Reluctant to Rent

If you’re being transferred for work, sometimes it makes financial sense to keep your current home while you rent a home in your new location. However, more and more transferees are finding themselves in the difficult position of being unable to sell their existing home after relocation. Often times, this means that many employees are reluctantly turning down or avoiding transfers that could benefit them both professionally and personally.

If you find yourself debating relocation because you’re reluctant to rent, Mobility Magazine helps break down the ways your relocation specialist can support you during a transfer.

According to the Worldwide ERC “U.S. Transfer Volume & Cost Survey,” 62% of relocated employees are renters, and as a result, more relocation companies are tailoring their policies to help reduce the stress of a difficult relocation process, while potentially saving their clients a great deal of money in the future.

It’s important that your relocation specialist look at your individual situation, and provide you with a solution that is tailored to your needs. Work closely with both your employer and your reloation specialist to explore both home purchase and rental options. You may be surprised at what is available to you. The relocation specialist can help you determine the cost of living at your new location, provide resources to help you set up a budget, and ultimately help you overcome the stigma of renting.

If the first thought you have of renting takes you back to the college days of found furniture, overturned milk crates as shelves, and noisy drunk neighbors, you may be pleasantly surprised at the many great options you have for renting. It’s a stigma that your relocation specialist should work with you to overcome.

Additionally, your specialist should make you feel at ease and confident with this transfer. Your transfer, regardless if you’re moving to a new home that you’ve purchased, or a rental property, should be on an even and level playing field. It’s up to them to help facilitate what they call a “soft landing” into your new rental property. They should be rental specialists who are informed and educated about the area you are moving to, and the opportunities found therein.

With that said, it’s up to you, the transferee, to help your relocation specialist by providing clear and detailed information about your budget, needs, requirements, etc. Do you want an apartment or a townhouse? Would you like a loft in the city or a craftsman bungalow in the suburbs? Do you need space for your dogs, or are you ok with taking them to a dog park instead? The more information you can provide your relocation specialist, no matter how trivial you think it may be, the better.

Mobility Magazine gives examples of a comprehensive and custom benefit package for transferees transitioning from homeowners to renters:

Property Management – If the transferee has actively participated in the effort to sell the home, followed all suggested marketing and pricing recommendations, yet the home still has not sold, property management services can allow the transferee to move to a suitable rental property at the new location.

Duplicate Housing Allowance – Duplicate housing allowance complements property management services by reimbursing either the rental or the mortgage payment for a fixed term, while the “departure home” remains on the market for sale.

Comprehensive Destination Services – A longer, more detailed tour of the new location with an agenda that ties to the transferee’s unique situation and needs. For example, school search assistance can help a transferee find the best options to fit their family.

Spouse/Partner Career Assistance – If the transferee is a two-income family with a two-income budget, spouse/partner career assistance can help reduce the stress of an already stressful situation.

Creative Household Goods Arrangement – While the “departure home” remains on the market and the transferee moves to a rental, options like split shipments can make sense. Some items can remain behind to help stage the departure home.

Some relocation companies manage their rental situation on an ad hoc basis, while others provide a tiered renter benefit structure. Whatever your relocation specialist benefits are, make sure you understand the details fully and ensure that they equate to the benefits that other transferees from your company have received.

Keep in mind, your company wants to help you and set you up for success. Some companies even offer financial incentives to rent, so make sure you find out the details of renting over buying a home first. Transitioning from being a homeowner to becoming a renter can be a difficult one. Add to this the stress of the relocation process itself, and you have the making of a very volatile situation. But remember, it doesn’t have to be!

Work with your relocation professional to help get out of that reluctant-to-rent rut, and you’ll have a whole world of exciting new opportunities to look forward to!


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