Well just like when I arrived in London, leaving brought on a list of things to do and take care of. Some of it expected and some of it unexpected. Some of it easy and some of it a right pain in the butt.
Moving Out of the Flat
This part was the most stressful and expensive process! Due to the fact that we were renting our flat through an agency, there was some process and fees involved that made it a bit more complicated than just finding a room replacement and getting the deposit back. It wasn’t too scary, we were just required to pay a cleaning fee, a check out fee (oh London! You are and your made up fees) and then about a month after moving out, we received our deposit back.
It would probably be rare that you would come across this situation, as most people WHV who move and leave London, just rent their room and then find someone to replace them instead of ending a lease. However, if you do come across this situation just be prepared for the unexpected fees, use the agencies recommended and guaranteed cleaning company, and just be patient in the whole process. It will eventually all work out!
This one of course sounds very basic and common sense, but when you are so busy enjoying your last bit of your London life, the easy stuff can slip through the cracks. Then you might be stuck making overseas phone calls.
This also includes returning your Oyster Card, which can easily be done online (the actual card does not even have to be returned) just fill out the info on your TFL account and then you will receive your deposit and any balance back on the card.
Filling Out the P85 Form
If you are leaving midway through the UK tax year (April-April) then DO NOT forget to fill out the P85 form! Filling out this form and sending it off with your P45 (record of employment) will entitle you to be paid back any taxes you have paid within that year, assuming you have fallen under the tax free threshold for that tax year. Which chances are you have if you are leaving before the year is out. The form is quick and easy to fill out, and you can have the funds deposited into your UK bank account or a cheque sent to your home in Canada. The process took about 4 weeks from sending the form to receiving the funds in my account.
This can mean some extra travel funds for you, or a nice cushion for when you arrive back home. Either way, don’t forget 🙂
The link can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/income-tax-leaving-the-uk-getting-your-tax-right-p85
Packing Up/Storing Stuff
An important thing to take into consideration, especially if you are like me and planning to travel around before leaving the country! What do you do with most of your stuff? Well if you are lucky, you will have a friend that has the space to let you store your suitcases while you travel. If not, then a few other options to consider are renting a small storage locker (I recommend Big Yellow Storage) or shipping it back home first.
This would all depend on what it is you are bringing home with you and how much of it is there. I only (ha ha ) had two suitcases to bring home with me, and even though they were rather large and weighed a ton, it was still cheaper and easier for me to fly home with them and pay the extra luggage fees.
The hardest part about leaving London was the goodbyes! As you know, I detest goodbyes and even though I knew I would be going home to my loved ones, it was still really hard to say goodbye to the friendships and little family I had in London.
My coworkers threw me a lovely leaving do so that gave me a chance to say some goodbyes in a nice fun filled way. After that it was just a few goodbyes to my closest London life friends and my Canadian partner in crime. I hope to see all of you again! Know that each of your friendships meant a lot to me 🙂
And that is about it! Leaving London was a bit easier then arriving, but it was very bittersweet. It is still a bit strange to think of having left my life over there, and I am very much starting to miss it. Till next time London! ❤
– xoxo Veronica