Non-resident landlord scheme UK

The Non-resident landlord scheme in the UK

The Non-resident Landlord Scheme is something you’ll need to be aware of if you are dealing with non-resident landlord accounts in the UK.  There is great potential for letting agents to increase their portfolio with non-resident landlords, however a working knowledge of the legalities is needed. Below is a quick summary of some of the key points about this scheme.

What is the non-resident landlord scheme?

A simple definition:

According to Revenue and Customs in the UK, “The Non-resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of persons whose ‘usual place of abode’ is outside the UK” non-resident-landlord-scheme

A more detailed definition:

According to Revenue and Customs in the UK: “The Non-Resident Landlord’s (NRL) Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of non-resident landlords. The scheme requires UK letting agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. When working out the amount to tax, the letting agent can take off deductible expenses. Letting agents and/or tenants don’t have to deduct tax if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tells them not to. HMRC will tell an agent/tenant not to deduct tax if non-resident landlords have successfully applied for approval to receive rents with no tax deducted. But even though the rent may be paid with no tax deducted, it remains liable to UK tax. So non-resident landlords must include it in any tax return HMRC sends them.”

 Letting agent’s obligations regarding the non-resident landlord scheme

“Letting agents of a non-resident landlord must:

• deduct tax from the landlord’s UK rental income; and

• pay the tax to HMRC’s Accounts Office, Shipley.”

 Further details

Revenue and Customs provide a guide to the scheme. Guide notes can be found here. Key points from the guide are to:

  • Deduct tax at the basic rate (% for 2013) from the rent, after first taking off any deductible expenses.
  • Calculate the tax at the time you receive the rent, not when you pay it to the landlord.
  • Pay the tax to the Inland Revenue’s Accounts Office at Cumbernauld using a form NRLQ within 30 days of the end of the quarter it relates to. The quarters end on 30 June, 30 September, 31 December and 31 March.

Letting agents must include the following details on the return form:

• the total amount of tax due in respect of all their non-resident landlords for that quarter; or

• where there is no tax due in the quarter but the letting agent is due a repayment, the amount of the repayment claimed. Also “Letting agents who have to operate the NRL Scheme must register with HMRC PT International within 30 days of the date on which they are first required to operate the scheme.” non-resident-landlord-scheme-guide

Letting agents’ obligations

Letting agents who have to operate the Non-resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme must:

• register with PTI;

• account quarterly for any tax to HMRC Accounts Office, Shipley;

• complete an annual information return;

• where they are required to account for tax, provide their non-resident landlords with a certificate each year; and

• keep sufficient records to show that they have complied with the requirements of the Scheme.”

 Also of note

Applications by non-resident landlords for approval to receive rent with no tax deducted “Non-resident landlords who are eligible can apply at any time for approval to receive their UK rental income with no tax deducted. This includes applying before they have left the UK or before the letting has started.”


Conditions for applying to HMRC for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted Non-resident landlords can apply to receive their rent with no tax deducted on the basis that either:

  • their UK tax affairs are up to date
  • they have not had any UK tax obligations before they applied
  • they do not expect to be liable to UK Income Tax for the year in which they apply
  • they are not liable to pay UK tax because they are sovereign immunes (these are generally foreign Heads of State, Governments or Government departments)

Useful links regarding the non-resident landlord scheme:

For landlords – FAQ

Important information on tax returns – relevant for those dealing with the non-resident landlord scheme.

How to let a property in the summer

The summer season can be a frustrating time for letting agents, as they have a number of prime location properties that become available at the same time.

How to let a property in the summer

So what’s the problem?

In most cases, there are also a number of other prime location properties that come on the market with other agencies and landlords. As students finish up renting for the end of the academic year, their rental properties will normally come back on the rental market. With the exodus of students, the market sees a huge jump in the number of available units.

How to let a property in the summer

Having a property vacant for as little as 1 week will see a reduction of 2% in annual rent, bring that vacant period forward to a month and you are looking at a reduction in rent of 8%. One of a properties USPs is the rental amount and if you market the property at the rental value today and not at its peak you should see the property being let within a lot quicker time period. Another post of interest may be How to market a rental property.

