Survive London pt 1
Wow it has been 2 months almost since my last post in this blog and for good reason. A lot has happened. We are now well settled into our East London home in a nice well placed suburb by the name of Stepney Green. The sheer relief I feel having a home is just... wow. And better yet the couple we are now living with are amazing and have already embraced us as friends. Phew...
For a while we were starting to think the search would never end. They aren't kidding when they say finding somewhere to rent in London is tough, especially for a couple. It's not for lack of availability in most cases its just the competition is high and in 2 separate occasions we were told "we love you guys but we offered the room to a friend" ...aaaaghh! Oh well moving on we have a home and we are very happy.
My hot tips for anyone considering moving here from Australia is:
1. Make sure you pack your patient pants. They do things differently in London, blind fees, expensive background checks, estate agents who don't care that you exist, no one knows whats going on and sometimes its actually a scam.
http://www.spareroom.co.uk - Is the best place to go to. Make yourself a profile and start hunting. Also tick the buddy up section, you might find someone in the same boat as you. 2 people hunting is better than 1.
Also make sure you have lots of copies of documentation, just give the estate agents everything even if they don't think they need it. In our experience they will either lose your files or ask for the files they already have, to which you say "you already have everything you need, you can call me at another time or make an appointment with me if you require the documents again". This is exactly what they will say to you if you ever ask them. We found ourselves asking each other "do they actually want to rent this place out?", after three weeks of back and forth the landlord took things into his own hands and met with us. So someone wants rent money...
2. Bank accounts and Insurance Number
Now the paradox - to get a bank account you need proof of address in London (ie utility bill, rent or previous English Bank details). Now if you are new to the country and are trying to rent so you can get a rent receipt to get a bank account and consider yourself to be a logical person, you will realise that a rent agreement requires credit cheques based on your bank account, a british bank account.
You cannot apply for one without the other. Hmm. So before you even try (because we tried many tactics of getting around this which proved to be a massive pain and a waste of time) go straight to http://www.1stcontact.com/ if I had my time again I would have done this before I even left Australia. They will get you a bank account, insurance number, accommodation, account services if your freelancing like me, free money transfer and even work!!
I thought I'd just tick the box that said 'would you like us to find you work?' not thinking that they could actually help me. I was wrong, within a week I had freelance work.
An assortment of photos from the last few weeks. I'm compiling some photos for a places to check out in London next post.
ps: I just got myself some studio space woop woop!!!