Welcome to Destination Discussions, where we dive into topics that impact employees who are relocating and the companies they work for. As one of the leading global mobility providers, Altair Global also provides destination services directly in five European countries. Learn more from these country leaders as they discuss insights from their markets.
Finding the right home while relocating can be an overwhelming task for an individual, but Altair’s Destination Services team has provided tips and tricks for finding the address that fits a relocating employee’s wants and needs. We took a deep dive into the house-searching process with our Destination Services directors.
Here is what they had to say.
Ireland | Teresa Tyrrell
One of the most important things is to be prepared. Similar to other countries, Ireland has limited properties at the moment so it’s imperative to complete applications and look for properties in advance.
After the application, an employee should have all documentation prepared and ready so that once it is time to move, they are not scrambling to find everything at once.
As an example, here are suggested files to prepare (some may vary):
- Copies of ID for all adult tenants in a property
- Proof of salary/income
- Landlord reference
- Three months’ bank statements
- Recent pay slips
- Deposits and first month’s rent
In Ireland, it is expected that the deposit is one month’s rent, and the prospective tenant will have to pay the first month’s rent in advance as well. In the event that a landlord in the employer’s current country isn’t familiar with a landlord reference, it would be helpful to provide them with a template to follow.
The Netherlands | Esmee Mos
Similar to Ireland, all documentation needs to be in order for the Netherlands as well.
Some suggested files to prepare are as follows:
- Copy of the passport page
- Countersigned work contract by employee and employer
- First month’s rent ahead of time and two months’ rent as a deposit
Along with the paperwork, an employee statement and an introduction of yourself and/or your family would be a nice addition. In the Netherlands, it is a very competitive, challenging market, so it is important to stay flexible and jump once you like a place, otherwise others may grab it. Most homes provide group viewings where 10 or 15 others will be touring the house as well – and remote viewings are scarce – so it is better to be in the country to see the market.
Another thing to keep in mind for those traveling with pets is that apartments may not be the best option, and they may want to instead look for a house for easier accommodation.
France | Charlotte Reversé
France does not advise people to look at properties before they are in the country because there is a lot of competition in major French cities. It is important to be physically in the country to start searches in order to understand the full property and location if there is not a consultant searching for the employee.
If research is done before their relocation, an employee can forward the listing to a consultant who will then research the listing, see if it is available, and if it has what the employee needs. Once the consultant believes the property fits all the criteria, they will set up a viewing for the employee once they arrive in France. This should be done closer to the relocation, otherwise the employee risks some properties being taken by someone else.
United Kingdom | Beverley Harrison
Using the internet to find a place in the United Kingdom may not be the best option. A lot of the time, property is listed there to market the brand of the estate agents rather than the viability of the properties that are listed. The market works rapidly in the UK and once it is online, there is a chance it has already been taken. Many listings are booked back-to-back so be weary of looking online and be mindful of when the photos of the listing were taken, as it may not have been decorated or fixed up since, and will have some wear and tear from various tenants before versus what’s shown in the images.
It is important to use the old-fashioned way of looking for houses by networking and talking to estate agents in order to be one of the first in the door of a property. Altair consultants work closely with estate agents who simultaneously work with landlords and property agents to find proper listings.
Belgium | Nathalie De Frenne
Being weary of listings on the internet also applies to Belgium. Photos can look better than what is provided, such as showcasing furniture in apartments. 90% or more apartments are unfurnished but many listings online show furniture since they were taken while others were residing there, so pay attention to descriptions. This includes light fixtures and curtains, but kitchens are typically fully furnished and equipped on all properties.
Some information may be in French or Dutch, but consultants are more than happy to help with translation and employees can reach out to estate agents for any clarifications necessary.
It is important to research and be prepared before any relocation. This includes finding out what documents or information a country requires. It may seem overwhelming, but Altair Global’s Destination Services team can provide support for each relocating employee and are ready to answer any questions or provide assistance any step of the way to help with their relocation experience.