6 Things to Check Before Leasing a Home for Employees Undergoing International Relocation

One of the best ways to help employees relocating to another country is to provide them free housing or pay their rent throughout their stay overseas.

When you include free accommodation in your employee relocation package, you offer your staff a huge perk. Monthly rent can take a huge chunk out of any worker’s salary. By providing them rent-free housing, you give them one thing less to worry about and enable them to save more money.

Moreover, providing your employees with ready accommodation can help them adapt to their new environment faster, since they will experience a smoother transition in a furnished, comfortable home.

Finding the Perfect Rental Home for Your Employees

Working with a home finding service provider can help ensure you are off to a good start in finding the right flat or house for your staff. They can give you a list of properties you can shortlist as their potential accommodation that meets your budget and other requirements.

However, to be sure you lease the ideal home for your employees, you will do well to check the shortlisted properties personally before committing to anything, if possible.

By conducting a thorough inspection, you can be sure that the house or flat has no serious structural issues. And if you spot any, you can speak with the landlord or property manager about how and when they intend to fix those problems.

During the walkthrough, you also have to check all fixtures and features to ensure that they are working. If there are any, you also have to inform the person you are dealing with immediately so that they can repair before your employees arrive.

Inspecting a property, though, can be tricky, especially if you are doing it for the first time. If you want to conduct a thorough evaluation of the houses and flats you have shortlisted as the possible home of your arriving employees, here are the six things you have to check:

  1. Ceiling

The ceiling provides residents protection from the elements and extreme temperatures. This feature also keeps beams, pipes, and insulation covered and hidden.  

Since the ceiling is an integral part of any residential property, it is the first element you have to check in a flat or house you want to lease for your staff.

Some signs that the ceiling is damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced include:

  • Sagging
  • Bends or ripples
  • Water stains
  • Cracks
  • Peeling paint

If you are viewing or inspecting a property, check the ceilings for these signs of wear and tear and note them.

  1. Flooring and walls

The floor and walls are usually the first things you notice when you enter a home. As such, you also need to inspect these features carefully.

Although it is normal for hardwood and carpeted floors to have a few small scuffs, ensure that they do not have any obvious damage, such as holes or noticeable stains on the carpets.

Additionally, check the walls for any holes, cracks, and peeling paint.

Although these damages are often cosmetic in nature, they may also be structural, which means they can make the property unsafe. 

Even if you think the damage or issue on the floors and walls is small or insignificant, it is still best to point them out to the landlord or property manager and find out what they intend to do about it.

  1. Faucets, toilet flush, and water temperature and pressure

When doing a walkthrough on any rental property, don’t forget to turn on the taps in the bathroom and kitchen. By doing so, you will know if the pressure is just right or if there may be something wrong with the faucets or pipes.

While checking the taps, look for cracks or any missing and broken pieces on the plumbing fixtures.

Additionally, turn on the shower and any taps connected to the heater. Test the pressure and temperature on your hand to make sure they are right.

If you are not satisfied with the pressure and temperature, speak with the landlord or property manager to see if something can be done about them before your employees arrive.

  1. HVAC system

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system plays an important role in keeping a home warm when it is cold and cool when it is hot outside. It also helps keep the air circulating indoors clean and healthy.

Because of these reasons, you need to check if the property’s HVAC system is working properly or not.

If you want to know if this feature is working well, when viewing the flat or house, turn on the cooling and heating system and be on the lookout for the following:

  • Warm air blowing out of the vents even if the thermostat is set to cool mode
  • Unusual noises coming from the system
  • Poor airflow
  • Frequent cycling
  • Water leak
  • Bad odour

If you notice any of these signs, take note of and report them to the person managing the rental property.

  1. Power outlets and switches

When viewing a flat or house, bring your mobile phone charger or anything small you can plug into every outlet you see to check if they are working.

If there is a microwave, fridge, TV, or any appliance inside the property, you can also turn these on to find out if their outlets are working.

Additionally, test all the light switches to ensure they turn off and on as they are supposed to do.

If you forget to check these fixtures before your employees move in, they might be in for an unpleasant surprise. Moreover, it will be inconvenient for them to discover lights or certain appliances are not working. They will find it annoying not to be able to turn on a light in a room and wait for it to be fixed.

  1. Storage space

Lastly, you also have to ensure that your employees have enough storage space in their bedrooms and the common rooms so that they won’t have to worry about where they can store their possessions.

When doing a walkthrough, check the following storage spaces:

  • Bedroom closets or cabinets
  • Kitchen cabinets and drawers
  • Bathroom cabinets
  • Linen closets

Aside from checking if these are spacious enough, scrutinise their condition as well. Take a closer look inside the cabinets, closets, and drawers and their doors, hinges, and other parts to see if they are working properly or if they need a touch of paint or varnish and essential repairs.

When transferring your employees to an international office, expect to get plenty of questions regarding their move, particularly their accommodation.

You can ease their apprehension and worries and motivate them to move by assuring them that their new home will be everything they need to live comfortably even if they are in a foreign country.

[The author of this post is Lee Brewin, the CEO of BTR International, one of the UK’s premier corporate relocations companies. Providing services which facilitate companies to aid their employees to move and settle down in their new country of assignment, BTR International is all about taking care of people, simplifying business, and bringing optimal efficiency.]