One of the most critical, but also most time-intensive tasks you’ll face when moving abroad for your new tech job is finding a place to live. You’ll probably receive some assistance from your new employer, but even if you do not, there’s no need to worry. We have assembled a collection of resources, including Facebook groups and websites, that will help you find housing in many countries, along with some basic information that you will need to know about the housing market in these places.
The housing market moves quickly in Australia, so make sure to have all the documents the landlord may need/want prepared (proof of income or your bank statements for the most recent three months, references from previous local landlords, a reference from your employer, etc.). Otherwise, you may end up missing out on a great place.
There is no standardized rule for how much you’ll need to pay up front to secure your new place, but you will need to pay a security deposit (a bond), which is usually four to six weeks’ rent, depending on which state you’re relocating to.
You’ll be able to find both furnished and unfurnished properties, and a typical long-term lease lasts six to 12 months.
If you’re relocating to Austria, you’ll probably have to rent an unfurnished apartment, so factor in the cost of furnishings when you’re budgeting for your move. If you do find a furnished apartment, you’ll likely still have to buy the furnishings up front. It’s a convenient way to get all the furniture you'll need, but again, you'll need to budget for it.
Most rental contracts in Austria will have a minimum length of three years. If you’re planning on staying permanently, you’ll easily be able to increase the maximum on a lease as well, since there are usually no maximum limits in place.
The security deposit is typically three months’ rent, but sometimes it can be up to six months’ so that’s another important thing to budget for.
Here are some terms to learn to help you in your search for housing:
Follow this link to learn more about housing in Austria.
You can expect to spend around 600 to 900 euro for a one-bedroom apartment in one of Belgium’s major cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels, or Ghent. The cost is generally based on how close to the city center you’re located. Property prices and rents are fairly low in Belgium, closer to the rates you’d find in Poland, rather than typical UK prices.
In Belgium, the deposit you’ll pay is up to the landlord. They’re not required but they’re common, and typically around three months’ rent. You’ll usually find unfurnished apartments, although fully and partially-furnished ones are also available. You may see the term “unfurnished” used to refer to properties that have some furniture but no fabrics, bedding, and other soft furnishings.
To learn more about housing in Belgium, read this guide.
Most rental apartments you’ll find in Canada are unfurnished, so be sure to budget for basic household furniture and other things you’ll need as you prepare to move. You’ll have an easier time purchasing some basics than finding a furnished apartment.
You’ll likely need to supply documents including proof of employment and bank statements in order to secure a place. Lease terms are usually one year, but you can also find shorter leases or month-to-month options. You’ll generally need to pay a security deposit of at least half a month’s rent, but it can vary.
Average rent in Croatia is around 300 to 700 euro based on whether you’re living in the outskirts of the city or in the city proper, and the size of the property. You’ll be able to find apartments both unfurnished and furnished, and leases often have shorter terms, since landlords often prefer to accommodate tourists with shorter leases.
Many landlords advertise their properties only with signs in front of their buildings rather than working with a realtor, so it’s a good idea to walk through the neighborhood you’re interested in. You’ll likely find more options that way, and as a bonus, you’ll get to see the surrounding area so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Rental housing in Denmark is highly competitive, especially in the big cities, including Copenhagen and Aarhus. The market is divided into public housing (also called general housing or social housing) and private housing. The public housing sector is highly regulated, non-profit, and rent is much cheaper, but they have long waiting lists, so unless you’ll be living in Denmark for many years, you’ll probably waste time trying to get into public housing.
Apartments for rent are called lejebolig. You can find furnished and unfurnished apartments easily, with housing websites offering the choice between the two. Unfurnished apartments do typically have basic kitchen appliances.
Rent varies based on location. In downtown Aarhus, for example, you’re looking at a monthly rent of at least 5,500 Danish kroner for a one-bedroom apartment, while in Copenhagen, you’ll pay at least 7,000 Danish kroner for a similar place. You can expect to pay a deposit of anywhere from just one week’s rent up to three months’.
Most rental apartments in Estonia are at least somewhat furnished. Unfurnished apartments will generally not include kitchen appliances or washing machines. You can find decent options in downtown Tallinn for about 600 euro a month, in a new building. There are cheaper apartments further from the center in older buildings, although historic districts are generally more expensive.
It’s pretty easy to find a good apartment in Tallinn—your search may take a couple of weeks. If you have an especially limited budget, pets, or other restrictions, it may take some more time. If you find a place you like, accept it right away, since landlords generally won’t wait to receive offers. You can expect a security deposit of one to three months’ rent, which will be returned when you leave if there are no issues.
You can read more about housing in Estonia in this relocation blog post.
It’s not hard to find a furnished apartment in Finland, and they’re even available for long-term rent, which generally means a 6-12 month contract. Make sure that you’re happy with the apartment and the area you’ll be living in before you sign.