Look at the numbers

Example1. Rent of €1000 per month. Vacant for 6 weeks

= loss of rent of €1385.

12 month lease =€12,000-€1,385 =€10,615

Example 2. Rent of €950 per month. Vacant for 1 week

= loss of rent at €220

12 month lease = Annual Rent €11,400 – €220= €11,180


Renting for a reduced rent equals a saving of €565


Reducing the rent by 5% of the peak renting value actually works out at increasing the landlords annual yield by 5% compared to having a void period of 6 weeks. In my opinion, this is how to let a property in the summer.

The main point here is that if you analyse the figures and discuss it, the landlord should not let the concern of a lower rent today impact the result of a higher annual rental yield. 

Going forward

You can try to let the property for a lease term which brings in the property for renewal in August & September in order to increase the yield for your landlord.

By Andreas Riha

Management of communication

Good communication between your Letting Agency, your Landlords and Tenants is a vital tool in keeping your customers happy and retaining them going forward. The office phone will usually start ringing from 9am until 5pm with numerous queries or information from tenants and landlords; where is this month’s rent? Can I have a breakdown of my accounts? There is a problem with my washing machine! The radiator in the main bedroom doesn’t work!

If you manage rental properties you will surely have heard some of these topics or issues arise from landlords and tenants. The problem today is there are too many ways of communicating issues or problems into your office and the information can get lost if you don’t set down some rules or guidelines. 

I list below some of the main communication channels used by landlords and tenants when contacting you or your office.

Management of Communication

via Telephone

The trusty telephone is still the number one way landlords and tenants will communicate with letting agents and property managers. If you use this as your main point of contact for your customers, expect to get a deluge of messages come Monday morning on rent and property management issues. Depending on the size of your rental management portfolio you may need to hire a receptionist to take care of the queries coming in.


via Email

This is a very popular and a preferred way for some agencies to communicate with customers, especially with landlords who may be in a different time zone. With access to Smartphones, it is easier than ever to communicate with tenants and landlords and you can sync your work email up to your Smartphone easily. The downside is, you may never be off work with emails popping up frequently, and the communications never stop.  The main danger here is that if you get an email in the night time, come the start of the next working day, you may have forgotten to act upon it.

via Text

Text message is another way of communication management used and sometimes preferred by your customers. It is usually used in non-urgent situations by tenants looking to rent a property or to alert property managers to issues within the property. Tenants along with potential tenants who have poor oral English will send a text as they tend to be better at writing than speaking over the phone.

via Office

You will still get some landlords and tenants who will call into your office to speak to you as they prefer a more personal approach to all of this (old/new) technology stuff.  The good reason for having a nice office is to be able to welcome your landlords and tenants in for a chat. If unavailable, the best approach here would be to log the issues in a diary or leave a message with the designated property manager who will deal with the query if you are not there.

via Social media

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could be used to communicate with your customers but should probably only be used to promote your brand or notify of an emergency or announcement. This is open for debate and some Letting Agencies may prefer to communicate with people via social media as they can be seen to be proactive at dealing with things.  

via distributed messages from different communication channels

Imagine a property manager using his diary to write down a call from a landlord, communicating with a tenant via text or emailing a landlord their invoices. If your agency uses all of the above to communicate with landlords on rent and property management issues it is vital you use a good tool for the management of communication. A good CRM or online diary with a task manager is a vital tool in your armoury because your information could get lost if it is not noted down or logged.

What form of management of communication do you use in your letting agency? We would love to hear and share with other letting agents and property managers what works best for them. Let us know!

by Colin Napper

How to collect rent

Collect rent

One of the fundamental tasks a letting agent or property manager will undertake when managing a rental portfolio is to effectively manage the rent collection. There is a whole ecosystem working here and if you have a good Rental Management Software system in place, it saves you a lot of time and effort. It also helps if you have managed to secure good quality referenced tenants for your properties, then you can reduce the possibility of the extra work load.

