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Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Old Jan 4th 2020, 1:22 pm
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Default Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Any wise heads out there? Any advice is truly welcome.

We currently live in France and we are moving back to the UK principally because of Brexit and the lack of work opportunities open to us here now due to the new changes in EU freedom of movement and employment. We own our own house here, which is going up for sale. We are both UK citizens. I’m a graduate TESOL teacher.

But what comes first? We would like to go back to an area near our family. But arranging rented accommodation seems to require a huge amount of paperwork and other legalities and proof of employment that we don’t have at the moment. We cannot move in with other family members as they are all in small accommodation. And the area (south-east) has risen in value for rented properties.

Then there is the work question. Has anyone had any luck applying for employment remotely? We will have access to deposits for rent. But wondering whether to rent cheaply anywhere in the U.K. and start from there. It is such a conundrum. Plus I have two cats. And no-one wants pets in rented accommodation.
If anyone has any links that they could share that would be so helpful.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 1:45 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Hi there,

Regarding renting the work around is to pay in advance, they do make exceptions for new arrivals, not everything is black and white It will depend on the agent/landlord some people have only had to pay the standard 1 months rent + deposit etc, others have had to pay 3-6 months in advance. So don't worry about that, of course you will need to book temporary accommodation to stay in while viewing and applying for a home. If there is a lot of rental availability in the area/s you are looking to move too, it shouldn't take any more than 2 weeks, and if you can of course get references, If renting from your Property manager, if not then a character reference. You may not even need these but good to have just in case.

Myself and my family and doing this in Feb, we will be starting cheap as will be living off savings until work is secured, once we have our feet in the door we can look at other options. I do want to purchase eventually, so I definitely don't want my savings blown. Some landlords do accept pets, cats and dogs, some specify cats only etc. Zoopla and Open Rent both have pet friendly filters. Rightmove appears to not have one.

As for work, it's one of those some do, some don't scenarios some people have managed to secure work via a Skype interview for example, some recruiters etc won't even look at you until you're in the UK. No harm in trying, which is what I am doing right now. I would feel a lot less stressed knowing I had a job to go to, but if not, well I know I have enough savings to get me by until back and hopefully get work asap. I don't know if you are working now? or whom for if you are, but if they have a base in the UK? You could request a transfer?
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 2:13 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by Louise_Col View Post
We currently live in France and we are moving back to the UK principally because of Brexit and the lack of work opportunities open to us here now due to the new changes in EU freedom of movement and employment.
French citizenship not an option?

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Old Jan 5th 2020, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by BristolUK View Post
French citizenship not an option?
Or just a carte sejour.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Thank you for all your replies. Regarding citizenship and carte séjour thank you for the suggestion but we don’t want to go down that route. (Sorry I should have said that in my post ). I think we both just miss our life in the U.K. too much to stay here. Other reasons for returning are to re-connect with our family, and find regular employment. I also have an elderly mother who needs more support.

Thank you Britbitz for your suggestions. It seems like we are on the same ‘page’. Like you we don’t want to eat into savings but I guess some loss is inevitable in order to re-establish ourselves. We have been looking at properties further north in the U.K. as it seems you can get more for your money. Our children have all grown up so that is not a consideration I.e schools but our 2 cats need to be with us. They both have pet passports. We are concerned that if the U.K. exits end of January new rules for transportation of animals will apply.
We have a French bank account but need to look into opening a U.K. one. Again it seems you need an address. And a reference check which is difficult when we haven’t lived there for many years.
But thank you everyone for your help and advice. It has shown me that we are not alone in all of this.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 2:03 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

So is the plan to stay until the house is sold and then move? Is it easy enough to leave the sale in the hands of someone and deal with with it while in the UK?

Just wondering because maybe the most practical (but not easy) way would be for one of you - the one most likely to get work - to move over first. That could reduce rental costs in that, say, a bedsit was all that was needed rather than slumming it. There's the advantage of an address for the opening of bank accounts and something to give prospective employers, registering at a doctor etc

The cats could stay with the other one while the house is being sold. Jobsearch, accommodation search, getting a better idea of job market, housing options/cost might be easier that way.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

​​​​​​Yes that’s right. Put the house up for sale and relocate to UK.we have friends who we can leave the keys with and hopefully sell privately. If that doesn’t work we can use an agent. We’re fortunate that the overheads here are low. But will be using the proceeds of the sale to buy somewhere else in the UK ( as a deposit!)

We’re a bit concerned about the changes in the rules after Jan for transporting pets (i.e 19 year old) cat! The other cat we rescued off the road as a 4 week old kitten. (Now 3 years old).

