Depending on your circumstances and whether your relocation to Huddersfield is short or long term, you have two accommodation options; to let a property or to buy a property.
Buying a property is often a lengthy process and therefore it is advisable to rent somewhere to live initially. This gives you time to explore the region and get a better idea of where you would most like to live. If you have children please bear in mind that your choice of school depends on where you live and whether your street will be in the catchment area of your preferred school. Therefore, when choosing a place to live it is worth researching the catchment areas of local schools.
A wide range of properties are available to rent in Huddersfield. Huddersfield has a number of letting/ estate agencies which can easily be found with an internet search. The University of Huddersfield is located in the HD1 postcode area of Huddersfield therefore if you wish to stay in an area close to the University you may wish to search for accommodation in this postcode. It may be worth speaking to colleagues in your department as they may have knowledge of local accommodation.
Minimum rental periods tend to be six or twelve months, and are typically renewed on a monthly basis after that. Tenants may be required to pay a fee to register with a rental agency, and are normally required to pay a deposit of one or two months’ rent to the property owner or agency in advance.
Rented accommodation normally states whether it is furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished. Unfurnished means that no furniture is supplied, although carpets and light fittings are normally supplied as standard. Definitions of part-furnished will vary according to the size and type of accommodation rented. You should always check carefully to ascertain what services and equipment are provided by the person you are renting from before signing any contract or agreement. You can visit the government website for further guidance on renting a property.
Once you have found somewhere you want to live you will have to sign a contract called a Tenancy Agreement. This document should contain information about the amount of rent, when rent will be collected, the length of the tenancy and what rights you and your landlord will have under the law. In most cases, you will have an ‘assured shorthold tenancy’ which means that your landlord cannot ask you to leave without a good reason during the first six months. Although these rights offer you some protection, it is still your responsibility to check the tenancy agreement thoroughly and make sure you agree with the terms. Do not sign the tenancy agreement if you do not know what all of it means. If you do not fully understand your rights you should seek advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau website. When you do sign the tenancy agreement, make sure you get a copy to keep for yourself, in case you need to check any details later on.
The landlord may also ask you to sign an inventory: a list of all the items in the property (pieces of furniture, kitchen items, etc.). If so, make sure you get a copy of this as well. Check that it is correct and that any existing damage to these items is included before signing it. If your landlord does not provide an inventory, you should make one yourself and send a copy to the landlord.
The property must have adequate heating, lighting and ventilation. If the property is furnished, the landlord must ensure that those furnishings meet the fire resistance standards and that all gas appliances and installations are maintained in good order and that an annual safety check is carried out.
In turn, as a tenant, you are responsible for paying the rent as agreed and taking proper care of the property. You are also responsible for paying the bills for gas, electricity, water, telephone, internet, TV license and council tax.
Buying a property is a complex and costly process and depending on your circumstances may require you to take out a mortgage. There are a number of mortgage lenders in the UK (usually banks and building societies) who offer a huge range of mortgages. Each lender sets their own eligibility criteria for each mortgage therefore it can take time finding a suitable mortgage. We strongly advise you speak to an independent mortgage or financial advisor who will be able to provide you with information about your eligibility for a mortgage in the UK. You will be able to find a number of mortgage advisors through an internet search.
When buying a property it is usually necessary to hire a solicitor. Completion times can range from 6-8 weeks to several months, depending on the specific circumstances of the property being purchased, the buyer and the seller. Where a mortgage is required, buyers will normally be required to pay a significant deposit, typically at least 10% of the purchase price in addition to a range of additional fees including: lender’s valuation, surveyors’ fees, legal/conveyance fees, land registry fees, and stamp duty. You can visit the government website for further guidance on purchasing a property.
You should bring only what you need for your first month and, if necessary, organise the shipment of your other possessions to arrive when you move into long-term accommodation.
It is recommended that you organise the shipment of your removals at least two months in advance of the date you would like to receive your items. The cost of moving depends on the method of shipment, distance, quantity and weight. You can get a quote on the cost from any of the movers’ websites. You should speak to your HR Officer to determine whether you are eligible for relocation expenses.