The reality for some letting agencies is that managing the rental payments from tenants is quite a stressful (Full time) job.  If all goes to plan and tenants pay on time via standing order or direct debit then the rent paying eco system flows perfectly. Tenant paying on time means the letting agency receives fees on time and the Landlord / Mortgage is paid on time. Usually what happens here is your landlord has a very good experience dealing with your letting agency and you retain the landlord as a customer.


When managing rental properties it is important letting agents and property manager’s setup efficient ways to collect the monthly or weekly rent.  Agents who use Property Management Software can reduce admin time. Below I have listed some of the most popular methods.

How to collect rent

Standing order:  The most cost effective way to manage rental payments is by setting up a standing order with your tenants for the rental payments. Make sure if you are managing multiple rental payments you include a reference code to identify the rent payment.


Direct debit: This is a great way to collect rent payments and gives letting agencies great control when administrating rental payments. Similar to a standing order but with better controls, please beware of any cost implications for your letting agency if tenants funds bounce. I recently came across a company who facilitate the collection of funds via direct debit called who charge up to £2 per transaction.

Collecting cash:  The oldest method used to collect rent. When managing rental payments, this is the one method I would not recommend you implement if you are managing a mid-size portfolio. There are too many issues with collecting rent via cash from tenants each month.  I hear from too many letting agencies who allow their office to be used as a bank for tenants to lodge cash. It is better to use another method to collect rent. Some of the issues which could arise include:

  • Losing or misplacing cash in office.
  • Leaving your office open to robbery.
  • Fraud issues with staff members administrating cash transactions.
  • Cost of bank charges for cash lodgements can be expensive.
  • Administration time managing cash lodgements.

Bank lodgement: Allowing your tenants lodge funds directly to your bank is another method used by some property managers for their rent management. Agents need to be aware of the bank charges levied for allowing tenants to lodge to your bank account when using this method to collect rent. You will also need to be aware of lodged rental payments which are not referenced and from previous experience managing a rental portfolio, I can tell you that this can be an administration nightmare.

Credit card: With increased access to debit and credit cards this could be a way to collect rent in the future but the costs are just too high at the moment and to get a merchant ID from a provider is sometimes difficult. Would you pay 2.9% or (£14.50) to collect rent of £500 from your tenants?

You may also be interested in this infographic on The Costs of taking Monthly Rental Payments .

Let us know what your experiences are in rent management, or if you have any questions, do get in touch!

by Colin Napper

How much does it cost to lodge rents to your bank

Bank charges may affect your revenue

Is your letting agency collecting monthly rental payments? Are you aware of what your bank charges on cash deposits are?

It is eating into your profit margins. Even if you are managing only 10 units with a rental of 1,000 per month per unit, it’s going to cost your agency a whopping €600 per year. Below is an infographic of what Irish banks are charging their business customers for dealing with cash.


So you want to streamline the rent collection service you are offering within your agency? Read this blog.

Stop this headache, administration nightmare and cost by moving your agency to Rentview.

Letting Agency Software

As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

by Andreas Riha

Why a letting agent must have a smart phone

Smart phones; necessary for a letting agent!

With now more iPhones sold than babies born, not having a smart phone and being a letting agent is not a option. A letting agent without a smart phone is like a carpenter without a saw. It is now a vital tool needed to carry out your daily tasks and continue to bring in revenue.

With the huge amount of apps available, I have selected the top 10 tools of the trade to stay ahead of the competition…..


Google calendars

While answering your phone on the go for a letting agent is as common nearly as blinking your eyes, it’s easy to forget who called 5 minutes ago. Now when you take a call take note and set a reminder on your calendar. Allow it to remind you with an alarm alert with required notice. This way you won’t forget where and when you had to be somewhere.


Keep up to date with your social media marketing with this great app. HootSuite is a social media communications dashboard used for online brand management. It publishes to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress. It also publishes to Flickr, Tumblr, and YouTube via HootSuite Apps. It is also a Twitter client. So keep all your social media followers up to date with the latest listings, offers and lettings completed from one location. Bye bye multiple entry updates!

