Relocation Expenses Guide

The following elements of the Relocation Scheme apply to newly appointed academic staff (Lecturer through to Professor) and senior administrative staff (Grades 9 and 10) who relocate their home to take up an appointment with UCL, in order to significantly reduce their traveling time to work.

A) Relocation Expenses
  1. The Relocation Scheme is open to newly appointed academic staff (Lecturer through to Professor) and senior administrative staff (Grades 9 and 10) who relocate their home to take up an appointment with UCL, in order to significantly reduce their traveling time to work.
  2. To be eligible, staff must have an open ended contract of employment or a fixed term contract of three years or more in duration. Relocation expenses will not be available to staff whose salaries are financed by external time-limited grants such as research grants, Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF), EU grants etc.
  3. Should a member of staff in receipt of relocation expenses voluntarily leave UCL within 36 months of appointment, a proportion of the reimbursed expenses will be repayable.*
  4. Applications for relocation expenses will not be considered unless the appointee has moved or intends to move, within 6 months of their appointment, from the place/town where they were ordinarily resident in order to take up their appointment with UCL and the move makes a significant difference to their travel to work time.
  5. Application forms must be endorsed by the Head of Department prior to being forwarded to PS Finance. Cases of doubt about eligibility are to be referred to the Professional Services Finance Director. Departmental Administrators and Heads of Department may access the Departmental Fact Sheet and the Supplier Service Tariffs.
  6. The eligible applicant should only contact our relocation suppliers once the application form has been submitted and approved.
  7. Relocation expenses up to a maximum of 10% of basic starting salary (20% of salary if relocating from outside the UK) will be reimbursed in respect of the Allowable Expenses (see below) where they are supported by evidence of expenditure:

    • Legal expenses in connection with the buying and selling of property, including survey fees. Stamp duty and estate agents' commission are excluded.
    • The cost of transporting the personal effects of the member of staff, a cohabiting partner and dependent children. Details of UCL's preferred suppliers can be found at the Relocation Scheme page.
    • The cost of temporary storage of personal effects for a period of up to six months.
    • The cost of transit insurance and packing.
    • The cost of fares including a cohabiting partner and dependent children at normal second class public transport rates or in the case of airfares at economy rates or where applicable the UCL mileage rate. Only one way travel will be applicable.
  8. Applications for relocation expenses must be submitted to PS Finance, within six months of the date of commencement of the appointment with an 18-month limit on the claim period unless other arrangements have been agreed with the Professional Services Finance Director.
  9. All equipment costs deemed by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) to be an essential part of your role, for example, laboratory, office and/or other equipment, does not form part of the relocation expenses policy. Upon approval from your Head of Department this will be invoiced directly to the Department.
*Period of service (from date of appointment)Amount to be repaid
Leaving 12 months or less100%
Leaving 12-24 months50%
Leaving 24-36 months25%
Allowable Expenses
  • Legal expenses in connection with buying or selling property (excludes stamp duty and estate agents commission)
  • Transportation of personal effects of the individual and family members
  • Travel expenses (one way) for the staff member and family (partner and children)
  • Temporary storage costs for up to 6 months
  • Packaging, packing costs and transit insurance
  • Excess baggage claims
  • Van hire, fuel, and toll charges
  • Transporting Pets

Not allowable (but note the Relocation Supplement is intended as a contribution towards all relocation costs not specifically allowed above)

  • Food
  • Visa fees
  • Purchases of equipment
  • Any fees relating to children's schools/books & other expenses
  • Telephone charges and top ups
  • Vaccines / medicines
  • Health certificates / health examinations
  • Packing fines
  • Home furnishing
  • Cleaning
  • Personal effects
  • Domestic goods for new residence replacing items at the old home which are not suitable for use in the new home
  • Flight upgrades
  • Removal costs for work related items i.e. office / lab contents
  • Mail redirection
  • Disconnection and connection of electricity, gas, water and phone services
  • Travel and subsistence for a preliminary visit to the new location
  • Temporary accommodation
  • Lease deposits
  • Other general legal and / or taxation advice and professional fees
B) Relocation Supplement

A relocation supplement of £10,000 will be paid for those relocating from within the UK and £20,000 for those relocating from outside the UK (pro-rata for part-time appointments), please check the Relocation Scheme policy for eligibility and how to apply.

Frequently Asked Questions

What form do I need to complete?
Do I need to include any further documentation?

Yes, for audit purposes all expense claims must be supported by documentation providing proof of payment such as a valid receipt, paid invoice or booking confirmation details including the amount paid. Bank or card statements can be provided for payment of expenses where these types of document are unavailable. For eligible expenses related to the purchase of property a statement of completion can be submitted.

Who should I send my application to?

All application forms and documentation should be returned to: 

Professional Services Finance Team, UCL, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

What happens if my application cannot be made within the first six months of being employed at UCL?

The prior approval from the Professional Services Finance Director must be sought at the earliest opportunity if it is likely that you will want to make your initial application after the first six months.

Can I make more than one claim?

Yes, providing your application with the first claim is made within six months of your start date.

What is an IBAN / SWIFT number (required for Non-Sterling bank accounts) and how can I find mine?

These are internationally recognised code numbers that uniquely identify banks and their branches. You should contact your local branch to request the correct IBAN / SWIFT number for your particular branch.

How long will it take to receive reimbursement?

Eligible applications accompanied by valid supporting documentation should be reimbursed within 10 working days.

How will I know that reimbursement has been made?

We will write to you when your application has been processed and our bank has been instructed to make the payment for reimbursement. At this point it should be a further four working days for the money to be shown on your account. If this is not the case, we ask you to contact us so that we can make enquiries with the bank.