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Coming to the UK: House-hunting

Coming to the UK: House-hunting

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Rich needs to rent a place to live in the UK. The language focus is on the words and phrases you need when looking around a flat that you want to rent. We also focus on vocabulary connected to describing rooms and household items. Your task is to describe the type of falt or house you would like to rent in the UK. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have a new football phrase for you to guess, too. Enjoy!

Transcript

If the listening was a bit difficult, you can listen again and read the transcript at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Welcome - Coming to the UK  - House-hunting

Jack: Hello my name’s Jack

Rich: and I’m Rich and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Rich: We recommend that you listen to this podcast on the Premier Skills English website because that is where we have the transcript, language examples, activities, quizzes and a discussion page to help you understand everything we talk about.

Jack: However, if you’re listening on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, you can leave answers to our questions in the review section. We do read all the reviews and would love to hear from you. 

Rich: In this week’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about the language you need when you want to rent a house.

Jack: That’s right. If you move to the UK or another country where English is spoken to work or study you are going to need a place to live.

Rich: And that often means looking at different houses or flats and deciding the one that is right for you. This usually means speaking to a landlord (the person who owns the flat) or an estate agent (someone whose job it is to rent and sell houses and flats).

Jack: So, we’re going to look at some of the language you might need when looking around a house or flat.

Rich: First we will have a roleplay for you. Jack will be the landlord and I will be the possible tenant or renter.

Jack: And, after this conversation, we will look at some of the language we used in the roleplay.

Rich: We will also have a task for you to do which is when we ask you to use your English. This week we’re going to ask you about the type of place you would like to rent if you were moving to the UK to study or work.

Jack: And, don’t forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we have another football phrase for you to guess.

Football Phrase 1 

Jack: But, before we look at all that, let’s look at last week’s football phrase. If you didn’t hear it last week we’ll give you one more chance to guess and give you the correct answer at the end of the show when we give you a new football phrase.

Rich: The phrase was _______. In football, this word is used to describe a team that is unlikely to win because the team they are playing are stronger, better or are in much better form. We often use the term _______ when we are describing a team that are in a low position playing a team who are in a high position. 

Jack: Well done if you got the right answer last week - although if you were listening carefully like I know a few of you were you might have heard me slip the phrase out by accident. Anyway, well done to those of you got it right including, Milos from Serbia, Naturibe, Tavoalejo and Daniel Agger from Colombia,  Ahmed Adam from Sudan, Liubomyr and Alex from Ukraine, Lakerwang from China, and Elghoul from Algeria - all of you wrote the correct answer on the Premier Skills English website.

Rich: Do you think Daniel Agger from Colombia is the Daniel Agger who used to play for Liverpool?

Jack: I don’t think so Rich. People choose different usernames on websites!  We’ll tell you the answer to this football phrase and we’ll have a new football phrase at the end of the show.

Introduction to Roleplay

Jack: As we said at the beginning of the show, in this week’s podcast, we are going to talk about renting a flat or house. We are going to do a roleplay; Rich wants to rent somewhere and I’m the landlord - I own the flat.

Rich: Afterwards, we are going to look at some of the language we use but the first thing we want you to do is to answer two questions while you listen.

Jack: The questions are: one - What are the positive and negative things about the flat? And two - Does Rich decide to rent the flat?

Rich: Are you ready?

Jack: I’m ready.

Roleplay

Rich: Hi, I’m Rich I called on the phone earlier. I’m here about the flat. Are you Jack?

Jack: Ah, of course, yes. Yes, I’m Jack - the landlord of this wonderful place. You’re looking for a room to rent?

Rich: That’s right. 

Jack: Let me take you around the place. Are you a student?

Rich: Yep, I’m studying Mechanical Engineering. I’ve just 
started.

Jack: First time in the UK?

Rich: To live, yes. I visited a few years ago but only saw London.

Jack: I see. Well, you’ll get to see the real UK round here. No Big Ben I’m afraid.

Rich: What’s the area like?

