Employees who are embarking on a global assignment are usually expected to return home within 3-5 years. Under this scenario, property management is a practical alternative to homesale, since most assignees who expect to return home within a reasonable amount of time prefer to retain their home. Automobiles present another challenge for assignees, but companies typically assist with their disposal.

Home Sale vs. Property Management

When faced with the decision to move internationally, homeowners must decide whether to sell their home or allow it to be managed in their absence. Relatively few assignees opt to sell their home, unless they plan to be abroad for an extended, indefinite period. And few companies offer homesale assistance under this scenario. Instead, most companies offer property management through one of their partners for the time period that the employee is living elsewhere. In theory, many policies dictate that the home be rented out in the assignee’s absence and that the rent received be used to offset the assignee’s destination housing costs. In practice, this does not happen very often. Assignees don’t like the idea of others living in their home and tend to present circumstances that make this difficult or impossible and request an exception.

Employees who Rent

Employees who rent in the departure location receive different assignment benefits. Usually, this means that they are reimbursed up to two full months of rent to cover their lease-breaking fees. In addition, the company pays for 100% of the employee’s security deposit in the host country, to be returned upon completion of the assignment. Charges for damage to the host country property must be paid by the employee, not out of the security deposit.

Home Country Storage

Long term storage of household goods in the home country is typically covered by the company for the duration of the assignment, if less than five years.

Automobile Assistance

Employees usually sell their vehicles before moving abroad (or break their leases) since they usually do not meet host country regulations and cannot be imported or driven there (the exception being some vintage/collectable automobiles). Most companies pay up to $2000 to cover any loss on the sale. The amount of loss is determined by finding the average of current market sale and trade-in values, and subtracting the actual sale price. For instance, a vehicle that has a median market value of $8,000 which is sold for $6900 will receive an $1100 credit for the loss incurred during the sale.

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