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    • Beansontoastwithcheese
    • By Beansontoastwithcheese 11th Oct 16, 8:51 PM
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    Beansontoastwithcheese
    Landlord wants us to start paying him directly
    • #1
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:51 PM
    Landlord wants us to start paying him directly 11th Oct 16 at 8:51 PM
    Hello all,

    We have been privately renting a house for the last approx 7 years through a letting agency. The landlord lives abroad. The landlord has been quite good on the whole, in terms of getting repairs arranged and so on. Recently, he contacted us directly to ask if we would like to rent from him directly and cut out the letting agency. He said he would be able to reduce the rent cost, and that he would have his mail delivered to this property and we would have to forward it to him.
    The reduced rent sounds good but I don't understand why he'd want his mail directed here, and also whether it's going to be a good idea in the first place to cut out the letting agency. Any thoughts on this. please?

    Thank you.

    Edit to add: His exact wording was he wants to RE-REGISTER himself here.
    Last edited by Beansontoastwithcheese; 12-10-2016 at 12:40 PM. Reason: To clarify what the landlord said
Page 1
    • Alter ego
    • By Alter ego 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
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    Alter ego
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Oct 16, 8:58 PM
    I seem to recall that if you do you are then responsible for notifying HMRC that you are paying an overseas resident.

    Could be wrong though.
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 11th Oct 16, 9:00 PM
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    Pixie5740
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:00 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:00 PM
    Your contract is with the landlord not the letting agent. If the landlord wants to ditch the letting agent that's up to him.

    Get your landlord to confirm all this in WRITING. He will also need to provide you with an address in England or Wales for the serving of notices.

    As you is resident overseas you'll need to find out if he wants you to deduct the tax from the rent or if he will apply to pay the tax himself through Self Assessment.

    https://www.gov.uk/tax-uk-income-live-abroad/rent
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 11th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
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    theartfullodger
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
    You don't ask him what he wants, you as him for a document from HMRC proving he's OK, otherwise you MUST withhold 20% of rent for tax man.

    Redirected mail? Return it all to sender "not known at this address". He's trying to do some fiddle, have nothing to do with it.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 11th Oct 16, 9:22 PM
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:22 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:22 PM
    Pixie and artful have covered the main points, though I disagree slightly with artful over the post - this may or may not be some fiddle. So long as there is no major inconvenience to you (eg forwarding his post overseas!) why not cooperate? But then, I'm a tea & cake kind of guy!

    However as said:

    1) Tax - see NRLS here, and here

    2) by law the LL must give you an address in Eng/Wales where you can serve notices on him (ie write officially). Once he gives you that address, it is assumed legally that he receives any letter you send there, even if he does not. If he does NOT give you an address in Eng /Wales, you do not have to pay rent. See
    Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 section 48

    3) Providing he does these 2 things, the decision not to use a letting agent is entirely up to him, but can benefit you both.
    Last edited by G_M; 11-10-2016 at 9:26 PM.
    • Miss Samantha
    • By Miss Samantha 11th Oct 16, 9:37 PM
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    Miss Samantha
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:37 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Oct 16, 9:37 PM
    OP has most likely already been provided with an address in England or Wales for the service of notices, probably the letting agent's.

    Redirected mail? Return it all to sender "not known at this address". He's trying to do some fiddle, have nothing to do with it.
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    Do check your tenancy agreement first. It might contain a clause regarding mail addressed to landlord.
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 11th Oct 16, 11:42 PM
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    LeeUK
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 16, 11:42 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Oct 16, 11:42 PM
    I wouldn't be wanting his mail coming to my address. He might be up to no good and you could wake up one morning with bailiffs or police at your door looking for him.

    Sounds like your address is going to be his "UK address for serving notices".

    I like an easy life.
    Lee's No More Takeaways Club No.1
    • mozza78
    • By mozza78 12th Oct 16, 2:17 AM
    • 92 Posts
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    mozza78
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:17 AM
    • #8
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:17 AM
    You don't ask him what he wants, you as him for a document from HMRC proving he's OK, otherwise you MUST withhold 20% of rent for tax man.

    Redirected mail? Return it all to sender "not known at this address". He's trying to do some fiddle, have nothing to do with it.
    Originally posted by theartfullodger

    I think you're being a bit quick to judge here. As an oversees landlord myself it can be very useful to have a UK postal address at times. I use my sisters but if she wasn't around then I could quite conceivably ask my tenants if they wouldn't mind collecting the odd bit of mail for me.

