Queen’s Accommodation manage a range of self-contained apartments and houses within easy walking distance of the University campus.
The properties are let, subject to availability, for up to 12 months to support new Queen's staff settling into Belfast. Rents include some utilities and 24/7 maintenance support, which makes them very competitively priced compared to the private sector.
As it is difficult to secure accommodation before you come to Belfast it can be useful to take University accommodation initially and seek accommodation from there. This also allows the University to provide a tenant reference for you which can significantly reduce the amount required as deposit on rental accommodation. Having accommodation organised may also ease other elements of your relocation process, such as setting up a bank account.
If you wish to avail of staff accommodation you should contact Accommodation immediately following your offer of employment to check availability. If Queen's accommodation is not available to suit your requirements or arrival date, staff may help you find accommodation in the private sector in the University area.
BUYING OR RENTING PROPERTY
If you would prefer to buy or rent your own property in Belfast, prices are competitive when compared to the rest of the UK. View the different types of properties available in the UK (e.g. semi-detached houses, flat, etc.). Reputable estate agents in Northern Ireland include Templeton Robinson, Simon Brien, GOC and Morton Pinpoint among others. The following websites can also help you find properties to rent, or for sale, in your preferred area:
Housing Advice NI provide advice on things to consider before moving into a rented home, as well as on the buying process. Information on tenancy agreements and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (protection of your rental deposit) can also be found on the NI Direct website.
If you have recently arrived in Belfast, or are planning your travel and require further information, you may wish to contact Queen’s Accommodation by phone on +44 (0) 28 9097 4323 or by email. Staff are available Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm (GMT).
Rates are a property tax based on the valuation of your home. This income pays for services at local (your council) and regional (NI Assembly) levels. Land & Property Services assess and collect rates. If a rental property’s value is over £150, 000, the tenant is responsible for rates unless their landlord has agreed to pay the rates. If you are renting a property, make sure to check the terms of your tenancy agreement.
There are three main home insurance policies: buildings insurance, contents insurance and combined building and contents cover. Buildings insurance cover protects the structure (the fixtures and fittings in your home), while contents insurance covers your belongings.
Combined buildings and contents cover is only suitable for people who own the freehold of their homes. If you rent or own the lease only, buildings cover should be handled by your freeholder or managing agent. Contents insurance, however, is your responsibility and should be considered by everyone. See the Money Advice Service or Citizens Advice for more information.
Some landlords will ask tenants to supply a reference. If the tenant can't provide a reference, landlords may ask for a guarantor. A guarantor is a person who agrees to pay any rent that the tenant owes to the landlord and to cover any financial loss that the landlord may experiences as a result of the tenant's failures to abide by the terms of the tenancy agreement. A guarantor for a private tenancy agreement has to be an individual resident in Northern Ireland, hence the University is unable to act as a guarantor.
You should consider what items you wish to bring with you to Belfast, depending on where you will be living, what furniture and fittings will be provided, and how much storage space you will have. If arriving from outside the EU, it may also be worthwhile considering whether or not your electronic appliances are compatible with the normal electricity supply in the UK (230v/50Hz).
You can find general guidance on the regulations for moving your personal possessions to the UK on the Government website.