We did try your suggestion of one going over first. (Me) but it was exhausting and I was in Airbnb’s that seemed to eat up all my earnings in a job that turned out to be the equivalent of a zero hours contract. Long story short I flew back!

So this is expedition to U.K. part II ! The advantage we have this time is family financial help to make the transition and so we are trying to be as wise as possible. But I realize we have to ‘lose’ some of that money to get established again.

But it looks like we would be advised to return to the UK with cheaper rented accommodation then look for any work ti not est into our savings then take it from there. Tomorrow I will register our needs and maybe ring some independent ones.
We looked at renting an Airbnb but that would be prohibitive over 4 weeks for example.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Well, I came back to the UK from France last year, not because of Brexit but because of retirement/pension/NIC issues (I'm a WASPI woman). My solution was to find a job that provided accommodation.I can't in all honesty complain about the job, the location or anything else. But I miss France. I'm currently spending every spare minute checking out job sites and applying for jobs back in France. If I get lucky I'll be back like a shot, if I don't I still might. Thankfully I had decided in any case to keep my house in France.
I guess the moral is, be sure it's what you want before you burn your bridges.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 9:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by Louise_Col View Post
Thank you for all your replies. Regarding citizenship and carte séjour thank you for the suggestion but we don’t want to go down that route. (Sorry I should have said that in my post ). I think we both just miss our life in the U.K. too much to stay here. Other reasons for returning are to re-connect with our family, and find regular employment. I also have an elderly mother who needs more support.

Thank you Britbitz for your suggestions. It seems like we are on the same ‘page’. Like you we don’t want to eat into savings but I guess some loss is inevitable in order to re-establish ourselves. We have been looking at properties further north in the U.K. as it seems you can get more for your money. Our children have all grown up so that is not a consideration I.e schools but our 2 cats need to be with us. They both have pet passports. We are concerned that if the U.K. exits end of January new rules for transportation of animals will apply.
We have a French bank account but need to look into opening a U.K. one. Again it seems you need an address. And a reference check which is difficult when we haven’t lived there for many years.
But thank you everyone for your help and advice. It has shown me that we are not alone in all of this.
Do not worry about the cats. They rules will not change, I have checked this. As long as their vaccinations are current, or if there was a gap, that you do not travel before 21 days of a new rabies vaccine, they will be fine. Cats do not need to be wormed as dogs to before travel. Were the pet passports obtained in France for both cats? Look up Heatherow animal reception centre ( cityoflondon.gov.uk) the site is down at the moment for maintenance but gives all the info you require, which will apply through whichever border inspection post you arrive at. ( by sea/car etc) You may also find cat fosterers in your area to temporarily look after your cats if you can't move into to somewhere straight away. Try catchat.org to advertise, you could offer a modest daily fee.

On the property front, if you need to be near relatives, its easier to focus your search on a speciic area near them . Would any of them be able to view the properties you short list? Some properites are unfurnished so check that out. what is your budget? The north is not necessarily going to be cheaper as you will have to travel further and pay more to see relatvies/ mother in SE.

Is HSBC in France? they are good for opening accounts in other countries before you move. In any case take printed copies of Franch statements showing address in France to UK , the address thing is also about tracking for anti money laundering purposes. you could perhaps then use a relative's adress to start with if you have not got the permanent accommodation yet.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

I have just discovered a company called BritBound, (they have a website and FB page/good reviews) they are able to help with the whole address/NI/Bank Account thing. They help both citizens and visa folk with coming to the UK and getting set up, they have a variety of packages, for us as we don't need working visas, their basic package would allow us to get an 'address' which then can be used to apply for a Bank account, a mail service in which they can forward to an address when you have one or can hold it for pick up (they are in London mind you So I would be using the forwarding) Once you have a bank account you can then get NI done. They also have addons for helping get a job/accommodation/Visas/Social groups, but I think those are more for London based dodads, I might be wrong.

I'm currently in communication with them for more clarification so will let you know the details properly as soon as I hear back.

But it's looking like it sounds like a solution anyway as we could sign up with them, get an address, use that address to get our current bank accounts changed to and then a statement sent out for proof of address for UK banks etc.
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 9:00 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by Britishbitz View Post
I have just discovered a company called BritBound, (they have a website and FB page/good reviews) they are able to help with the whole address/NI/Bank Account thing. They help both citizens and visa folk with coming to the UK and getting set up, they have a variety of packages, for us as we don't need working visas, their basic package would allow us to get an 'address' which then can be used to apply for a Bank account, a mail service in which they can forward to an address when you have one or can hold it for pick up (they are in London mind you So I would be using the forwarding) Once you have a bank account you can then get NI done. They also have addons for helping get a job/accommodation/Visas/Social groups, but I think those are more for London based dodads, I might be wrong.

