London Relocation – What You need to Know
So, you have been offered your dream job in London, or maybe your current employer has asked you to work in their London office. You could be an entrepreneur looking to target the UK and European market?
One of the first things to consider for your London relocation is where to live. London is the largest city in the UK and one of the largest cities in the world so it can be an exciting yet confusing place. There are so many options – every London district or borough has its own culture and diversity and different options and rental costs on housing.
Your move to London is exciting, challenging and may fulfil a lifelong dream to live and work in one of the greatest and most historic cities in the world. You may be setting up a new London office, building a business, or your London move may be part of your company’s career progression. Whatever the reason, you will want your move to be as stress free as possible.
The transport links across London are excellent and easily mastered by bus or underground (affectionately known as the tube). There are 270 train tube stations which service the heart of London reaching right out to the suburbs. In London it is much easier, faster and safer to travel by public transportation than by car.
The centre is extremely historic with old buildings standing alongside new and is usually full of tourists and people going about their business.
So, what are the first steps you should be taking with your relocation to London?
The normal rules to gain entrance into the UK, means that to rent a property you must have the right to reside in the UK. This includes British applicants and nationals from the European Economic Areas (EEA). The letting agent will not hand keys to you for your new home without proof of your eligibility to live in the UK.
Should you require a visa there are various categories available, so it pays to get good advice from an immigration lawyer well before your relocation to London is planned. It can sometimes take longer than you would like for the visa application process so the sooner you investigate this and get good advice the better. Our panel of immigration lawyers are some of the best in the United Kingdom
Your Shipping Needs
If you are travelling light with just your suitcases, you may not need shipping services but if you do need to move even a small amount of furniture and personal belongings bear in mind most items will travel by sea, so it can take weeks to arrive in the UK.
We can provide quotes and advice for shipping furniture and personal effects. If you require assistance to relocate a pet, then we can provide support to help you and your pet relocate to London
London is a very large city made up of 33 districts or boroughs and it’s a good idea to research the various locations and what they have to offer in terms of green spaces and local facilities such as bars, restaurants, local entertainment, gyms and sporting options.
You may prefer to live right in the middle of the hustle and bustle, or you may like a quieter area with more space around you. Finding the right location for work, leisure and lifestyle is very important to enable you to settle into your new life in London. We can arrange for one of our very experienced and knowledgeable relocation consultants to show you around the city on an orientation tour day to help you decide on a location. Once you have decided on an area you like, the consultant will spend another day driving you to view properties that match you budget and property requirements in that area. Our team either live in London or nearby and come with a wealth of experience to help you find your new location and home.
Real estate in London is one of the most expensive in the world. Depending on the location, a one bed furnished apartment can range from £1000pm up to literally tens of thousands per month.
Ideally you should get some expert advice from a relocation company as they know the areas well and can advise you based on your requirements. We always work hard to negotiate rents down for our clients and obtain the best possible deal. An example of this was where we negotiated the rental on beautiful three-bedroom apartment down from £750 per week (£3250pm) to £650 per week (£2817pm). Our client was delighted!
Whether you re looking to rent or purchase a property in London, we will always have your best interests at heart. We are completely independent and are not tied in any way to any letting agent.
Commute to work
Your commute to work will in most respects dictate what your location options are. Some people are happy to walk to work but would you happy to walk for thirty minutes in freezing cold or wet winter weather? The useful thing with London is that the public transport system is so good – you can jump on a tube so easily and there are non-stop buses running until late at night as well as the endless number of black cabs available.
You definitely do not need a car in London. If you want to get out of London over a weekend you can always hire a car. If you want a simple commute, try getting a property on a direct tube line so there is no need for you to change lines or make as few changes as possible. It will make your life run a lot more simply.
We can advise you on the right areas for your personal circumstances considering your budget, your lifestyle and commute to work. If you have children, we can also ensure the right location for schooling.
When to View Properties
You should ideally be viewing rental properties four to six weeks before you want to move in. This gives enough time for your employer and current landlord to produce references and for the agent to produce the tenancy agreement as well as allowing us to carry out checks on the terms of your tenancy and obtain documents that prove that your landlord is legally able to rent the property to you. It’s best to avoid property viewings on Mondays as properties you may arrange to see then may get rented out over the prior weekend. Also bear in mind that in London agents generally do not open on Sundays and close early on Saturdays with reduced staff levels.
London Relocation – what to consider in a property
Do you like older properties with character, or do you like something classical or contemporary? Are you happy to walk up a few flights of steps or would you need a lift? How many bathrooms are important to you?
Other considerations are whether you need a garden or some kind of outside space, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need and the size of property. Some clients like open plan lay outs whilst others like different rooms for different purposes. Finding pet friendly properties is our speciality which can be very difficult in London. We have never failed to find a property for a client with pets.
If you are planning to make one move to London and not return home for some time you should consider staying in short term accommodation until your more permanent home is ready for you. For a similar price of staying in a quality hotel you can rent an apartment which is more spacious than a hotel room with more privacy. It will also have cooking facilities, a washing machine and normally free Wi-Fi.
The apartment is also cleaned regularly, and bedding changed. This can be a good option for when you first arrive, but you need to book well ahead as they are very popular as they offer more space and versatility than a hotel room. Citrus Relocation can help source suitable serviced accommodation options for you.
If you have children, then schooling will be a priority and of prime importance to you. When relocating to London there is a big decision as to whether you would like your child/children to attend a fee-paying independent school, a British state-run school, an international school or if you are American and American style school.
The sooner you start the process of considering schools the better. With independent schools once you have chosen a school you can pay a fee to reserve a place, although many will require some kind of testing and/or interview. Unfortunately, you cannot reserve a place with a state school. Most education authorities will want you to be living in your new home and will need to see your tenancy agreement to accept a school application. To reduce the challenges and anxiety for parents our London School Search service provides excellent support and guidance for schooling needs.
Although the UK is known as a nation of animal lovers, unfortunately landlords are not. However cute your little cat or dog is, if a landlord receives an offer from someone without a pet, they are more likely to accept it.
Their concerns are about damage to their property and the nuisance to neighbours. Roughly 50% to 65% of landlords across the UK will not accept pets at all and in Central London this can rise to 80%. Pet friendly accommodation is more difficult as you get nearer the cultural and tourist centre of London, as you move further out it becomes less of an issue but still difficult. However, at Citrus Relocation we have never failed to find a property for any client who has had pets.