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Looking for advice on 3-6 month apartment rental in England

I want to visit Europe for 6 months using Britain as a base. Most travel in Britain but at least one short trip to the Netherlands.
What would be the best way to keep this affordable? I thought of trying to find a studio apartment as a short-term rental, so that my daughter could visit me. Would have to be furnished. Is this possible to do? Are there agencies who help Americans with things like this?

Posted by
27351 posts

British rail fares are among the highest in Europe on a per-mile basis. There's no one, single place in Britain from which you can affordably cover a lot of the country, though it will help if you are willing to plan all of your out-of-town sightseeing way ahead of time and buy non-refundable Advance tickets. Those can save a lot of money, but they take away your flexibility. I'd suggest doing some exploration on the rail website nationalrail.co.uk to see just how expensive your plan might be.

For shorter day trips buses may be useful. They are likely to be considerably less expensive, but of course they are often much slower, which will reduce the territory you can cover from your home base.

Posted by
33123 posts

flats in London can be eye-wateringly expensive, especially for what you get (or don't get) so if you want to save money you could find somewhere outside of the Home Counties. The disadvantage of that is that London is the transport hub, and transport in and out of London is both crowded and expensive.

A puzzler, eh?

What time of year, which year?

For your sojourn in the Netherlands you will be aware of the 90 days in any 180 Schengen limits.

Posted by
6113 posts

The problem you are going to find is that holiday lettings (furnished and usually with utility bills included) if going to be very expensive for a 3-6 month stay and many of them will have certain weeks already booked, thereby interrupting your longer let requirement.

Most non-holiday let accommodation is let on something called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) which is usually for 6 months duration. Many of these properties aren’t furnished or come partially furnished and you would be responsible for the utility bills. Another issue you are going to have is providing a (U.K.) bank reference. It’s usually a month’s rent in advance and another held as a deposit that you get back after you have vacated. I presume you don’t have a U.K. bank account, so they may ask for the entire rental to be paid up front.

I suggest that you avoid looking in London, Bath or tourist locations unless you have very deep pockets. Studios are generally very small and only have one bed. Do you have any locations in mind? Local estate agents usually have a rental section.

Many of the provincial airports have flights to Amsterdam.

Posted by
457 posts

Following on from Nigel and Jennifer's points. When you say England, what do you mean? I think we need a bit more information/background to give you more help.

As Jennifer notes, minimum lengths of rental for non holiday property is usually 6 months. And, I agree, any agency would probably want a non resident to pay the whole 6 months in advance.

And as noted London and surrounding areas are hugely expensive and there would be issues with finding fully furnished accommodation

I had a play around to see what the options were currently in Liverpool (stuff to do there, has an airport, also close to Manchester airport), and came up with this example (one of many)

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/properties/122692202#/?channel=RES_LET

This was using www.rightmove.co.uk and looking at their rental options.

But, really this is just a very vague pointer, its difficult to give advice without more information.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your kind help.
This might sound strange, but I am actually thinking of what I would do in case I am widowed in the next few years. A lot would depend on my physical condition, which, although I am a senior, is very good. I don't want to hang out in a retirement village or continue in the suburban house, without my spouse. I have been to the UK and Europe several times but never have seen enough. Additionally, I am an avid genealogist with at least 50 percent English, Scottish and Irish heritage (and Dutch). So my thought was how to live in the UK for enough time to pursue my 18th and 17th century ancestors (Isle of Wight, Southhampton, Gloucester, York, and many other places.) In genealogical work you don't always know the places you will have to go, so planning ahead can't be too precise. I don't think I qualify for a residential-type visa, so 6 months at a time would be the limit.