Finance and Business Affairs

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Relocation Expenses Guide

The following three 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) 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.

2) 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.

3) Applications for relocation expenses will not be considered unless the appointee has moved, 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.

4) Application forms must be endorsed by the Head of Department prior to being forwarded to Finance & Business Affairs (FBA).  Cases of doubt about eligibility will be referred to the Dean of the Faculty or Vice-Provost.  Departmental Administrators and Heads of Department may access the Departmental Fact Sheet and the Supplier Service Tariffs.

5) The eligible applicant should only contact our relocation suppliers once the application form has been submitted to FBA.

6) Relocation expenses up to a maximum of 10% of starting salary (20% of salary if relocating from outside Europe) will be reimbursed in respect of the Allowable Expenses (see section 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.

7) Applications for relocation expenses must be submitted to FBA, within six months of the date of commencement of the appointment or such later date as may (in the individual circumstances) be acceptable to UCL.  To be reimbursed, claims must be provided before the end of the tax year immediately following that in which the employee’s circumstances changed (i.e. employment start date).

8) All equipment costs deemed by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) to be an essential part of your role, for example, laboratory 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.

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 for the staff member and family (partner and children)
  • Temporary storage costs for 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)


  • 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
  • Personal effects
  • Domestic goods for new residence replacing items at the old home which are not suitable for use in the new home
  • 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

B) Relocation Supplement

A relocation supplement of £9,000 will be paid (pro-rata for part-time appointments), please check the Relocation Scheme policy for eligibility and how to apply.

C) House Loans

1) House loans are available towards the purchase of a property to be used as the individual’s main residence. To be eligible, staff must have an open ended contract of employment or a fixed term contract of three years or more in duration. House loans will not be available to staff whose salaries are financed by external grants.

2) The maximum loan available is equivalent to one year’s salary and interest is charged at half a per cent above the Bank of England Base Rate. The period of loan repayment is restricted to twenty-five years or the number of years to the normal state pensionable age, whichever is the lower. Both capital and interest repayments are deducted from salary on a monthly basis. Should the employee leave the service of UCL, the balance of the loan outstanding becomes immediately repayable.

3) UCL can only act as a second lender which means the member of staff must have a mortgage on the property provided by a UK bank or building society.  For UCL loans over £25,000 UCL will need to place a second charge on the property which will require the consent of the first mortgage lender

4) Enquiries and applications for house loans should be addressed to the Director, Financial Planning & Strategy.

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:

Sara Sendagala (, 020 7679 1822, x41965
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 of the Director, Financial Planning & Strategy 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.

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Page last modified on 12 feb 15 16:31