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Relocation Guide

Hello from your new relocation support team! We’re here to provide you with advice on relocating closer to your base office location and assist you during what it’s fair to say can be a stressful time.

We hope you find the information useful and we wish you well with relocating. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact the recruitment team.

The 'Relocation Allowance'

You will find the relocation expenses policy in your initial offer email. If you meet the policy’s eligibility requirements then you can claim up to £1000 from CGI to help with your move. You can claim for most things however, you cannot claim for your deposit as this will be returned to you once your tenancy has finished. You can only claim if you have the receipt for what you want to claim for. Examples of what you can claim for are; administrative fees, removal vans, first month’s rent, travel to view houses and travel on the day of moving.

To claim your relocation allowance, you will need to complete the relocation form which be provided when you join CGI along with instructions about how to submit the expense claim.

You will need to keep all of your receipts relating to your house move and ensure that all of your receipts are saved in the following format:

Receipt number x – Title of expense  – Your name.

Please ensure that you keep this form and all of your receipts until you have received the expense payment from CGI.

Location, Location, Location

Moving at any time in your life can be stressful, so making sure you have the correct plans in place can alleviate some of those stresses. The information below should help when making your plans and keep you aware when dealing with Lettings Agents and landlords.

Choosing the right location

When looking for a new property to rent, it is still imperative to make sure you like the location as well as the property. A location that you feel safe and comfortable in will help to reassure you when you make the decision to move away from where you currently live. Some of you will be moving away from your family home for the first time, and some of you may have moved before, but this might be the furthest you have gone. Remember – “You can always change a property, but you can’t change the location.”

Research

Researching in to which area you would like to live, is determined by which office you would be looking to work from. Always factor in commuting times and means of travel; public transport or your own car. Each area will have its own price bracket, and it depends on how much you want to spend along with how far and how long it will take you to commute. Make sure that the properties that you are looking at can fit within your budget so that you can live comfortably.

Finding the right property

As well as finding the right location, it is important that you and your group decide on the right property and make sure that both landlord and agents are happy with professional sharers as not all properties are available to sharers. The house needs to comply with all safety regulations and be equipped for you to be able to enjoy homely comforts and work from home if and when needed.

Letting Choices

Fixed Term

A fixed term contract is a contract which specifies a certain amount of time you must stay in order to fulfil the contract, they are typically six months to one year. 12 month contracts often have break clauses written into them where you can leave before fulfilling the entire contract if you meet certain conditions, typically if you have been at the property for six months. Details of any break clauses you have will be written in your contract. You may wish to have a six month term or rolling contract where possible when you first move in case you are not happy with the house or location for any reason.

Monthly Rolling

Monthly rolling contracts are often found in short term let properties, they allow the flexibility to try out a house for a month or two before committing. However, you don’t have as many rights and your landlord only has to give you one months’ notice to leave.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

If you are renting a room you will most likely have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). Your contract will detail how much rent you pay, who is responsible for repairs and how long the tenancy is including any information about break clauses.

Getting Started

Joint Tenancy

If you choose to rent a house together with others from CGI you will most likely have a joint tenancy, this is where you all sign one contract with the landlord. You are all equally responsible for paying the rent on the property and it means that if one person decides to move out, the remaining housemates will be responsible for the unpaid rent share until another person moves in.

Deposit

When moving into a property the agent will require a deposit to secure the property. This is held until the end of your tenancy and may be used to cover any damages or unpaid rent upon leaving the property. It is the agents/landlords legal responsibility to place your deposit in a deposit protection scheme: before signing a contract make sure to ask what scheme your deposit will be held in and ensure you receive confirmation of your deposit being placed in the scheme in writing. These schemes are for your protection and make it easier to dispute any deposit deductions. The agent/landlord must return your deposit within 10 working days of the end of your contract.

