Follow us on  Follow Expats Plaza on Facebook Follow Expats Plaza on Twitter Follow our Expat Blog  
   Home      Expat Resources      Moving To London Tips



Moving to London: Top Tips

by Jemma Scott, Head of Residential Corporate Services at Knight Frank 

Moving to London for the first or even the second time can be a confusing time. It can be a struggle managing the needs of your family along with the expectations of your company. Finding a home that meets the needs of the whole family can be a demanding task for all but the most hardened international executives. Moving to London can be an exciting process if expectations are realistic and you choose the right agent to work with. These are my Top Tips on moving to London:

1. Be open minded - London remains one of the most expensive cities in the world. It can be an exciting, beautiful and fascinating city, but you will not get a 4 bedroom apartment in central Chelsea for £2,000 pcm. You might however get a fantastic apartment overlooking the river, a charming cottage in Wimbledon or a pied a Terre off the Kings Road.

2. Plan your time well - The London rental market moves very quickly and, as a general rule, the earliest you should start viewing apartments would be 4 to 6 weeks prior moving to London. Any earlier and Landlords are often unwilling to wait. Ty to explore areas of interest ahead of time so you don’t need to rush a decision. Have coffee in the local café, try the commute from the office – could you do this every day? The Average commute in London is 45 Minutes.

3. Choose who you work with - The most important step while moving to London, is to choose your agent carefully. They should be a member of ARLA or NAEA, both of which are recognised industry regulatory bodies and provide recourse should things go wrong.

4. Be clear about your expectations - Once you have viewed and made your decision, you will then need to work with your agent to put an offer forward to the landlord as quickly as possible. This should outline the terms under which you wish to take the property, rental price, length of time, any requests, etc. In most cases the agent is working on behalf of their client, the landlord, so be clear on your expectations.

5. Be Prepared - Once the terms are agreed, you will usually need to complete references and pay an administration charge in order to secure the property. The agent will usually request letters from your bank, employer, previous Landlord and a personal reference in order to confirm you will be a suitable tenant and able to meet the rental payments. Administration fees cover the agents charges for preparing the tenancy paperwork, running references and preparing the inventory (the condition and item report of the property) and will vary from agent to
agent but is usually a few hundred pounds.

6. Read the Contract – Ensure any terms you agreed (such as repainting, the provision or removal of certain items, etc) are included and don’t be afraid to ask for an explanation.

Finally, once the contract has been signed and you have collected your keys, one of the final administrative chores of moving to London is to acquaint yourself with your local Public House in order to truly settle into London Life, only then should you unpack  - good luck! 

About the Residential Corporate Services at Knight Frank

Based at Knight Frank’s global head quarters in Baker Street, the Residential Corporate Services team offers a complimentary rental search for international executives moving into and within London and the Home Counties. For further details or to discuss your own homesearch please email Jemma Scott at Knight Frank or contact her on +44(0)207 861 5244.
Moving to London
Expats Plaza is the website for the Expatriates living in the UK