Camera & Pic Stitch

The smartphone has replaced the digital camera, well the ones with a 5 mega pixel plus have anyway. With the iPhone 4s having a 8 megapixel camera with flash, there is no longer any need for a separate digital camera. You can now take several snaps and mail them back to the office and get them published on your website NOW rather than wait until you return to the office. Edit your photos and light effect on your smartphone and even stitch them together to provide your potential tenants with 360 degree shot. 

Genius Scan

Have you ever needed a copy of a document such as a tenant reference or ID whilst out at a viewing or lease signing? With Genius Scan you can take a snap shot of any paperwork and have it stored on your phone in seconds. Send it on via email, fax or even edit the document all on your smartphone. This is a must when conducting viewings and gathering copies of references from potential tenants.

Rentview inventory app 

With this app you can now record the full contents of a property in images and voice notes through your smart phone. Take photos through the app, speak into your phone and when you get back into the office you now have a full inventory with images and text. All your images and voice notes are complied automatically into a full inventory report. Bye bye end of tenancy deposit disputes, hello happy landlords and tenants! 

Nav Free

Sat Nav. Why pay €50+ for a sat nav app when you can get this great one for free? Picture this, we have all been there; your current location is on the south side of the city and your next showing is taking place on the north side of the city. You are in traffic and the only route you know, you just realise is a traffic black spot ahead. You have an appointment in 20 minutes 4 miles away and you have only moved 250 meters in the last 5 minutes. At this rate you won’t get there on time and possibly lose the potential let due to your own no show. With a built-in Sat Nav, easily find another route quickly and get there on time.


With Dropbox you can access all your documents located on your office computer. Need a copy of important documents relating to a rental property; like a copy of a signed lease, proof of ownership, registration documents or anything else you can think of? Now with Dropbox, you can have these documents to view or forward at your fingertips wherever you are located. This can save vital time for you to stay on the road and close more deals.


With so many of your potential viewers now choosing to email you for a viewing time, rather than pick up the phone it’s a must to have constant email access. Out of the office all day conducting today’s viewings and checking your emails when you return to the office to set up for the next day may result in you not having viewings tomorrow. More and more property hunters now choose to email rather than call to set up viewings.

Keep up to date with what’s available on the rental market and ensure you update your listings daily with Daft’s free app. Available on the iPhone and Android.


Letting agency software

Now with Rentview, you can access all the information you need on the go relating to your property portfolio. Instantly retrieve any clients information you may need on the go. Copy of accounts, recent payment history, yearly accounts, issue rent arrears notice, transfer utilities and so much more. Also with the Rentview tenants referencing system you can find tenants authentic previous rental reference once they have been on the Rentview system.

I hope that these apps will find there way onto your smartphone and if you are an agent and don’t have a smartphone you now know why its an essential tool.

Andreas Riha


Facebook Rentview

Twitter Andreas_Riha

Choosing the right tenant and managing your rental payments

Choosing the right tenant

As an experienced property manager the most frustrating part of the job is chasing the continuously late-paying tenants. If you’re a property manager with a portfolio of property, a landlord with a portfolio or even a landlord of just one property, you will have had to deal with this problem, most likely.

 The continuous calls which get unanswered, texts that don’t get replied, emails with ‘send receipt’ not accepted or letters not getting a response the majority of you will have experienced this. 

There is just nothing more frustrating, but can we as property managers eliminate this? Well in most cases we can try our best to eliminate this stress as much as possible by choosing the right tenant.

To prevent late payments:

– In what ever lease you are using, if not already in the lease, place a late penalty clause. When going through the lease prior to signing with your tenant(s) make it clear that this will be enforced. Add a clause that for every day late the penalty will be 20 euro. This way at least if it’s late, you’re getting compensated and in today’s climate late rent could cause you or your client to have bank charges with unpaid direct debits or standing orders.

