Whether you wish to rent or buy in London, it is advisable to prospect well in advance of your arrival through real estate agencies that advertise online.
There are publications in French that advertise housing, jobs and employment classifieds. Ici Londres and Bonjour London are a real goldmine for French people who settle down! The daily newspaper Loot will also be useful. Also think about the Centre Charles Péguy, a French association that helps young French people arriving in London.
For temporary accommodation, think about “Bed & Breakfast”, those rooms that are rented in private homes.
You should also be aware that “flatsharing” is very widespread in Great Britain. So, if sharing an apartment or even a house with several people is a solution that suits you, don’t hesitate! You just have to know how to take advantage of the advantages and disadvantages of this way of life: lack of intimacy, peace and quiet, impromptu departure of one of the roommates against a larger living space, a divided rent, the same for the bills…
Note that such an option can be an alternative to the loneliness one can feel when moving to a country one doesn’t know well.
Once you’ve found your cozy nest, you can apply for housing assistance from the Local Council (the equivalent of the town hall) that you depend on. There are currently two such councils. The first is called the Housing Benefit, which is a housing benefit for a set period of time. The Council Tax Benefit is the full or partial payment of your Council Tax.
New rules for expats in the UK
On 8 July 2015, the UK government announced its desire to reform the non-domiciled tax regime, and a public consultation on the proposed changes was open from 30 September to 11 November 2015. The new measures will apply from the tax year beginning on 6 April 2017.
The main measure is to limit in time the benefit of this regime. Thus, non-domiciled persons who have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least 15 of the last 20 tax years will no longer be able to benefit from the remittance basis, as from 6 April 2017, for their foreign income and capital gains.
Such long-term residents will be deemed to have been resident in the UK for tax purposes from their 16th year of residence for income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.
Non-UK domiciled persons with a UK home address will also be affected by this new rule as will non-domiciled persons who were born in the UK with a UK home address and who have acquired a choice of domicile outside the UK. The latter will be regarded as domiciled in the United Kingdom for all tax purposes whenever they are resident in the United Kingdom.