Help me become a Londoner!

Merijn Broeren merijnb at
Thu Nov 19 17:00:27 GMT 2009

Quoting Gianni Ceccarelli (dakkar at
> Hi all!
> I'll be starting a job (permanent position) in London at the beginning
> of January. I have until then to:
I moved from a european country to London in 2000, so I have some stale
info to offer. 

> - find an apartment (renting, I think)

Can't help with that, never rented in London.

> - open a bank account

This is the one that prompted me to respond. I had lots of trouble with
opening a bank account. One thing that is strange for a foreigner like
me and most likely to a .it citizen is that there is no citizens
register in the UK. So you don't tell the government where you live.
Which means the bank has nothing to go on to make sure you live where
you say you do. It takes a rental agreement or a mortgage statement for
them to set up a bank account for you. Or a paid utility bill, but they
don't all take that as a proof of address. They'll take a bank statement
:-) I didn't try switching my .nl bank account to my new London address,
that might have been worth trying. In the end I just put my partners BT
bill in my name, waited a month and opened a bank account on the
strenght of that. 

I've heard that Citibank in Docklands caters to expats with this
problem. But that is not a recommendation in any way, but if you do find
yourself having this problem, maybe you can use them as a jumping of
point. For instance if you need a bank account to get a rental
agreement, which you need to get a bank account, etc. 

> - move some of my stuff from Pisa
I can heartily recommend a company called Gefco for this. We used them
to move a friend to Nice. Costs to move to nice in a rented van or with a
moving company worked out to around 1000 pounds, Gefco did it for 150
quid. They just take a pallet of stuff, will drop them off before if you
ask. You need to pack it on there so it doesn't fall off. The only issue
we had was that is was left out in the sun apparently for a bit, as some
candles near the top had melted and run in the box they were in. 

Merijn Broeren | We take risks, we know we take them. Therefore, when things
               | come out against us, we have no cause for complaint.
               | - Scott, last journal entry, march 1912

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