I'm currently in communication with them for more clarification so will let you know the details properly as soon as I hear back.

But it's looking like it sounds like a solution anyway as we could sign up with them, get an address, use that address to get our current bank accounts changed to and then a statement sent out for proof of address for UK banks etc.
I just looked at this website. (BritBound) A lot of good information for those starting out in London. I would say aimed at backpackers but having said that there is a lot of good advice especially on safety when moving into rented accommodation and arranging other formalities. A good site. Thank you for suggesting it. I was interested in the bank account help section.
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Well, I came back to the UK from France last year, not because of Brexit but because of retirement/pension/NIC issues (I'm a WASPI woman). My solution was to find a job that provided accommodation.I can't in all honesty complain about the job, the location or anything else. But I miss France. I'm currently spending every spare minute checking out job sites and applying for jobs back in France. If I get lucky I'll be back like a shot, if I don't I still might. Thankfully I had decided in any case to keep my house in France.
I guess the moral is, be sure it's what you want before you burn your bridges.
Thank you for your reply. Yes it is important to know where you are happier and even though you tried a new start in the U.K. and it revealed it wasn’t what you wanted then that was a good process to go through. At least in the future you can rule homesickness out of the equation.

We hoped to build a life here. We bought in 2011 looking to stay here after retirement but we have had many setbacks and a recent visit back to the U.K. only highlighted how much we miss our life there. But I guess we are looking to the future and don’t want to be at the mercy of whatever government policy comes next ... re our pensions for example. And who would have predicted Brexit and all the political contrivances that has brought up?

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Old Jan 6th 2020, 9:30 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by Louise_Col View Post


I just looked at this website. (BritBound) A lot of good information for those starting out in London. I would say aimed at backpackers but having said that there is a lot of good advice especially on safety when moving into rented accommodation and arranging other formalities. A good site. Thank you for suggesting it. I was interested in the bank account help section.

For the most part yes, but the basic package also caters to people like us
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

1stcontact com has been doing this type of package for many years. I know a number of south africans/ australians who used it. It is aimed at young working holiday visa people. However if you are British you will already have a National Insurance number. The bank account is not insurmountable.

IMO you would be better off getting a relocation agent to help you find a rental property, negotiate the terms and help in that way as it iseems that accommodation is the main issue you have. I used to work in relocation so this is something I know about.

You need a ;destination service provider'. depending on the area you could find an individual relo ( not a company) who woudl do a two day package. They would short list a selection of properties and drive you round them, if you want to come over to view, you then choose and they help with the contract negotations etc. Including whether the landlord will accept monthly payments if you cant be credit checked. The best timing is to look 4-6 weeks ahead of when you want the property as that is when they are marketed if current tenant is leaving. generally you will put a weeks deposit down whilst papework is checked inclusing your passports for right to rent under immigration law. As you are British you have no problem there.

arp-reloction.com The association of relocation professionals

Have you been paying your NI contributions before you left? You can check the pension amount: Theremay be option of topping up some years.
https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving back to UK. How to manage it.

Originally Posted by angie_329 View Post
1stcontact com has been doing this type of package for many years. I know a number of south africans/ australians who used it. It is aimed at young working holiday visa people. However if you are British you will already have a National Insurance number. The bank account is not insurmountable.

IMO you would be better off getting a relocation agent to help you find a rental property, negotiate the terms and help in that way as it iseems that accommodation is the main issue you have. I used to work in relocation so this is something I know about.

You need a ;destination service provider'. depending on the area you could find an individual relo ( not a company) who woudl do a two day package. They would short list a selection of properties and drive you round them, if you want to come over to view, you then choose and they help with the contract negotations etc. Including whether the landlord will accept monthly payments if you cant be credit checked. The best timing is to look 4-6 weeks ahead of when you want the property as that is when they are marketed if current tenant is leaving. generally you will put a weeks deposit down whilst papework is checked inclusing your passports for right to rent under immigration law. As you are British you have no problem there.

arp-reloction.com The association of relocation professionals

Have you been paying your NI contributions before you left? You can check the pension amount: Theremay be option of topping up some years.
https://www.gov.uk/check-national-insurance-record
Thank you for this information. It might be the solution as I have been calling around agents this morning but most now just redirect you to websites like Zoopla etc so after many hours searching beginning to lose the will to live! But I hadn’t considered a relocation expert. We do have family in U.K. who could check places on our behalf, so that is an option.
We’ll check our NI contributions too so thank you for that link.
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