Tips & Tricks

A Landlord Between Oceans: Should You Rent From Someone Overseas?

When you live in a rented home, having your landlord just around the corner can feel overbearing. Yet, on the flip side of that, you don’t want a landlord so far away that you feel as though you’re without support. After all, knowing that you have a go-to if the boiler breaks is the main benefit of rentals over homeownership!

Unfortunately, many renters who work with overseas landlords can have issues in this area. Yet, with the UK property market increasingly lucrative, this is a situation that’s coming more and more to the fore.

The question is, should you steer entirely clear of overseas landlords? We don’t think so, especially if you’re looking for a family home that doesn’t have that overbearing landlord presence. That said, you will need to ask the following questions to make sure that the oceans between you don’t dissolve your rental agreements altogether. 

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# 1 – Is there a close-to-home point of contact?

Many overseas landlords will work with a letting agent for property maintenance, in which case this question becomes null and void but, if they are acting independently, you should always ask your potential landlord whether there’s a point of contact close to home. Unfortunately, you simply can’t deal with every rental issue over the phone! The good news is that, most often, landlords will purchase property in an area where they have family or friends on the ground. This isn’t a given, though, so always check in advance and steer clear if a landlord intends to operate remotely 100% of the time. 

# 2 – Are they equipped to accept your rent?

Operating in different countries can also cause payment issues which, all too often, leave renters in breach of contract. Worse still, you may end up paying over the odds if currency conversion rates get in the way. Before signing with an overseas landlord, always check that they provide a euro bank account or similar that allows them to hold funds in multiple currencies without issues. Make sure, too, that they’re talking in pounds when they quote you because even in the case of misunderstandings, a signed rental contract will hold. 

# 3 – Always consider ease of communication

Renter-landlord communication matters a great deal with a good relationship being the best solution all-round. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult to achieve across long distances, especially if you’re also dealing with language differences and time variants. Make sure, then, that your landlord speaks English, and that their country of origin is not too different in terms of time zones. For instance, a close-to-home European country that’s just two hours out won’t be much of an issue, while an Australian landlord with entirely different time frames would be almost impossible to reach at a reasonable hour. 

While an overseas landlord shouldn’t be an instant no-go, you do need to protect yourself. Ask these questions, take note of the answers, and weigh up whether or not this is a setup that suits you and your family.

Rachael is a 31 year old mum to 10 year old Luke and 5 year old Oscar. She lives in England and writes about family life, crafts, recipes, parenting wins(and fails), as well as travel, days out, fashion and living the frugal lifestyle.

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