Jack: It’s a pretty down to earth place. Lots of students live around here. It’s close to the university. I think you’ll only have a 10-minute walk to lectures.

Rich: That’s good.

Jack: Shall we have a look around then?

Rich: That’d be great.

Jack: There’ll be four of you in all. Two of the other tenants have been here for a year already. They’re students, too.

Rich: Cool. Where are they from?

Jack: Ahmed Adam he’s from Sudan a really nice bloke and Milos from er … Serbia, I think – he’s studying Sports Science or something like that.

Rich: And the other flatmate?

Jack: Rafael from Brazil – he’s just moved in last week – first time in the UK. Talks loads – he’ll probably want to practise his English with you.

Rich: I can deal with that. This is the living room then?

Jack: Yep, big TV. Sixty inches that. You’ve got super-fast internet, too.

Rich: Cool TV and the internet will be really useful. Do I have to pay for that?

Jack: No, it’s included in the rent. You just have to pay for the electricity and water.

Rich: I read something about Council Tax. Do I have to pay that?

Jack: No, full-time students don’t have to pay. Don’t worry. This is your room here. Double-bed, fitted wardrobes, desk to work at over here.

Rich: There isn’t much light.

Jack: Hold on a second … sometimes these windows get a bit stuck. There you go. A bit cloudy today.

Rich: And a bit noisy.

Jack: Yeah, it’s the main road. Best to keep it shut most of the time.

Rich: The bathroom?

Jack: No en-suite. It’s not the Hilton. The bathroom is down the hall. Here it is. Bath, shower, toilet. Let’s go downstairs and I’ll show you the kitchen.

Rich: Oh it’s quite big. Oven, fridge freezer, microwave …

Jack: I’m getting a dishwasher fitted in a month or so …

Rich: Yeah, the washing-up hasn’t been done for a while ...

Jack: Four lads living together! You need to take it in turns.

Rich: So, how much is the rent?

Jack: The room is £300 per month and you have to pay a deposit of a month’s rent in advance to cover any breakages.

Rich: And when can I move in?

Jack: You can sign the contract now if you like – it’s for 12 months. Once you sign the contract and pay the deposit and first month’s rent, I can give you the keys and you can move your stuff in. What do you think?

Rich: Well, err .. let me think. I’ve got a couple of other places to look at but …

Roleplay Questions

Jack: Before we take a look at the language we used in the roleplay, let’s give you the answers to those two questions we asked you.

Rich: The first question was: What were the positive and negative things about the flat?

Jack: Well, you seemed to like the big telly and fast internet.

Rich: Yes, I did and I also liked the fact that the place is close to the university and the big kitchen and my flatmates sounded nice!

Jack: But, you didn’t like that it was messy and you have to share a bathroom.

Rich: No, and there wasn’t much light in my room and it was a bit noisy.

Jack: So, will you move in - that was the second question. In the roleplay, you were not sure.

Rich: Mmm .. I’m not sure. There were good things and bad things about the flat. Maybe we should ask our listeners. Tell me if you think it sounds like a good deal in the comments section at the bottom of the page!

Right. Let’s look at some of the language we used in the roleplay.

Language Focus

Jack: The main language focus is on the words and phrases that are important when looking around a flat you want to rent. We’ll look at these first.

Rich: Then we’ll look at some of the words you need to describe a flat and some of the things you need in a flat when you rent one. 

Jack: So, when you knock on the door of the flat the first thing you do is say why you are there.

Rich: In the roleplay, I said, ‘I’m here about the flat’. This is a useful phrase that you might hear or use a lot, I’m here about something’.

Jack: Yes, especially if you’ve called about a problem. Other examples you might hear could include ‘I’m here about the window’ I’m here about the fridge’ or I’m here about your internet connection’ if you have problems with these things.

Rich: You might use this phrase on the telephone, too. Then you would say ‘I’m calling about the flat’.

Jack: The next word we often use when house hunting is ‘place’. In the roleplay, I said ‘let me take you around the place’. Here ‘place’ means the flat or house.