    Also if the landlord has been decent for 7 years and the letting agent is really adding little value then I'm not surprised he may want to cut them out to increase his profit margins. Just make sure he is still able to performs all his duties (relevant safety cheques, HMO compliant, fully registered, secured deposit etc)

    As for the tax surely it is the landlords responsibility. I have used letting agencys where they have simply deducted the tax at source paying me net and others where they have paid me gross and I have had to declare it. At no point has the tenant ever had any responsibility. I fail to see why this changes when the letting agent is removed.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 12th Oct 16, 2:24 AM
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    G_M
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:24 AM
    • #9
    • 12th Oct 16, 2:24 AM
    As for the tax surely it is the landlords responsibility. I have used letting agencys where they have simply deducted the tax at source paying me net and others where they have paid me gross and I have had to declare it. At no point has the tenant ever had any responsibility. I fail to see why this changes when the letting agent is removed.
    Originally posted by mozza78
    Read the HMRC links provided.

    Where rent is paid to a UK based letting agent, on behalf of an overseas landlord, that agent has tax obligations.

    Where rent is paid by a tenant direct to an overseas landlord (or collected on his behalf by his UK based friend/family), the tenant has tax obligations.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I quote HMRC:

    Tenants

    If your landlord lives abroad and you pay over £100 a week, you need to register with HMRC and deduct tax from your rent.
    You also need to register with HMRC if you pay a UK representative of your landlord, such as a friend or family member, who isn’t a letting agent.
    You don’t need to deduct the tax if HMRC has told you in writing that the landlord can receive the rent with no tax deducted, but you must still register with HMRC and complete an annual report.
    As a further warning, should the tenant not do this, and should the landlord not pay his UK tax, HMRC can demand payment of the landlord's tax from the tenant retrospectively.
    Last edited by G_M; 12-10-2016 at 2:30 AM.
    • mozza78
    • By mozza78 12th Oct 16, 6:10 AM
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    mozza78
    wow Ok I stand corrected. Guess I need to inform my tenants then although thankfully all my tax has been declared and paid.

    As an aside how does the tenant know how much tax to withhold if they don't know the landlords tax bracket? I find it strange that in my dealings with HMRC they have never mentioned this given the information is all pretty black and white on my tax return (Im not doubting you having read your link just find it strange they haven't mentioned it). Time to give my accountant a call later today! Is it a fairly well known rule? I have a lot of expat friends renting out their places back in the UK and this has never come up in conversation.
    Last edited by mozza78; 12-10-2016 at 6:24 AM.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 12th Oct 16, 6:38 AM
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    anselld
    wow Ok I stand corrected. Guess I need to inform my tenants then although thankfully all my tax has been declared and paid.

    As an aside how does the tenant know how much tax to withhold if they don't know the landlords tax bracket? I find it strange that in my dealings with HMRC they have never mentioned this given the information is all pretty black and white on my tax return (Im not doubting you having read your link just find it strange they haven't mentioned it). Time to give my accountant a call later today! Is it a fairly well known rule? I have a lot of expat friends renting out their places back in the UK and this has never come up in conversation.
    Originally posted by mozza78
    It is well know to HMRC and usually handled by letting agents if they are any good.

    You can still apply to HMRC to pay your tax directly and they will send confirmation of this which you can provide to your agent or tenant.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/non-resident-landlord-application-to-receive-uk-rental-income-without-deduction-of-uk-tax-individuals-nrl1i
    • mozza78
    • By mozza78 12th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
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    mozza78
    sorry yes anselld the situation with Letting agents is fairly well known I think and easily handled but I don't think where a family member or friend is acting as agent on behalf of a non resident landlord it is well known that the tenants themselves have obligations. Certainly not amongst my expat crowd. Have just had a chat with a few others in same situation as me and they were also unaware and presumed this was all handled by their own individual tax return where gross figures are input, tax calculated etc.
    I cant say it affects me really either way but I find it really rather odd that the tenant should have this obligation. Its akin to asking a client to withhold the VAT when he pays his plumber.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 12th Oct 16, 7:29 AM
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    anselld
    sorry yes anselld the situation with Letting agents is fairly well known I think and easily handled but I don't think where a family member or friend is acting as agent on behalf of a non resident landlord it is well known that the tenants themselves have obligations. Certainly not amongst my expat crowd. Have just had a chat with a few others in same situation as me and they were also unaware and presumed this was all handled by their own individual tax return where gross figures are input, tax calculated etc.
    I cant say it affects me really either way but I find it really rather odd that the tenant should have this obligation. Its akin to asking a client to withhold the VAT when he pays his plumber.
    Originally posted by mozza78
    Actually if the family or friend "act as agent" ie collecting rent, then it is them who are responsible for withholding tax. Only where the tenant pays directly and there is no nrl1i in place should the tenant withhold tax.

