Thousands of young professionals move to London every month from distant corners of the globe. Most have a place to crash for a few weeks, or a friend with a “great place in Notting Hill!” It sounds fantastic, but more often than not the perception is alarmingly different from the reality. I found this out the hard way when I made the decision to move to London from Canada two years ago.
With the help from a friend in London, it took me a few months to get my visa and everything else ready to go, but that was the easy part… The first thing I did when I arrived was of course all the typical touristy things. I just HAD to visit the famous Portobello Market, The London Eye, Big Ben, Tate Modern and need I forget Buckingham Palace – unfortunately no sight of Prince Harry though.
To be honest, I was excited, nervous, scared and most of all overwhelmed by everything, all at once!
Stay With Me in Notting Hill!
I was fortunate to have a place to live right away thanks to my friend and his gorgeous flat in Notting Hill. With his help, (I really don’t recommend trying it alone) I set up a bank account, a mobile phone account and applied for a National Insurance number. With my NI number in hand I was able to find a job and settle down into my Notting Hill bubble.
Everything went perfectly for 4 months until I got the news that my flatmate was moving out of the country. I had to find a new place to live fast! I knew nothing about renting, contracts, different locations, even about general things like the London tube line.
It was scary having to step outside my comfort zone; doing everything on my own in an unfamiliar city became stressful and I felt panicked. I no longer had anyone to turn to and I was left by myself to figure things out. I began my search online…
Viewing Apartments in London
After viewing a few apartments I noticed that in some locations prices for rent were considerably high and I was finding it hard to find places available in certain areas that interested me.
Dealing with agents was a whole other ball game: Some agents didn’t want to talk to me because of my budget. Another one had set up a viewing with me then failed to contact me to cancel because someone else scooped it up. A lot of them I found, had bad communication and never replied to any of my emails in regards to looking for a place to rent. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into and for a few weeks seriously considered heading back home.
There are so many things to factor in that I never knew about renting. Such things like eligibility, tenant agreements, references, credit checks, deposits, inventory checks, cost of rent, utility bills, and council tax. It was only after my second move that I learnt and took all of these factors into consideration. I ended up settling for a flat on Portobello Road Market. It wasn’t the right one for me, but it was a start.
A Perfect Home in London?
It amazes me the impact and effect it can have on a person during the process of finding a home, especially the perfect one for you.What I like about working for London Relocation is making sure people don’t have to go through what I went through and that finding a home doesn’t have to be so stressful, overwhelming and time consuming.
Author Erin Fromm is the latest addition to the London Relocation team. After her slightly stressful introduction to living in London, she’s mastered the Tube, ventured out of Notting Hill and is a highly successful and well regarded resource for our clients.
If you have any questions about this article or about any aspect of moving to London, please feel free to chat to Erin – On G+ or contact her through the LR website. She’s always available to answer your questions.