Rich: We often use this when we invite people to our house. We say things like ‘Why don’t you come round to my place for dinner?’.

Jack: We can also use ‘place’ to mean ‘area’. When I said ‘it’s a pretty down to earth place’ I was describing the area of the city where the house is not the house itself. 

Rich: Down to earth. That’s a good phrase.

Jack: When we describe someone as down to earth we mean they are genuine and not interested in superficial things. When we describe an area as down to earth we are usually saying an area is quite poor but people are friendly and honest.

Rich: Another important phrase is ‘to have a look around’ or ‘to have a look round’. In the roleplay, Jack said, ‘Shall we have a look round then?’.

Jack:’ Look round’ is a phrasal verb which means to visit a place and look at the things in it so we often use it when looking for a flat.

Rich: We could say, ‘I looked around six flats today but I didn’t like any of them’. 

Jack: We can also use this phrase when we visit new cities or museums. You could say, ‘I didn’t have much time in Cambridge but I had a good look round the university area’ or ‘I had a good look round the Natural History Museum but I’ll have to go back because there are loads more things to see.’ 

Rich: Let’s get back to looking around the flat. In the roleplay, we spoke about flatmates and tenants. Flatmates are the people you share a flat or house with and it’s quite an informal word.

Jack: Tenant is more formal. When you pay rent to someone for a flat or a room in a flat - you are the tenant. Tenants pay rent to the landlord. In the roleplay, I was the landlord and Rich the possible tenant.

Rich: And the money you pay is the rent. Rent is a verb and a noun. You usually pay the rent every month.

Jack: You usually have to sign a contract or tenancy agreement. This is the paper you sign to say how much you will pay and for how long.

Rich: You usually also have to pay a deposit. A deposit is an amount of money you need to pay at the beginning to cover anything you might break. This is returned to you if there are no damages at the end of the contract.

Jack: And you’ll usually have to pay a month’s rent in advance or upfront - before you move in.

Rich: Move in. That’s our final useful phrase. It’s a phrasal verb that means to start living in your new home. 

Jack: In the roleplay, I said, ‘Once you sign the contract, I can give you the keys and you can move your stuff in’.  

Rich: Stuff?

Jack: Your things!

Rich: Yes, of course. Right, we’ve got lots more vocabulary connected to finding a flat on the Premier Skills English website. Find this lesson on the homepage or in the skills section and you will find lots of activities, the transcript and a quiz to test your understanding.

Jack: And that’s where you can write your answers to this week’s task, too!

Task

Jack: This week’s task is to tell us about the type of flat or house you’d like to rent if you went to work or study in the UK.

Rich: We want you to describe the property and the location in as much detail as you can. Here are a few ideas to help you with your answers.

Jack: One: What type of property would it be? A house or a flat?

Rich: Two: What about location? Where would it be? In the city or in the countryside? In London, Scotland or another city in the UK?

Jack: Three: Would you want your own place or would you prefer to share? What kind of flatmates would you like? People who you could socialise with or people who would help with the housework and leave you alone?

Rich: Four: Amenities: Would you live in a place that you need a car? Would you be OK using public transport? What do you need to have near your property? Shops? A park? A university? A football club?

Jack: Five: Inside the place: Do you need fast internet and a big TV? Is the amount of space and light important? Do you want a garden? A big kitchen? Modern or traditional furniture?

Rich: OK, so that’s your task this week. Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page on the Premier Skills English website or in the review section on Apple Podcasts.

This week’s football phrase:

Jack: The final section this week is our football phrase. 

Rich: The football phrase is to ***** ***. I think the phrase was originally used in boxing when a boxer hits his opponent who can’t get up. In football, it means to beat another team in a cup competition which results in the other team’s elimination. Manchester United ******* *** PSG in this season’s Champions League.

Jack:  Let’s see who can get it right! If you know the answer, write it in the comments section at the bottom of the page. We will announce your name in next week’s podcast if you get it right.

Rich: We also need to give you the answer to the football phrase we set at the beginning of the show. The answer as many of you know already was underdog.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week. Bye for now and enjoy your football!

