Thousands of people relocate to London every year to set up businesses, take up new jobs or follow a partner as they move to a new office. Whether you’re moving from overseas or within the UK, there are plenty of things to plan and consider before making the big move, from sorting our taxes and finance to finding the right schools for your children.
Get Your Finances in Order
You’ll need to sort out your finances and online banking is ideal for this, as you won’t need to spend time going to branches to make transactions. Most moves are very time consuming and the fewer administrative demands you place on your time, the better. Look for online banking providers that provide additional services such as telephone banking and apps to make use of online banking via a smartphone.
Inform the Right People of Your Move
Tell HMRC when you’ll be coming back to London and check your tax liability and status upon your return to the UK if you’re relocating from abroad. If returning from overseas, you should also check with your country of departure in case you owe tax there. Also contact the HMRC’s national insurance contributions office to re-register and get in touch with the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) to check your status as regards benefits and your pension. You’ll need to provide your contact details and information about your move.
You’ll need to register with a local GP and a dentist when you’re back in the UK to take advantage of NHS services. It’s also wise to notify any travel-insurance and medical-insurance companies you may have policies with of your change in circumstances as soon as possible. If you have children you’ll need to tell the school authorities in your country of departure and get in touch with the local council in the area that you plan to live in when back in London. They can advise on available local school places and set the registration wheels in motion.
Decide What to Do with Your Home
Some people sell up when they move back to the UK, others lease out their properties and organise storage or removals as appropriate. It very much depends on your individual circumstances and your longer-term plans. You’ll need to contact the council in your area when you move to London so the electoral-register team and council-tax department can update their records as necessary. Provide your utility company with a forwarding address for final bills and arrange for mail forwarding to be set up.
The best way to manage all the administration and organisation is to ask advice from others who have been through the same experience. Go on to ex-pat forums, read books and ask around. Then you can make lists and approach everything systematically. A move is always stressful, so try to remain calm and don’t fall into the trap of doing everything at once. Finally, delegate jobs to your partner and family wherever possible to make the job more manageable.