Where to look

The best place to start looking for properties is on the internet and properties can be viewed through many property portals. Generally, properties are advertised a month in advance of availability, although in some cases they can be advertised two months in advance. Some good websites to start your property search include: Rightmove, Zoopla, On the Market and Spare Room. Spare Room is also a great website if you are looking to find a room in an existing house share, or a house that is open to multiple sharers.

Other channels you can also look to see properties on the lettings market are:

  • Property Newspapers – Usually available in newsagents, Lettings Agents or within local papers
  • Visiting Lettings Agents
  • Property Finding Companies

Viewing Properties

Choosing the agent

When you have found the right property and are now thinking about approaching the Lettings Agent, make sure you research the Lettings Agent. Visit All Agents, where you will find customer reviews for each individual Lettings Agent. Make sure you’re happy with the agent, as they are the door between you and the property. Lettings Agents are paid by commission, so they will sell you the world and try to entice you to use them. Make sure everything they say they are going to do is in writing before you sign anything. If you are unsure about the Tenancy Agreement or any other documentation they have provided you, don’t be afraid to ask them!

Viewing Properties

Viewing properties is one of the hardest things to do. It may seem easy but you always need to be vigilant and make sure that the property which could potentially be your home will make you and any sharers comfortable. It is advised you go to a property viewing with more than one person, preferably someone who will not be living at the property and can put round their critical eye. If you see anything which looks damaged or should not be there, flag it to whoever is showing you around the property as they might not be aware of the problem.

If you are satisfied with a property and want to go ahead with it, you are entitled to a second look around before you sign the tenancy agreement. Use this time to go through the property with a fine tooth comb, make sure all of the utilities are working, windows open, kitchen equipment works and the electrics and plumbing are in working order and safe.

If you are not happy with anything about the property, flag it with whoever is showing you around and mention you want this put right before you move in to the property. Always make sure you get any agreed work to be done to the property in writing by the Lettings Agent or Landlord, as this can be used as part of the legally binding contract.

What to look out for – Be Vigilant!

There are a few things to look out for on a property viewing, and should be thoroughly checked by yourself and anybody else who views the property with you. This includes:

Exterior –

  • Missing roof tiles
  • Damaged/missing brickwork
  • Fascias and soffits
  • Window frames

Interior –

  • State of floor/carpets. Carpets should be thoroughly cleaned before a new tenancy
  • Paintwork – check for cracks, bubbling
  • Damp – Check for mould in corners of rooms, round windowsills and in the bathroom(s)
  • Dark brown/yellow stains on ceiling – this could be from a historic leak
  • All Internal doors close fully (especially with sharers of mixed gender)
  • Electrical sockets are in good condition (no cracks or hanging from walls)
  • TV point is available in the way of Satellite or Digital Ariel
  • Kitchen cupboard doors all work, and nothing hanging off
  • Oven/Grill and Hob both fully work (don’t take a property with half working kitchen equipment)
  • Check that all the taps work, toilets flush and shower works (checking the water pressure also)
  • Also check that all windows are working and any lockable can be supplied with keys.

The Next Steps

Once you have viewed a property and you and your group has made a decision that you want to go ahead with it, it is time to start the negotiations with the Lettings Agents. Many people are not aware, but you can put offers forward for rental properties, not just for buying. Initially find out from the agent how much interest the property has had (they will usually cover this up), and you can decide if you want to offer less than the asking price to see what the agent and landlord’s response is.
When putting in an offer on the property check to see if the Gas Safety Certificate has been completed (as this is a legal requirement), and also check if an electrical safety certificate or indemnity has been completed. If you have gone as a group to view the property, go and see the Lettings Agent as a group as there may be individual questions which others will want to be answered.
Before you sign the tenancy agreement, make sure there is a six month break clause included, so you can leave earlier than 12 months if necessary. Once you are happy to proceed, you can set a date to move in and pay the initial rental and deposit.

