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Welcome to London! Paying Rent, The Expat Challenges

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I was ready to make the big move and excited to be bringing RentMoola to London and Europe! As I began the process of once again packing up my life as I had done many times in the past, I began to ponder yet again, where would I end up calling home in what is arguably the most dynamic city on the planet and how easy would it be to pay the rent? After having gone through the painfully frustrating process of finding a home in Shanghai (my most recent expat experience) and the even more frustrating process of paying my rent in that city I started asking a few friends who had already made the move to London what I should to expect once I arrived. As I suspected the process was full of frustration, precious time wasted and inefficiency. In fact, it was while I was living Shanghai that I realized the rent payment experienced needed some serious overhaul for us expats and global renters alike.

With choice aplenty, finding your home, rather a flat, wasn’t the issue, paying for and securing it was the challenge. I decided for myself to use Airbnb during my first two months in London. The only reason I made this choice was because I wanted to get to know the city before deciding on a more permanent home base, but also because I could avoid the major pain points and hassles that expats face when they arrive in London. With Airbnb I could simply book my flat, use my Canadian RBC Avion Visa card to pay, secure my flat, get my points, no fuss, no hassle, all sorted! This avoided the challenges my team members faced when they first arrived.

After two weeks in London I realized that without Airbnb I would have been in a serious bind. Without a UK bank account to wire funds from Canada or a UK address to open a bank account I would either have been homeless, overstayed my welcome with newfound friends or racked up a hefty hotel bill.  It was clear to me now that RentMoola was going to help my fellow expats out of this bind for good.

Imagine for a moment, you’re moving to London from NYC, LA, Sydney, Vancouver or wherever you happen to be from, you see a flat on Zoopla.co.uk, in fact you see a few that you like and arrange to view them. Once you arrive you might go and see a few of your top picks, but without a bank account or address you can’t secure the flat and in the competitive London rental market, if you snooze you will lose. The current payment options aren’t too appealing. You could wire funds (if you have a bank account), have  cash on you that might get lost or stolen or you could pay a handsome sum to stay in a hotel until you get that coveted UK bank account. On a side note, it isn’t easy to get that bank account opened in a day or two, trust me from personal experience.  For my fellow expats, avoid the traditional high street UK banks and go to Metro Bank, they were very helpful and understand of my plight and got an account opened for me fairly quickly for my everyday banking needs here in London.

Now imagine you’re moving to London from NYC, LA, Sydney, Vancouver or wherever you happen to be from, you see a flat on Zoopla.co.uk, in fact you see a few you like. You simply find a London letting agent that offers RentMoola‘s payment service, sign up for RentMoola account online or on your mobile device, you use your credit card to pay the deposit instantly, or fee of intent as it’s called here in the UK, and your done! You can even set-up your recurring monthly rent payments. No hassles, no issues, no time wasted and you can finally earn some serious miles and points for your biggest monthly expense plus get free trips faster and access to the MoolaPerks rewards program.

As for me, I finally found a great place to call home here in London thanks to Winkworth, and yes they offer RentMoola!

I’d love to hear from other expats, whether you moved to London or another place, what was your experience was like when it came to finding your home and paying the rent?

Tags : bankingexpatfintechLondonmovingonline paymentsoverseaspaymentsrentRewardstravelWinkworth
Patrick Postrehovsky

The author Patrick Postrehovsky

Patrick serves as RentMoola’s Co-Founder and CEO, he's also an airline nerd and travel aficionado and global expat having rented in Melbourne, Shanghai, Toronto, Vancouver and now London. Besides driving the change in how people make real estate payments more rewarding around the world, he is currently working towards saving up his Asia Miles for a trip to Hong Kong and donating his Aeroplan miles to Aeroplan'€™s Beyond Miles program.

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