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words in bold?

I’m Jack - the landlord of this wonderful place. You’re looking for a room to rent?

It’s a pretty down to earth place. Lots of students live around here. It’s close to the university. I think you’ll only have a 10-minute walk to lectures.

The washing-up hasn’t been done for a while ...

Four lads living together! You need to take it in turns.

There were a few more tricky words and phrases in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words. This can really help your understanding.

Activity 1

Activity 1: In this activity, try to match the words and phrases to their definitions. All of the words were in this week's podcast.
Can you match the words to the definitions?

Would you like to rent a room with a nice view?

Language

Looking around a flat

In this week's podcast, Rich was looking for a flat to rent in the UK. Jack was a landlord (the person who owns the flat) and they used lots of words and phrases that you could use in a similar situation. Here are some of the phrases that were used in the roleplay:

 Hi, I’m Rich I called on the phone earlier. I’m here about the flat.

This is a useful phrase and is one you can use for many things or a phrase you might hear when someone knocks on your door. What do you think someone would want if they knocked on your door and said: 

Hello. I'm here about the window.

Another useful word to understand is 'place'. In the podcast, Jack and Rich said the following sentences which include 'place'. What is 'place' in each sentence?

Let me take you around the place

It’s a pretty down to earth place. Lots of students live around here.

Why don’t you come round to my place for dinner?

A final phrase to look at in this section is to 'look round' or 'look around'. This is a phrasal verb which means to visit and see the things in it. Here are a few examples that were used in the podcast:

Shall we have a look round then?

I looked around six flats today but I didn’t like any of them.

I didn’t have much time in Cambridge but I had a good look round the university area.

Would you prefer to rent a place in a city?

Renting a flat

Two of the most important aspects of renting a flat are money and contracts. The word 'rent' can be used as a verb or a noun.

You’re looking for a room to rent?

So, how much is the rent?

When you rent a place, the contract or agreement is usually between you (the tenant) and the landlord. More formally, this is usually called a tenancy agreement. This agreement will not only include the amount you have to pay but things such as a deposit and how much money you have to pay upfront or in advance:

A deposit is an amount of money you need to pay at the beginning to cover anything you might break. This is returned to you if there are no damages at the end of the contract.

And you’ll usually have to pay a month’s rent in advance or upfront - before you move in.

Would you prefer to rent a place in the countryside?

Vocabulary

Describing a room

In the roleplay, different words were used to describe rooms in the flat. The bedroom was described as noisy while the kitchen was described as big but messy. In this activity, take a look at some common adjectives that estate agents use when advertising properties (flats and houses).

Activity 2

Activity 2: In this activity, match the adjectives that are used to describe houses, flats and rooms with their definitions.
Do you know the adjectives?

Household appliances

In the roleplay, Jack and Rich also mentioned different appliances that are found in an average flat such as a TV, microwave and oven. In this activity, match the definition to the correct household appliance.

Activity 3

Activity 3: In this activity, match the household appliances with their definitions.
Do you use these things?

Would you like your place to have a garden?

Quiz

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Would you like to come to the UK to work or study?

Task

Where would you rent in the UK?

This week’s task is to tell us about the type of flat or house you’d like to rent if you went to work or study in the UK.

Here are some ideas to help you with this task: 

Type: What type of property would it be? A house or a flat?

Location: Where would it be? In the city or in the countryside? In London, Scotland or another city in the UK?

Flatmates: Would you want your own place or would you prefer to share? What kind of flatmates would you like? People you could socialise with or people who would help with the housework and leave you alone?

Amenities: Would you live in a place that you need a car? Would you be OK using public transport? What do you need to have near your property? Shops? A park? A university? A football club?

Inside: Do you need fast internet and a big TV? Is the amount of space and light important? Do you want a garden? A big kitchen? Modern or traditional furniture?

Write your answers in the comments section below and don't forget to make a guess at our football phrase.

