our tips for how to find yourself the perfect accommodation:
Pre-book a hotel or AirBnB room before you arrive
This ensures that when you finally arrive in the UK, you will have somewhere to stay to after your long flight. If you don’t have to start work immediately and can handle dormitory sleeping arrangements, youth hostels can be a great way of meeting new friends who may also be on the lookout for accommodation.
Get in touch with family or friends
If you have family in the area, now is the time to call them and secure yourself a place on their couch for a few days! Moving to a new country is often a time when we connect with long-lost friends or family members.
Rent a room in an established flat or house
Renting a place by yourself can be difficult when you move to the UK, as real estate agents often want a guarantor (UK resident and home owner) or 6 months rent up front. Instead, think about renting a room in an established flat or house, it’s a fantastic way to make new friends, and you can often move in relatively quickly. Most flats are fully furnished in the UK, although you may need to provide bedding and kitchenware, all of which can be purchased cheaply once you have arrived in the UK. Use this search tool to find out which areas in the UK have the cheapest rent.
Bring any references you have from past landlords to demonstrate to real estate agents that you will be a good tenant. Make sure you have a deposit ready (usually the equivalent of a month’s rent) and be sure to act fast when you find the right place – good places get snapped up quickly.
Don’t commit to longer-term accommodation without inspection
It is not a good idea to commit to long-term arrangements that you have not seen before you arrive. The place may not meet your expectations or have antisocial neighbours, or be too far from public transport.
Some other things to consider (if you value your sleep)…
- Proximity to pubs and bars – particularly their bottle recycling bins. While it is great to have bars within walking distance, if your bedroom window overlooks their recycling, you’ll endure the sound of bottles being thrown out late at night, and the sound of recycling trucks early in the morning.
- Proximity to public transport – you’re unlikely to have a car, so it’s important to live somewhere that allows you to easily get out and explore
- Late night security – it is worth looking into this, to ensure that you feel safe walking home from your closest bus stop or train station in the area you choose to live
- Proximity to hospital accident and emergency wards – again, if you don’t want to be disturbed with the sounds of late night sirens!
- Beware of the ‘box room’. Often rented out for cheaper rent, a ‘box room’ usually fits just one single bed and that’s it. It might seem like a great way to save money. It’s not.
- Access to shared living areas – in a home-share situation, is the space well maintained, clean etc.
- Number of bathrooms– consider the number of flatmates, times they start work etc.
- Will you be living with smokers if you are a non-smoker and, if so, what are the rules about smoking inside?
There are also many great websites you can use to find your own place or a spare room. These include:
Living in the right place can really make or break your overseas working holiday, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to research all your options, so you can find something that works best for you! If you are struggling to get the process started, or need advice please contact us for a confidential discussion.