Moving Day

On the day you are due to move in to the new property with your group or individually, you need to make sure that you visit the Lettings Agents office first to sign the Tenancy Agreement and pay the monies due. When the Lettings Agent hands over the keys, make sure there is at least one set of all keys for all external doors, or you have the information on where they are contained within the property. Moving day can be the most stressful day as you are doing a lot of physical activity, so make sure you have full cooperation of everyone involved and a plan to make sure everything runs efficiently.

Moving In

What to expect

When you are at the Lettings Agent you may have to sign the Tenancy Agreement if you have not done so already, then you will have to pay any monies due to be able to move in. This will usually be your first month’s rent and the deposit, which is usually 1.5 times the monthly rental. When the Agent has agreed that has all been completed you will be handed the keys and now you have possession of the property to move your possessions in. It is advised that before you move anything in, to go around the property and check that any work you had agreed with the Agent/ Landlord has been completed. It is also suggested that you take photos of all rooms and the exterior whist the property is empty, and you also take note of the Gas/Electric Meter readings. If you notice any issues with the property since you last saw it, or work which was meant to be completed and hasn’t been, contact the Agent/Landlord or the representative who completed the inventory.

Checking in to the property

This is your chance to make note of any defects with the property before you move anything in, allowing you to make sure that you are not liable for them at the end of the Tenancy. Be as critical as possible, because if you miss anything, the Agent/Landlord may pick you up on it when you leave. On check-in, an inventory will be completed which will detail any known defects to the Agent/Landlord and photographs which the Agent/Landlord will use for their records.

Inventory lists

When you move in to your new property ensure that you do an inventory check with your landlord or letting agent present. They will often provide a checklist of all the included items, make sure that all items are present and note any damage to the provided items. It can also be useful to take pictures of the condition of the property and its contents when you move in and when you leave. This ensures that if you move out your deposit is safe from deductions from incorrect inventory lists or any existing damages being blamed on you.

What to do if things go wrong…

If you get in to difficulties with your tenancy or you are having issues with your landlord then you should go through the following steps:

  1. Speak to the Letting Agent/Landlord and try to resolve the issue with them initially.
  2. If you are still having problems and the Lettings Agent/Landlord are not able to help you, then you can always seek free advice with the local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Top Tip:

If you want to learn more about letting or have any queries about your rights as a tenant Shelter is a housing and homeless charity who provide free advice online at www.england.shelter.org.uk or over the phone.

Settling In

Moving away from home is a big adjustment so it is normal to experience feelings of home sickness. Every person experiences varying degrees of home sickness and takes a different amount of time to settle in. You can help to ease your home sickness by following these few tips.

Activity Why?
Keep Busy Whether it’s playing a game online, going to the gym, classes or quiz nights, keeping busy will keep your mind off home and can help you to settle and make new friends.
Take up a hobby Hobbies can help you to meet people and make new friends. Activities such as taking up a team sport, joining a running club, finding a nearby hobby or volunteer group can really help you to settle in and meet new people in the area.
Socialise Although socialising may be on the bottom of your list of things you want to do it is vital in combatting home sickness and ensuring you don’t become isolated. Hang out around housemates watching TV, suggest going out together or look for classes and activities nearby to meet new people.

CGI’s sports and social club is also a great way to network with members in your office. You’ll have access to the sports and social club when you join!

Keep in Touch Keep in touch with family and friends with texts, phone calls and video chats.
Get Involved The first couple of weeks at work are vital for forming new relationships, make sure you get involved with events and introduce yourself to the new people you meet.
Don’t go home too soon or too often Returning home too soon can make you miss home more, you will also miss out on events and social situations that will help you to make friends. Equally, going home too often can be disruptive to your settling and leaves no time for you to form new relationships.
Talk to Someone Talking to someone who has been in your situation about your concerns can put you at ease, your buddy is a good point of contact to ask any questions. If you have any relocation queries or to speak to someone who has been through it you can contact us.