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Comments

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
02/06/2020
TR
4972
points

This week's football phrase is ( Knock-out )
And the game you have mentioned Rich is my best game ever in the last decade. Best champions league night for me after the 1998-99 Final !


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
02/06/2020 21:08
Turkey
Manchester United
4972

This week's football phrase is ( Knock-out )
And the game you have mentioned Rich is my best game ever in the last decade. Best champions league night for me after the 1998-99 Final !

mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
02/06/2020
TR
4972
points

Task :
Well , I'd like to study at the University of Manchester so I'd like to rent a flat in Manchester if I had a chance to study in the UK. It would be in a quiet area between the University and Old Trafford because I would like to attend the home games as well. I like to have some friendly flatmates who we can socialise together and why not going out together at the weekends. Helping with the housework is a must because I like to live in a clean and tidy place so I can set a timetable for housework jobs.
I prefer to use public transport because learning to drive in the UK will be a bit challenging for me
Internet is important but telly is not that much essential for me.
Space and light are vital too and if there's a sea or a lake view , that would be great
I don't mind about the furniture state. I think I can manage that


mobeckham's picture
mobeckham
02/06/2020 21:06
Turkey
Manchester United
4972

Task :
Well , I'd like to study at the University of Manchester so I'd like to rent a flat in Manchester if I had a chance to study in the UK. It would be in a quiet area between the University and Old Trafford because I would like to attend the home games as well. I like to have some friendly flatmates who we can socialise together and why not going out together at the weekends. Helping with the housework is a must because I like to live in a clean and tidy place so I can set a timetable for housework jobs.
I prefer to use public transport because learning to drive in the UK will be a bit challenging for me
Internet is important but telly is not that much essential for me.
Space and light are vital too and if there's a sea or a lake view , that would be great
I don't mind about the furniture state. I think I can manage that

Tatiane
30/04/2019
BR
154
points

If I would go to live in the UK, I would choose a flat in the city, especially if it should be near my university or my work place, and maybe I would think to live in a city smaller than London, 'cause would be so much easier to accomplish my daily tasks and I'll not need to depend on public transport for everything.


Tatiane
30/04/2019 18:05
Brazil
Everton
154

If I would go to live in the UK, I would choose a flat in the city, especially if it should be near my university or my work place, and maybe I would think to live in a city smaller than London, 'cause would be so much easier to accomplish my daily tasks and I'll not need to depend on public transport for everything.

vanmanh's picture
vanmanh
24/03/2019
VN
123
points

I'm a student. so, I would like a flat. The location is nearly my university in london and i want to own place. flatmate That I want to be friend is the same religion(catholic).


vanmanh's picture
vanmanh
24/03/2019 16:57
Vietnam
Liverpool
123

I'm a student. so, I would like a flat. The location is nearly my university in london and i want to own place. flatmate That I want to be friend is the same religion(catholic).

lakerwang
21/03/2019
CN
337
points

If I went to work or study in the UK, I'd like to live in the city so that I could spend much less time in commuting. Since renting a house or flat in the city would usually cost me more money, I wouldn't care any other conditions of the place apart from fast internet and nearby public transport.

The football phrase is "***** ***"


lakerwang
21/03/2019 15:59
China
Chelsea
337

If I went to work or study in the UK, I'd like to live in the city so that I could spend much less time in commuting. Since renting a house or flat in the city would usually cost me more money, I wouldn't care any other conditions of the place apart from fast internet and nearby public transport.

The football phrase is "***** ***"

Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
21/03/2019
BR
615
points

Great podcast. By the way, these flatmates are really cool lads, Rich.

I would like to study in the UK. I don't exactly have a place in mind but cities like London, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Cardiff could be chosen. I think a shared flat would be more affordable, as long the flatmates aren't messy. The flat must be located not so far from the university. Using public transport is acceptable and a near park would be nice. A light room, internet, and a writing desk are my only demands. But a TV with available Premier League games would be wonderful.

I think the football phrase is "***** ***".


