secondment to the far east(8 Posts)
they should put you up in a good quality fully-serviced flat (insist on seeing it or at least full details/floorplan etc before you go) and pay all of your relocation there and back expenses, so you should be in the position to leave your house empty and not be out of pocket. However it is probably advisable to get someone into your house while you are gone - either a short term rental, or even better to get in a friend to house-sit, paying some sort of rent (but probably lower than market rent) or not, as you prefer. Then you'll have more flexibility to leave your house with your personal possessions in it, but the peace of mind knowing that it is unlikely to be trashed/burgled while you are away. Also useful because if you come home for a visit during the 6 months, if you have eg a single friend housesitting, you can come back and stay for a week or whatever and it won't matter. Obviously if you rent it out commercially you'll have to strip if of your possessions, you may have to incur some expense making it suitable for rental (eg ensuring all furnishings are up to the latest fire standards, repainting the hall, whatever) and you have the slight risk that either your dh will be sent home early, leaving you homeless, or that the tenant refuses to get out after 6 months....
sounds like a great opportunity!
We chose to rent ours out but we were due to be here for a full year (now almost 3!). However you would have to have a minimum 6-month Assured Tenancy which would not leave you any room for any delay in finding suitable tenants or if you wanted to return early , say to begin a school term (can't remember how old you child(ren) are). They should pay to locate and rent a suitable apartment over there, plus shipment of any personal items over and above your usual luggage. Also sort out paperwork for residency etc. You may also get things like a free flight home and an allowance to buy specific things, like electricals, which may not be compatible or included in the accommodation.
You would need to tell your mortgage company and insurer if you are going to let the house or leave it empty. Also you should get a saving on Council Tax. Putting stuff into storage may seem like hassle but better than to leave treasured stuff if you let out.
Anyway, as long as it is not too disruptive for you and your family it is often an opportunity worth taking.
Bron, some friends of mine are on a two-year stint in Nanjing which is about a 3-hour drive from Shanghai (apparently). I think Shanghai sounds a lot better than Shanghai, quite westernised. They've had problems settling though they're used to moving around; also, I wouldn't recommend having a baby there - she just has and it was a really hideous experience. A year might be fun!
Btw, I have introduced my friend to mn, so if you do go I can bring this thread to her attention and I'm sure she'll happily answer any questions.
China seems to be the 'in' place for folks from our area! Either Bejing or Shanghai. I'm not in touch with anyone out there atm but quite a few expats have headed that way over the past year. Good luck!
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