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    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 12:40 PM
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    tim124
    My landlord might be non-resident
    • #1
    • 17th Sep 19, 12:40 PM
    My landlord might be non-resident 17th Sep 19 at 12:40 PM
    We moved into a flat just over a month ago where the the landlord "manages" the property but has been a pain and barely contactable.

    When we collected the keys I spoke to him briefly on the phone and I questioned his residency as I really didn't want a landlord who was not contactable. He asked "why I thought it would be a problem" but never confirmed or denied it. He's given me an address in France to forward post to although I'm waiting for confirmation that he's ok with me deducting the cost of this from the rent!

    I've read about the Non-resident Landlords Scheme and I'm worried that if I don't deduct tax from his rent payments, I might be liable for the money in the future.

    The relationship has been strained already by his lack of putting our deposit in a scheme within 30 days. He seems crazily disorganised but has promised yet again to do this today. His lack of following all the landlord legal norms and nearly all communications being email put us in a very good position legally. I'm not too worried yet as he's owned the house for 25+ years so there's plenty of equity to go around if things go tits up! I don't want to worsen the relationship so we get evicted immediately when our fixed tenancy is up.

    So, how are we meant to know if our landlord is non-resident and can I be held liable for not reporting him while we are living here?
Page 1
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 17th Sep 19, 1:01 PM
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    sal_III
    • #2
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:01 PM
    • #2
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:01 PM
    So, how are we meant to know if our landlord is non-resident and can I be held liable for not reporting him while we are living here?
    Originally posted by tim124
    What is the LL correspondence address in the AST? This should be a pointer.

    I would also ask the LL point blank in an e-mail whether he resides more than 6m per year abroad.

    No way in hell I would agree to pay for mail forwarding to France. I would only agree to do it in the first place if the LL is extra nice/helpful, otherwise just point him to the Royal Mail redirection service which works abroad too
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 1:09 PM
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    tim124
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:09 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:09 PM
    What is the LL correspondence address in the AST? This should be a pointer.
    Originally posted by sal_III
    The correspondence address is a UK address but as far as I understood that is a legal requirement for AST as you need to be able to serve legal documents there. It could easily be a friends address so that doesn't help.

    I would also ask the LL point blank in an e-mail whether he resides more than 6m per year abroad.
    Originally posted by sal_III
    I can do that and I will but does that stop me from getting fined for not deducting his tax?

    No way in hell I would agree to pay for mail forwarding to France.
    Originally posted by sal_III
    I wouldn't normally either but I'm often at the post office, lots of the letters look very angry and urgent and if he covers the cost I don't see any point in being purposefully difficult... just yet.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Sep 19, 1:13 PM
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    eddddy
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:13 PM
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:13 PM
    So, how are we meant to know if our landlord is non-resident and can I be held liable for not reporting him while we are living here?
    Originally posted by tim124
    As long as he spends at least 6 months a year in the UK (so that could mean up to 6 months a year in France), he'll be classed as a UK resident.
    • If you're really concerned, write or email your LL and ask him to confirm he's resident in the UK - and keep a copy of the correspondence. (Realistically, HMRC won't expect you to 'play detective', interrogate him, etc)

    But if he's 'innocent', and you trigger an HMRC investigation, and he guesses it was you - he may not be too happy with you.

    (I guess he wouldn't be too happy with you if he was 'guilty' either - but that's another matter.)

    And I guess you've read this: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/paying-tax-on-rent-to-landlords-abroad
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 17th Sep 19, 1:15 PM
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    davidmcn
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:15 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:15 PM
    I don't think you get "fined" for not deducting his tax, you just get billed for the tax. I would deduct it anyway and point out to him he needs to sort it out if he's unhappy.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 17th Sep 19, 1:17 PM
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    theartfullodger
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:17 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:17 PM
    Grass him up to HMRC...
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-tax-evasion


    Bet he's fiddling his benefits also..


    Wonder what else he's not got quite right: Correct mortgage (check Land reg deeds, only 3..), correct insurance (it will matter if the place burns down..) Gas safety cert, safe electrics etc etc etc

    https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Sep 19, 1:24 PM
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    eddddy
    • #7
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:24 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:24 PM
    Grass him up to HMRC...
    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/reporting-tax-evasion


    Bet he's fiddling his benefits also..


    Wonder what else he's not got quite right: Correct mortgage (check Land reg deeds, only 3..), correct insurance (it will matter if the place burns down..) Gas safety cert, safe electrics etc etc etc

    https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud
    Originally posted by theartfullodger

    And he probably beats his wife as well.
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 1:26 PM
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    tim124
    • #8
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:26 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:26 PM
    He has a French mobile number so it's I don't think it's a long casual holiday.

    I don't think you get "fined" for not deducting his tax, you just get billed for the tax. I would deduct it anyway and point out to him he needs to sort it out if he's unhappy.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    There's a 300 fine for late filing every quarter plus the tax also?

    All great suggestions that I'll certainly do when I move out, but as I said, I'd prefer not to be evicted at the end of the tenancy.

    I will email him to start and ask him to confirm.