Rafael Robson's picture
Rafael Robson
21/03/2019 15:02
Brazil
Tottenham Hotspur
615

Great podcast. By the way, these flatmates are really cool lads, Rich.

I would like to study in the UK. I don't exactly have a place in mind but cities like London, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Cardiff could be chosen. I think a shared flat would be more affordable, as long the flatmates aren't messy. The flat must be located not so far from the university. Using public transport is acceptable and a near park would be nice. A light room, internet, and a writing desk are my only demands. But a TV with available Premier League games would be wonderful.

I think the football phrase is "***** ***".

milos
21/03/2019
RS
2663
points

Football phrase for this week is ***** ***.
I would like to live in London. I prefer to rent flat, and I would like to have my own flat. But that is not so important, I can share a flat also. I would use public transport, and I need to have a park near to place which I rent.The Internet is important to me but tv is not necessary. About furniture I would like to have big bed and good desk.


milos
21/03/2019 06:05
Serbia
Manchester United
2663

Football phrase for this week is ***** ***.
I would like to live in London. I prefer to rent flat, and I would like to have my own flat. But that is not so important, I can share a flat also. I would use public transport, and I need to have a park near to place which I rent.The Internet is important to me but tv is not necessary. About furniture I would like to have big bed and good desk.

coreuser
19/03/2019
JO
228
points

Hello,
I think the phrase is "******* ***".


coreuser
19/03/2019 19:44
Jordan
Manchester City
228

Hello,
I think the phrase is "******* ***".

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
18/03/2019
UA
4383
points

I think that the phrase is to ' ***** ***'


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
18/03/2019 14:22
Ukraine
Watford
4383

I think that the phrase is to ' ***** ***'

Thenext75's picture
Thenext75
18/03/2019
IT
174
points

***** down


Thenext75's picture
Thenext75
18/03/2019 08:09
Italy
Chelsea
174

***** down

Thenext75's picture
Thenext75
18/03/2019
IT
174
points

Football phrase may be" send to the carpet"


Thenext75's picture
Thenext75
18/03/2019 06:28
Italy
Chelsea
174

Football phrase may be" send to the carpet"

elghoul's picture
elghoul
17/03/2019
DZ
3988
points

***** *** is the football phrase.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
17/03/2019 13:14
Algeria
Manchester City
3988

***** *** is the football phrase.

ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
17/03/2019
ZW
1739
points

Phrase

***** ***

Task:

When I visit the UK for studying English, this is what I first do.

I would want to rent a house particularly out of town where rentals are relatively cheaper. I will prefer those areas near London or Oxford.Secondly,the house must be modern with a 24/7 internet connection.Shops and transport again must be a stones throw.

I'd prefer to share the room with some natives whom I think will help me improve my English skills.


ldzingirai's picture
ldzingirai
17/03/2019 13:13
Zimbabwe
Chelsea
1739

Phrase

***** ***

Task:

When I visit the UK for studying English, this is what I first do.

I would want to rent a house particularly out of town where rentals are relatively cheaper. I will prefer those areas near London or Oxford.Secondly,the house must be modern with a 24/7 internet connection.Shops and transport again must be a stones throw.

I'd prefer to share the room with some natives whom I think will help me improve my English skills.

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1Alex_from_Ukraine5937
2mobeckham4972
3wsanta4866
4kwesimanifest4754
5Liubomyr4383
6elghoul3988
7assemjuve3705
8aragorn19863557
9Gergő Nagy3396
10haydi3189
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia71513
2Ukraine33579
3Serbia27078
4Spain23841
5Albania20571
6Brazil20397
7Macedonia19063
8Bosnia and Herzegovina16268
9Vietnam16130
10Turkey14231
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United126781
2Liverpool96264
3Chelsea80542
4Arsenal76587
5Manchester City47579
6Tottenham Hotspur13648
7Leicester City12323
8Newcastle United10058
9Leeds United5740
10West Ham United5292

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Language: Words and phrases to speak to a landlord

Vocabulary: Words to describe flats and household appliances 

Task: Talk about a place you would like to rent