When new clients first approach us they often want a general overview of what life is like in London and ask us the top five tips for moving to London
Narrow down your housing/area. when moving to London
When moving to London finding a good place to live is right up there as number 1. Narrowing down housing can be daunting but with help from either on line accommodation search engines such as Zoopla and Rightmove or with the help of relocation agents this should be made somewhat easier. London is awash with places to rent so all the help you can get with the different areas will be essential. Before renting you will need a deposit, which can be as much as two months rent. This deposit is held in a Tenancy deposit scheme which should come back to you at the end of the rental depending on breakages etc. On top of your rent you’ll have to pay council tax (unless you’re a student), gas, water and electricity. It’s best to shop around for the cheapest deals, there are plenty of good price comparison websites that will help you to do this
Explore the city- get to know your area
London is a vast city and full of differing areas – you can walk five minutes in one direction and you may find yourself in a completely different environment. As a city with a wealth of history and culture you could go on an organised walking tour, get out and about and find out the local attractions, find great places to eat and shop for food including at the variety of farmers markets.
Meet up with like minded people.
It can be very daunting moving to this great city of London however remember you are not alone. There are plenty of expat forums and clubs that you can join, become a member of a gym or attend evening classes. With so much on offer in London you will be sure to find something to appeal. Find out what’s happening in the city through sites like Londonist and Timeout. By attending the variey of forums on offer this is a great way to start building up contacts.
Learn to get around
One of the first things to get your head around when moving to London is the transport system. Travelling within London is fairly easy, whether by bicycle (Boris bikes), bus, train or underground train (the Tube) your indispensable guide is the Transport for London website, where you can also find out about the Oyster Card (which will save you money on transport). Cash is no longer payable on the buses in London.
Open a bank account
This is also another daunting task. You will also be expected to produce paperwork, with the exact requirements depending on the bank in question. Typical requests are for a passport/EU ID card and proof of address. More banks are offering expat accounts such as Lloyds and Barclays. This should alleviate the historic problems that many expats experienced by lengthy bank account application procedures, leaving them short of ready cash.