SmallTalk2Me Team Blog
Language Learning

English for immigration: renting or buying accommodation

Renting a beautiful flat with gray couch and a fireplace

We continue a series of publications with useful tips and tricks on how to do great in English speaking in different situations related to immigration. These are some useful phrases and tips if you need to rent or buy accommodation.
Don’t hesitate to try our SmallTalk English for Immigration course to role-play real-life dialogues and get prepared for your new life abroad!
Check out all SmallTalk English speaking courses here.

Useful phrases:

  • My budget is … dollars/euros.
  • I need a one-bedroom / two-bedroom / three-bedroom apartment.
  • I’m interested in renting your flat/house/room.
  • I’m calling about the 2-bedroom apartment on (name) street.
  • I just have a few questions if that’s OK.
  • I’d like to schedule a viewing.
  • I’m planning to… / going to…
Useful vocabulary:
PARTS OF A HOUSE: sitting/living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, balcony, laundry room, dining room, basement, porch, floor, ceiling, walls, roof.
APPLIANCES: fridge, cooker, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, microwave, air-conditioning, TV.
FURNITURE: bed, wardrobe, bedside table, table, chair, armchair, shelf, sofa.
OTHER: shower, bath, jacuzzi, fireplace, lift, garage, garden, (swimming) pool.
UTILITIES: gas, electricity, heating, water, WI-FI.
EXTRA INFORMATION: furnished/unfurnished apartment, renovated, beautiful view, quiet, peaceful neighbourhood, safe area, public transport.
PEOPLE: tenant, landlord, neighbour, flatmate, roommate, guest.
FORMALITIES: contract, damage deposit, insurance.


Top 15 questions to ask your agent/landlord:

  1. Am I speaking with the landlord / real estate agency?
  2. Is the apartment still available for rent / to see?
  3. How much is the rent?
  4. Are utilities included?
  5. It’s a little over my budget. Would you consider (price)?
  6. And how much is the deposit?
  7. Is the apartment furnished?
  8. How is the neighborhood?
  9. Do you allow pets?
  10. How close is the nearest transportation?
  11. Does the apartment have (a) ….?
  12. When can I move in?
  13. When can we sign a contract?
  14. I’ll need a mortgage. What will my monthly payment be?
  15. Could you please text me the address?
To practice, read the dialogues out loud.

Dialogue 1. Renting a flat

Tenant: Hello. Am I speaking with the landlord?
Landlord: Hello. Yes, Judy speaking. How can I help you?
Tenant: My name is Mike Bale. I’m calling about the 2-bedroom apartment on Greenwood street. Is it still available for rent?
Landlord: Yes, it is. Would you like to come and look at it?
Tenant: I just have a few questions if that’s OK.
Landlord: Sure.
Tenant: OK… Does the rent include utilities?
Landlord: Yes, absolutely all utilities including WI-FI.
Tenant: Great. What about pets? Are they allowed?
Landlord: Well, it depends. The flat is renovated, so I don’t want any damage to be done to the place. Do you have a cat or a dog?
Tenant: I have 1 small dog. It’s very calm and friendly. I’ve lived with it in different apartments and it has never damaged anything.
Landlord: Well, I guess I may allow it but only with an extra payment. Let’s say 150 dollars per month. Plus you’ll have to repair any damage to the apartment caused by your dog.
Tenant: OK, I guess that’s fair. And how much is the deposit?
Landlord: With a pet it will be three months’ rent but it’s refundable.
Tenant: Oh, I see. It’s a bit more than I expected. Would you consider two months’ rent?
Landlord: I’m ready to consider your offer but I can’t promise I’ll agree to that.
Tenant: OK. I have one last question. How is the neighbourhood and where is the nearest transportation?
Landlord: The neighbourhood is safe and vibrant, but at the same time it’s not noisy in the apartment. There are many young people and students. I’m sure you’ll love it. The underground is only a 10-minute walk away and it’ll bring you to the city centre in just 20 minutes.
Tenant: That’s amazing! I’d like to schedule a viewing.
Landlord: Sure. Would tomorrow at 5 p.m. work for you?
Tenant: Yes, thank you!

Dialogue 2. Buying a house

Agent: Hello, Alex. That’s the house I’ve told you about.
Buyer: Hi! Wow! It’s gorgeous, even better than in the photos.
Agent: Exactly. It’s one of the best properties in this area.
Buyer: I really love the garden. It’s huge with lots of trees and bushes. And the garage looks pretty big.
Agent: It’s designed for 2 cars.
Buyer: That’s just what I wanted. Let’s go inside and see the house.
Agent: Sure, come on in.
Buyer: Hmm… It looks not as spacious as I expected.
Agent: The entrance hall is a bit small, but the sitting room and kitchen are really large. Let’s go and see.
Buyer: Yes, not bad. I really like the open-plan layout. I can invite a lot of guests.
Agent: Exactly. It’s a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house which has enough space for your family and guests. There is also a great outdoor area with a garden and a pool.
Buyer: A pool? I didn’t expect that. How much will be the maintenance?
Agent: Together with the garden approximately 200 dollars per month.
Buyer: Hmm…I’m not sure I can afford that. But I’ve always dreamt of having a pool.
Agent: As you can see the house is fully furnished and you can move in tomorrow or any other day.
Buyer: That’s what I wanted. Anyway, does the house have all the appliances? I mean a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, air-conditioning.
Agent: Yes, absolutely everything is already installed. There’s also a spacious laundry room in the basement.
Buyer: That’s nice. The house looks absolutely amazing, however, I’m not sure I want to pay so much money for the maintenance of the garden and the pool. What will my monthly mortgage payment be?
Agent: It depends on many factors, but usually it’s between $1500 and $2500.
Buyer: All right. When can we sign a contract?
Agent: The papers will be ready in 3–4 days. So, is Friday morning OK for you?
Buyer: Yes, see you then! Thank you a lot!
Agent: You are welcome!
If you need more practice to improve your spoken English skills and don’t have anyone to practice with, check out SmallTalk English for Immigration course that will help you to learn new vocabulary and expressions with the help of real-life dialogues and our cutting-edge AI software. Improve your pronunciation and role-play real-life dialogues to get prepared for your new life abroad!