When moving to a new city, finding a spot to call home is always high on the priority list. With an undersupplied property market, Birmingham's accommodation tends to be pricey and available housing is snapped up quickly. New arrivals will therefore need to approach the house hunt with a clear yet somewhat flexible idea of what they're looking for in a home.


Types of accommodation in Birmingham

Housing in Birmingham consists of freestanding-, semi-detached-, and rowhouses, as well as low- and high-rise blocks of flats.

There are quite a few historic houses to be found in and around Birmingham, mainly from the Victorian era. These properties tend to feature several bedrooms and are typically spacious. In and around the city centre, many old warehouses have been converted into trendy living spaces.

For younger new arrivals, houseshares can be a great introduction to Birmingham, providing an opportunity to meet other residents and save some money at the same time. Birmingham's aforementioned larger Victorian houses are particularly well suited to housesharing.


Finding accommodation in Birmingham

When looking for a place to live in Birmingham, it's best to cast the net as wide as possible. Online property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla can be useful in getting to know the various areas and price points available, but listings on these websites tend to move quickly. Hiring an estate agent to do the legwork and advise on the most suitable areas for the prospective tenant's needs and budget can be a great help.


Renting accommodation in Birmingham

The rental process in Birmingham is fairly simple and easy to navigate.

Leases

A typical lease length is 12 months. New arrivals looking for something more temporary may prefer to opt for short-term accommodation instead, which tends to be more expensive and in even higher demand but offers more flexibility.

Deposits

A deposit, usually equivalent to a month's rent, is to be paid prior to moving in. The deposit should be accompanied by the first month's rent, which is paid in advance.

At the end of the lease period, the deposit should be returned in full to the tenant, provided the home is returned in good condition (apart from normal wear and tear).

Utilities

In a fixed-term lease, utilities are typically an extra expense paid for by the tenant. Council tax as well as electricity, water and gas bills should be taken into account when planning one's budget. Short-term accommodation, on the other hand, usually includes these costs in the rental price.

For more detail see Setting up Household Utilities in the UK

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