    The same situation does exist in practice for paying contractors. It is called the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

    I agree that knowledge of the NRL is poor amongst both Landlords and Tenants, but you never know when HMRC might come checking up. Suggest some of your friends put their house in order!
    Last edited by anselld; 12-10-2016 at 7:32 AM.
    • lush walrus
    • By lush walrus 12th Oct 16, 7:39 AM
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    lush walrus
    Hello all,

    We have been privately renting a house for the last approx 7 years through a letting agency. The landlord lives abroad. The landlord has been quite good on the whole, in terms of getting repairs arranged and so on. Recently, he contacted us directly to ask if we would like to rent from him directly and cut out the letting agency. He said he would be able to reduce the rent cost, and that he would have his mail delivered to this property and we would have to forward it to him.
    The reduced rent sounds good but I don't understand why he'd want his mail directed here, and also whether it's going to be a good idea in the first place to cut out the letting agency. Any thoughts on this. please?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by Beansontoastwithcheese
    If the mail is being directed to you to then forward onto an address abroad my guess is it's so your landlord can prove he lives in the UK and will be linked to NHS or some benefit linked to the UK that they want access to but are not entitled to. My friends father in law tried something similar and equally fraudulent. Stay clear of it would be my advice.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 12th Oct 16, 8:37 AM
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    theartfullodger
    Just check this really is the landlord: It could be some crook.

    How did he ask? Email? Had you met him in person way before this request for direct payment came?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th Oct 16, 9:04 AM
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    davidmcn
    you could wake up one morning with bailiffs or police at your door looking for him.
    Originally posted by LeeUK
    If he's already been living abroad for at least 7 years that seems pretty unlikely! But he should easily find some other mailing address, I suspect he's just wanting to use the OP as a cheap option.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 12th Oct 16, 9:36 AM
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    TBagpuss
    As others have said, wanting to cut out the agent is not necesarily suspicious, but you do need to double check that you are in fact dealing with the landlord himself, not someone posing as him and to ensure that you are clear on the tax position and that you have a proper address for service and contact details for him.

    I personally would not be forwarding his post as a regular thing - I'd have no issue with sending on the ocassional item which slipped through but I would be suspicious.

    Years ago I had a landlord who was furious when I sent some items back to sender - I m fairly sure that he was renting the property to us without having notified his mortgage lender or HMRC.

    other than for a very short period if he has just moved, while he gets redirection and updated addresses sent up, I can't think of a valid reason for him to want this.
    • Miss Samantha
    • By Miss Samantha 12th Oct 16, 9:42 AM
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    Miss Samantha
    Years ago I had a landlord who was furious when I sent some items back to sender.
    Originally posted by TBagpuss
    The issue is that if you do that in breach of your tenancy agreement you are liable for any loss it causes your landlord.

    Depending on the piece of mail it can run into hundreds of Pounds.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 12th Oct 16, 10:27 AM
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    Out, Vile Jelly
    The issue is that if you do that in breach of your tenancy agreement you are liable for any loss it causes your landlord.

    Depending on the piece of mail it can run into hundreds of Pounds.
    Originally posted by Miss Samantha
    I would love to see the outcome of that court case.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • LeeUK
    • By LeeUK 12th Oct 16, 10:36 AM
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    LeeUK
    If he's already been living abroad for at least 7 years that seems pretty unlikely! But he should easily find some other mailing address, I suspect he's just wanting to use the OP as a cheap option.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Someone who has been living abroad for 7 years shouldn't really be receiving post in the UK and as such it should be sent directly to his address abroad that he has been residing for 7 years at.

    He is obviously pulling something off to make out he is in the UK when he is not.
    Lee's No More Takeaways Club No.1
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