Comprehensive Guide to Living and Working in London


London is one of the largest and economically powerful cities in the world. The attractive culture, jobs, and social scenes have been drawing masses for years from around the world. Are you also tempted to take the plunge and join this big city? This article is to help make the shifting process for London newbies easier. So without further delay, let’s get started!

1. What are the questions you need to consider before moving?

You may move to London University or for a new job. Irrespective of your reasons to make the shift, here are a few questions that you should ask yourself:

Who will move with you to London?

  • Only you
  • With spouse or partner
  • With your family
  • With friends

People who will accompany you to London will be dependent financially on you. The more dependent people the more you need to get realistic about the finance. If you are moving with your spouse, can both of you be able to get a job? If your kids are coming with you, which school you would want them to go or will you need help to take care of them?

2. How much it will take for you to move?

Moving comes with a lot of extra financial burden and it’s important to manage the additional cost wisely. 

Some of the additional cost include:

  • Transportation charges
  • The rental fees/ deposit/First-month rent
  • House removals fees
  • If you haven’t found a job yet, how will you manage the finance?
  • Cost of temporary housing
  • Essentials like an ironing board, plates, pots, etc.

3. What are the things to bring once you decide to make the shift to London?

If you are renting a place, you don’t have to ship a bed and couches. All you need is clothing items and things that will make your renting place feel more like home. If you are purchasing a home and going for permanent stay, you need to hire house removals in London with years of experience. They will make sure your move is seamless and hassle-free.

4. How to find a place to live?

To find a place to live within your budget is the biggest stress when moving. With 33 boroughs in London, it offers massive spaces. The cost of living varies and charges vary immensely. “Find Property” is a great place to start to decide the location based on transportation time.

Some of the sites that can help you find a room for rent in London are Rightmove, Gumtree and Zoopla.

These sites should be your first option to begin the search. Here you can select from a wide variety of properties but stay cautious of “too good deal”. For further filtered search, you need to work with the Estate Agent rather than meeting landlords. Remember to ask the agent about their fee before beginning the property search.

The place of your living will depend on the place you will work in. Most important thing is to consider amenities. Some of them are:

  • Parking facility
  • Access to the restaurant
  • Nearby Grocery store
  • Access to the hospital
  • Time invested to travel to major airports
  • General safety
  • The noise level during the night

Some other website where you can look for a property are: OpenRent, Moveflat, Find Property and Nestoria

5. How to rent shared accommodation?

Looking for a property is different from finding the right roommates. Staying with someone with the same living habits is more important than property. Here is a website called “ideal flatmates” that can help you get matched with like-minded people. Home sharing is a common thing in London due to the high renting cost.

You can find shared accommodation in London here:

  • Spareroom
  • EasyRoommate

Here are the best questions that you should ask your potential housemate:

  • Sleeping and Noise
  • Guests
  • Cleanliness
  • Work-Life
  • Money
  • Pets
  • Food and cooking
  • Expectations
  • Smoking
  • Furniture
  • Length of stay

6. Where to search if you want to look for the property before arriving in London?

In such cases, working with a property agent is helpful. You should ensure that the estate agents are reputed one. It’s better to ask for an RICS certificate from the agent.

7. How to find temporary housing before finalizing the place to rent?

Staying at a temporary home before moving to London can take the stress out of your planning. If you are getting transferred to the foreign office, the company will offer a place to stay. Some other low-cost options are:

8. How to manage finance in London?

The best tool is TransferWise when you are just beginning to send money in the UK for smaller amounts. They charge lower fees as compared to traditional money transfer. If you are going for a large sum transfer, the best option is to go with banks to ensure everything is done rightfully. Do you want to know more about financial policies in the UK? Check the Supermarket to learn.

You can use a currency card to transfer money once you reach London. This is a great way to save on ATM fees.

Revolut Card is free and arrives on just a few days of the registration process. You can use this card for a transaction in more than 90 currencies.

9. How to open a bank account?

Most of the people who shift to London struggles with the process of opening a bank account. The foremost problem is people need to address proof and when they have just moved in, they don’t have the proof.

Here are a few tricks that can help you provide address proof after moving:

You need to apply for the National Insurance Number as the letter from them comes within 1 or 2 days after the interview. This will help you show address proof.

If you are in sharing accommodation then ask for previous utility bills. Afterward, ask the person to write a verification letter whose name is on the bill.

Having this proof can make it easier to open a bank account.

10. How to begin investing in London?

Want to put your salary into good use? Start investing, even if it’s a minimal amount. Here is the best place to start investing in the UK:

  • Funding Circle: this offer an estimated return of 7.4% per year
  • LendInvest is property investment with an approx return from 5%
  • Seedrs
  • CrowdCube

11. Where to go for Medicare?

The United Kingdom offers healthcare through the National Health Service for free. This is an internationally renowned service and reliable as well.

Everybody is not entitled to free dental care. Some employers offer insurance as a benefits package. In case you do not apply to it, then you can contact a local dentist near your home and work.

Multiple services provide sexual health care when living in London. Some organizations providing these services are:

  • Contraception Clinics
  • GPs
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Sexual health clinics
  • Genitourinary medicine clinics
  • Sexual assault referral centers
  • Pharmacies

12. Working in London

The highest demand for jobs in London is information technology. People working in this vertical have the easiest time in getting a job. East London’s Tech City is the hub to the major technology business. IT has increased by 44% from July 2018 and July 2019.

The second biggest demanding job in London is the service sector as it provides around 91% of all the jobs. These include jobs in hospitality, retail, education, real estate activities, social work, and more. The production industry entails 3% of other jobs. This industry entails jobs like quarrying, electricity, mining, steam, gas, air conditioning, sewerage, remediation, and waste. The remaining 6% consist of jobs like fishing, forestry, construction, and agriculture. The larger portion of business activity is the bond trading account, insurance, banking, insurance in London.

Most Required Jobs are:

  • Software engineer
  • Automation engineer
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Blockchain developer
  • Digital marketing manager

The much-needed jobs that in the upcoming time will be:

  • Sports therapy
  • Teaching
  • Skilled tradespeople
  • Artisans
  • Engineers
  • Hospitality and catering
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Salespeople

13. What are the Tax/ Finance in London?

After you have started working in London, the crucial thing is to apply for a national insurance number. This helps in keeping track of employment to fulfill tax purposes. People usually pay tax via PAYE. Employers and pension providers deduct insurance contributions and income tax before paying salaries or pension. The tax charge is different depending on the money you earn.

Finally, once you start living in London, it will be difficult for you to leave the city. Amidst these things, don’t forget to explore the interesting place London has to offer. Hope you will find this article informative and helpful when moving to London. This one step will make a positive impact on your life.

All the best for your Move!

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