Moving to London - A Practical Guide
London - Big Ben
A lot of people are moving to London. I have spent most of my life in London, as I was born there and hope this practical guide can help prepare you for the move:
Accommodation - Rent is very expensive in London. 1 bedroom flats can be up to £700 a month. If you are renting – always find out what bills you have to pay. Ask if they are included in the rent. The usual bills are: Electric, Gas, Water, Council tax, Television License and possibly Service Charges. These really add up.
In most situations you will have to pay 2 months upfront to move in. E.g If the rent is £700 a month. You will pay £1400. The landlord will repay you £700 when you are leaving provided you leave the place in good condition and give 4 weeks notice. (A link is provided below where you can find properties). Some Landlords now ask for references and the last 3 months bank statement to ensure a tenant can afford the rent.
Transport - Transport is expensive but it's easy to get about. You can use the Train, Tram, Bus, DLR . Always have a tube map on you to help plan your journey because if you don’t pay the correct fare for the Zone you are travelling to, British Transport Police can give you a financial penalty. Oyster Card is the cheapest way to travel. Contactless cards can also be used on buses and train stations.
If you will be driving, ensure you have insurance and a full driving licence and MOT or the police will cease your car.
It is also a good idea to buy a book: The London A –Z (street atlas). This will help you get around easily. If you will be going out a lot, get a “Travel Card” for the week. It’s a cheaper option.
Taxi’s - There are black cabs and Licensed mini cabs. Mini cabs are cheaper. Never get into a Taxi that hasn’t got a Licensed sign on it.
Touch your oyster card on the yellow pad before and after your Train Journey. For Buses, Touch In once.
Studying - If you have come to study, there is a link below which will give you names of all the Colleges and Universities in London. Ensure you have a student card as this offers you concessions for many things such as: events / shopping etc. It's very handy.
Employment – London has a lot of jobs. Some people say its hard to get a job, but be positive. If you really spend time looking for a job you can start a job within one week of arriving in London. It could even be cash in hand.
You can get jobs through
· Recruitment Agencies - Reed/Total Jobs / Indeed / Gumtree
· Job Centres
· Private companies
· Via the internet. (If you haven’t got internet, use a local library for free) or look for an internet Café.
Prepare a CV and Register for a Temporary National Insurance Number as this will be needed when your Employer pays you.
For Voluntary jobs - visit do.it.org
Food – No matter where you come from, you will find your country food in London. There are lots of supermarkets and small shops. Some supermarkets like Asda, Iceland and Tesco will deliver everything you buy to your door for a small price but you have to order-online. This is very convenient if you don’t have a car.
For bargains, go to “The Pound Shop”. Ask anyone around you where it is. (There are so many branches) Everything in the shop is just £1, but be careful not to buy the whole shop as you will be spoilt for choice. :-)
If you don’t want to cook you could go to a “take away” or get them to deliver to you at home.
Health – Healthcare is free but you must register with a GP. A General Practitioner. (doctor). There are also a lot of Gyms about and small Leisure centres for children if they wish to go swimming. Gyms usually charge approximately £20/month and have various state of the Art equipment. Open from morning to evening. Pop in when you wish.
People of London – The people in London are generally friendly and helpful but like any other city you should still be cautious and vigilant.
Entertainment – London is a place where lots of Tourists visit. Open the link below to see a list of places you can visit in your spare time. Some places are free. Buckingham Palace is also open for visiting – so you might want to pop in and say hello to the Queen at some point.
Good Luck and enjoy your stay.
Buckingham Palace - London
- FindaProperty.com Estate agents property search for sale & rent UK & overseas properties
Property for sale & rent through leading UK & overseas estate agents & letting agents. Find a Property search tools help locate houses, flats, apartments, new homes, investment property & commercial property to let or buy in the UK &a
- Recruitment Agencies in London, Employment Agencies Directory
London jobs guide featuring job search and a comprehensive directory of London recruitment agencies. Search the agency directory.