    It's just seems crazy that it's the tenants liability to sort out collecting tax for a landlord!
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 1:27 PM
    • 10 Posts
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    tim124
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:27 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Sep 19, 1:27 PM
    Correct mortgage (check Land reg deeds, only 3..)
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    I already have the deeds. How do I know if he has the correct mortgage?
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 17th Sep 19, 1:29 PM
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    theartfullodger
    I already have the deeds. How do I know if he has the correct mortgage?
    Originally posted by tim124

    Tricky: Deeds should tell you who mortgage (and 2nd mortgages & charges etc) are with. Lender won't respond to you directly but if you write to the chief exec explaining your concerns etc they might check then if there is something wrong (eg a normal residential mortgage not buy2let..) they might repossess .. ahh.. oh b*m...
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 1:32 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tim124
    Tricky: Deeds should tell you who mortgage (and 2nd mortgages & charges etc) are with. Lender won't respond to you directly but if you write to the chief exec explaining your concerns etc they might check then if there is something wrong (eg a normal residential mortgage not buy2let..) they might repossess .. ahh.. oh b*m...
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    Yeah, not going to do that. That kind of effort is reserved for if he properly messes us around.
    Last edited by tim124; 17-09-2019 at 1:37 PM.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Sep 19, 1:40 PM
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    eddddy
    He has a French mobile number so it's I don't think it's a long casual holiday.
    Originally posted by tim124
    FWIW, I know of 2 separate 'semi-retired' LLs who make sure they spend a minimum of 6 months in the UK - in order to maintain UK residency.

    They spend the rest of the year in their foreign second homes. They have foreign mobiles, foreign landlines, foreign addresses, foreign bank accounts, and one of them drives their foreign registered car when abroad.

    But they are still UK residents. So be a little careful about jumping to conclusions.
    Last edited by eddddy; 17-09-2019 at 1:45 PM.
    • theartfullodger
    • By theartfullodger 17th Sep 19, 1:47 PM
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    theartfullodger
    Bloody UK citizens: Going over there, spending our UK money...
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 1:50 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    tim124
    But they are still UK residents. So be a little careful about jumping to conclusions.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    Yep, I barely managed to keep my residency coming backwards and forwards over a number of years but I was paying more tax by being a UK resident so it was not even in their interest to check!

    I have no intention of causing issues for him at this point, I just don't want to be held liable for what amounts to over 4k a year in tax, simply because I rented a property. Once the year goes on we'll have a better idea of how useless he's been and how much or little he's been in the UK and can take it from there. I can always withhold the last few months rent to cover it. If it turns out we have to pay the money I'll take him to court over that plus the not securing the deposit within 30 days, plus costs!
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 17th Sep 19, 1:59 PM
    • 8,618 Posts
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    00ec25
    He has a French mobile number so it's I don't think it's a long casual holiday.



    There's a 300 fine for late filing every quarter plus the tax also?

    All great suggestions that I'll certainly do when I move out, but as I said, I'd prefer not to be evicted at the end of the tenancy.

    I will email him to start and ask him to confirm.

    It's just seems crazy that it's the tenants liability to sort out collecting tax for a landlord!
    Originally posted by tim124
    what is the outcome you are seeking to achieve now, not later?

    fight your battles with a clear idea of what comprises victory for you... so far you seem to have read the NRL but actually taken in what it tells you and have done nothing about it

    1. your LL has given a UK address for the serving of notices. It does not appear to be a letting agent operating as a formal business, so that "contact person" does not remove your responsibility to follow the NRL process. Nonetheless, you must use it to write to the LL when you want to serve a notice.

    2. The NRL does not require you to establish the tax status of the LL - that is none of your business.

    3. The NRL does require you to:
    Either a) obtain confirmation (in writing - ie on paper, not email) from HMRC that rent can be paid gross and send HMRC an annual statement of what you paid
    Or b) deduct and pay over the tax yourself.

    You do not have any alternatives for that battle. One involves finding out the definitive answer, the other involves annoying the LL if he is entitled to gross rent. Which one is victory for you?

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/paying-tax-on-rent-to-landlords-abroad
    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.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 17-09-2019 at 2:03 PM.
    • tim124
    • By tim124 17th Sep 19, 2:10 PM
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    tim124
    I've read the entire thing and it clear, but some of the facts are not clear

    If your landlord lives abroad...
    I don't know if my landlord lives abroad and it doesn't say "if you suspect or have reason to think your landlord might live abroad".
    • sal_III
    • By sal_III 17th Sep 19, 2:18 PM
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    sal_III
    No need to play detective, checking deeds and mortgage type and what not, unless your relationship has soured (which doesn't look to be the case) and you are looking for "ammo".

    I would imagine a simple e-mail confirmation from your LL that he spends 6m+ in the UK and is still considered UK resident for tax purposes should suffice to get HMRC off your back in the unlikely scenario they ask you to back pay tax. Call HMRC and ask them what they accept as proof to let you off the hook, to be on the safe side.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Sep 19, 2:18 PM
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    eddddy
    I've read the entire thing and it clear, but some of the facts are not clear



    I don't know if my landlord lives abroad and it doesn't say "if you suspect or have reason to think your landlord might live abroad".
    Originally posted by tim124
    As already explained, you ask your LL if they are non-resident.

    And if you have serious doubts, phone HMRC.
    • sammyjammy
    • By sammyjammy 17th Sep 19, 2:18 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
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    sammyjammy
    A red flag for me would be that his post so coming to your house and the letters seem angry and urgent!
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 17th Sep 19, 2:30 PM
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    00ec25
    I've read the entire thing and it clear, but some of the facts are not clear

    I don't know if my landlord lives abroad and it doesn't say "if you suspect or have reason to think your landlord might live abroad".
    Originally posted by tim124
    then what the blue blazes are you trying to achieve?

    write to HMRC and get a definitive outcome
    - they write back and instruct you to pay gross
    - they write back and ask for more details
    - they write back and tell you to deduct tax

    you seem determined to escalate what is a very easily solved matter

    read chapter 11
    11.11,
    11.12, &
    11.19
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/502842/nrl_guide_notes.pdf
    Last edited by 00ec25; 17-09-2019 at 2:35 PM.
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