Many agencies in Finland also offer what is known as “serviced apartments.” These are properties typically available for shorter stays, and come furnished (though it is possible to get an extended contract). If you’re not sure how long you’ll be staying in Finland or in a particular area, this can be a good option.
Security deposits can vary, but they should never cost more than three months’ rent.
As with many of the other countries, the cost of rent in Germany can differ based on your location and property size. If you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Munich, then be prepared to be paying upwards of 1,000 euro per month. A small property in the center of Berlin will cost you between 700 and 1,200 euro.
Unfurnished properties are the norm in Germany. While it is possible to find furnished accommodation, it can cost considerably more. Utility costs are often included in your rent, and deposits vary, but as in Finland, they’re capped at three months’ rent.
Here’s some terminology that will be useful in your housing search:
Relocating to Ireland can be expensive—the average cheapest apartment is just under 1,000 euro. Larger properties near city centers can cost 2,000 euro or more. Properties further from the city center and further from public transportation will be cheaper.
It’s not too difficult to find a furnished apartment. They typically include a sofa, bed, tables, and kitchen goods, but they may not have a TV and other such items.
You’ll usually pay one month’s rent as a deposit, and you should have some documents ready when you’re signing a lease:
Here’s a helpful guide about renting an apartment in Ireland.
In Amsterdam, you can expect to spend around 900-1,700 euro a month for a one-bedroom apartment, depending on its proximity to the center. Naturally, in the surrounding small cities, such as Haarlem or Zaandam, rent is cheaper. The same can be said of Rotterdam.
Apartments in the Netherlands are usually unfurnished, and that can even mean that there are no carpets or major appliances. This would of course be expensive to furnish, so pay attention to your budget. You will generally have to pay a security deposit (typically 1 to 3 months’ rent) and first month’s rent before you move in.
You’ll find two types of rental contracts in the Netherlands: fixed-term contracts and indefinite tenancy agreements. The former are more common, and they usually have a one or two year term, with a one-month notice period on each side. There are exceptions, but owners need a license to rent a property for a term of less than six months.
Indefinite tenancy agreements are ongoing contracts that don't need renewals. They may have an initial fixed period, and they still require notice if either party wants to terminate the contract. Sometimes you can begin your tenancy with a fixed-term contract, and then switch to an indefinite contract if you're planning to stay.
Renting in Singapore is expensive—it’s actually one of the most expensive in the world. You can expect to pay around S$2,000 to S$3,000 for a single room property, and larger properties can cost S$5,000 or more. You’ll have to pay a security deposit, which is typically one month’s rent per year on your lease, (so two months’ rent for a two-year lease). You can find apartments that are fully or partially furnished, as well as unfurnished ones.
To learn more about renting in Singapore, check out this guide.
In Spain you can find both furnished and unfurnished places available, for both short- and long-term rentals. Prices will be significantly higher for furnished places, and cheaper unfurnished places may not have kitchen appliances.
If you’re working with an agent, you’ll likely pay a month’s rent up front, which will be refunded if the landlord goes with someone else. You’ll also typically pay one month’s rent as a security deposit. In Madrid, the most expensive city in Spain, you can expect to spend around 500-700 euro a month for a one-bedroom place, based on its proximity to the city center.
The rental market in Sweden is very competitive, so it’s likely that you’ll end up subletting rather than renting directly from a landlord. You’ll need to learn the terms första hand (first-hand) and andra hand (second-hand), which refer to renting directly or subletting. Finding a first-hand place can mean waiting for a long time—people can be on waiting lists for a year or more.
Since the market is so competitive, you’ll probably want to look for a furnished second-hand apartment at first, and then begin searching for a permanent residence if you know you’ll be staying.
To learn more about renting in Sweden, read this guide.
Renting in the UK actually means renting in one of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The market may be different in each of them, though you can expect to spend about £700 to £1,000 per month. It’s possible to find lower prices if you’re not in a major city like London.
You can find a variety of furnishing levels, and you can expect to sign a contract for either a semester or a full year. You’ll usually have to pay a deposit of four to six weeks’ rent.
While markets in the US vary greatly in different states and cities, you can expect to spend around 30% of your income on rent. Your security deposit will vary based on your location.
Most of the time in the US you’ll sign a lease for a fixed amount of time, usually a minimum of 6 months, with a year being common, and you’ll have to extend your lease at the end of each period. Your landlord can’t change the terms of your lease during its period unless you agree, but may make changes when you renew. You may also be able to sign a short-term rental agreement, which is renewed automatically unless written notification is provided.
You can find furnished apartments, but it’s more common to find them unfurnished, but even these apartments typically include major kitchen appliances.
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