Author Topic: Letting a flat online  (Read 447 times)

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Offline Macman53

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Letting a flat online
« on: February 15, 2017, 03:22:43 AM »
I'm curious. How did those living in the U.K. Find a flat and move in?

When the time comes I plan to contact leasing agents with a wish list of what I'm looking for in a flat. Do most select a place online and move in upon arrival? Or, find a landing place (hotel, holiday rental) and wait to view properties in person before signing a lease and moving in?

Second question, how important is my credit history? I keep reading there is no direct connection between the two credit systems. I've been renting my current flat in the US for 10 years  so a letter from my landlord attesting to my excellent payment history is assured.


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Offline KFdancer

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 08:40:19 AM »
Stay in a hotel/corporate housing/air bnb, etc. for a month or so.  View properties and take one that is immediately available.

Credit does not transfer.  A landlord may accept a letter from a prior landlord but most will just want info from your employer.  Opening a bank account is usually difficult and you could *easily* end up in a situation where you need to sign your lease before you can open a bank account.  Some members (I'd say 50%) have to put down 6 months rent in advance plus deposit (so near enough 8 months rent) in order to sign a lease.  That's more of a worst case scenario position, but it's not uncommon. 

Offline Albatross

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 12:20:53 PM »
Hiya...
Just need to correct your terminology a bit, in case it causes any confusion in future.

When you 'let' a flat, you are the owner and you are 'letting' someone pay rent to live in it.

As the person paying the rent and living in someone else's flat, you are not 'letting' the flat... you are renting.


Offline KFdancer

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 01:09:10 PM »
Hiya...
Just need to correct your terminology a bit, in case it causes any confusion in future.

When you 'let' a flat, you are the owner and you are 'letting' someone pay rent to live in it.

As the person paying the rent and living in someone else's flat, you are not 'letting' the flat... you are renting.

I never knew this!   :D

Offline Macman53

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 07:50:42 PM »
Wow, thanks. I always thought 'let' or 'letting' was just a British substitute for rent/renting. Thanks for that clarification.

6 months plus deposit! That's steep. Have to adjust the budget or be prepared to say no and keep looking if that's a condition of renting.

Am I correct you must be in country for 30 days before you can open a bank account?

This might be a stupid question but is it possible to open a joint bank account with a trusted friend who is a Scottish citizen for purposes of initial moving expenditures like rent deposits, utilities, tv license etc. rather than paying directly in cash? How are those things usually handled?


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Offline KFdancer

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 07:56:32 PM »
I thought the same thing about let/letting!

Not everyone has to put down 6 months rent.  But I would say about 50% do.  Just depends.

No, there is no time limit that you have to be in the country before you can open an account.  What you do need, is proof of address to open a bank account.  I'm sure you can see where this is going.  If you don't have a bank account, you can't get a lease...  Without an address you can't get a bank account...  it makes those first few weeks here fun!  (oozing with sarcasm).

Yeah, if they'll let you open an account with someone, that could be a great solution.  You *may* still have the proof of address issue though.

You'll figure it all out in time.  This is one of those things you really can't do until you are here!

Offline Macman53

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 08:52:00 PM »
Thanks. Just trying to get a handle on as much as possible as hopefully things will be happening this year.

I had thought it would be good to open even an online account to just stash away some money but ran into the address issue. Of course, I didn't try a Swiss bank account! (More sarcasm).


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Offline physicskate

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 09:55:31 PM »
I had a lot of trouble adding my husband to a joint account. This was before we got married. It took at least half a dozen trips into the bank and several months for them to 'process the paperwork.'

So don't go to Halifax for a joint account, is my suggestion.
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Offline Verystormy

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 10:52:18 AM »
We moved back to the UK last year after living in Australia for many years. We had no credit file any more in the UK.

Had no issues renting a place and that was in one of the most sought after areas - Windsor.

Opened a joint bank with no issues and that was with Halifax

Offline KFdancer

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 11:36:47 AM »
We moved back to the UK last year after living in Australia for many years. We had no credit file any more in the UK.

Had no issues renting a place and that was in one of the most sought after areas - Windsor.

Opened a joint bank with no issues and that was with Halifax

You aren't far from me.  I'm in Wokingham.  <waves>

Offline inversed

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2017, 01:49:29 PM »
We found a place online too, though a colleague of my husband's checked it out for us to make sure it was okay. We didn't have any trouble with deposits or credit checks.

On the other hand, our friends had TONS of trouble finding a place to rent, with landlords wanting six months' rent up front, refusing to take payment via credit card, etc. They're Greek and are pretty sure that's why they were given such a hard time.

Offline WatchOutWorld

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Re: Letting a flat online
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 11:57:47 PM »
We had Lloyds (our branch later changed to TSB), and they were great with opening our bank account. 

As for renting I would recommend at least narrowing things down before you arrive, we did that and it helped immensely!  I even work in property and we had help before we arrived.  If you want some recommendations for resources let me know and I will be glad to help.

Happy Travels!
Family of 6, moved from
Dallas Texas to Amersham UK July 2011 :)
Amersham to Denver, Colorado July 2016 :(
The dog safely made the trip home with us though!  <3


Over 15 years in residential sales/rentals (in both countries), so please feel free to PM with any housing concerns.