– Reference check your tenants; make sure you get legitimate references. If the reference is from an agency don’t just take it as gospel. Call up the agency and confirm it if it’s from a private landlord and if they only have a mobile number, ask the referee if is it possible to call them on a land line. Any tenant can give you a reference written from a friend with a mobile number on it but they won’t be as quick to give a land line on it. Most landlords will gladly back up the reference with a land line – after all they are in the same position as you.

– But what if they won’t? It can happen. Why not Google their mobile number, more than likely if it’s a mobile number on the reference it will be the same mobile number they use to advertise the property. This way you can confirm at least that it is a real landlord. 

– Ask for a bank statement as part of your referencing process to see if the tenant is able to afford the rent in line with salary or bank balance.

– Insist on a standing order being set up, you can find all blank banks standing orders on the banks website in PDF format, which you can print and bring along to a tenancy sign up.

– Fill it out and drop it to the bank personally or post it (a standing order for a particular bank can be dropped into any branch which will set it up on the banking system).

 Now just watch the money coming into your account.

Beware that a standing order may not reach you on the same day as it is due. If your tenant banks with a different bank than you do,  it may take up to 3 working days to reach you. To solve this problem, insist that the payment date on the standing order is set accordingly if it needs to reach you on its due date.

What if your tenant(s) have not rented before?

Well is it worth the risk? Are they the only interested party? Why is that?

Well these are the questions you need to ask yourself, don’t just assume because they come across as nice people that they will be good tenants. If the only tenants interested in your property don’t have a previous landlord reference is it worth the risk? Why are they the only interested party? Well it could be for a number of reasons;

The property could be overpriced and the only tenants that are interested are interested because they can’t find anybody else to take a risk on them. Look at the market in your area, view photos online and be honest with yourself. Is your property to the same spec? If not, stop wasting time and money and adjust the price to what the market will pay.

-If your property is something that needs refurbishment, DO IT. It will pay off in the long run. You would be amazed at what a couple of months rent can do to a property and it could save you all the hassle in the long run by placing bad tenants into a property that good tenants wouldn’t touch.

 If you go with a tenant who has no previous references, look for a guarantor letter to give more protection if something goes wrong. Otherwise, try getting a higher deposit as a way of good faith.


Tenant chosen

Hopefully your reference checking and selection of tenants will ensure all you have to do is watch the rent coming in.

Managing your rental payments

Keeping a eye on due rents

This is the most important part of being a property manager or a landlord insuring the rent is coming in on time every month. Just because a tenant pays the rent on time every month for 9 months straight it doesn’t mean month 10 is going to be on time or paid at all. 

Case study:

I recently spoke with a landlord who had a great tenant in place for the previous 18 months, the rent was on time every month and the landlord stopped keeping his eye on his bank account.  This landlord got complacent and too comfortable with his tenant and rent coming on time. When the landlord checked his account there was 5 months rent missing.  I mean come on! Even though the landlord only has one property, being a landlord is a business. I mean, if he was a shopkeeper he wouldn’t leave the store unmanned with the day’s takings in the till. Being a landlord or a property manager is the same thing taking your eye off the ball can have terrible results. Luckily for this landlord the tenant placed in the property was a well-referenced tenant whose standing order ran out of payments. He paid in full the following week. 

 The best way for an agency and even single property landlords to oversee due rental payments is to use software that does the hard work for you; tracking and managing it.


So what to do if a tenant doesn’t pay his rent on time.

What to do when it starts.

Know your local law and your rights as a landlord.

In most countries, laws covering rented property give the advantage to a tenant. So don’t make any rash decisions, don’t go in all guns blazing putting all the tenant’s belongings on the street and changing the locks. This will most likely put you in a worse position than where you first started.

Illegal evictions at the time might seem right, but in the end can lead it large fines and even being forced by court order to allow your tenant reoccupy the property. 

No one wants a tenant with a chip on their shoulder.

 Check up on your local law and act accordingly

In Ireland for example, you first must issue a 14 days rent arrears notice and deliver in person to the tenant or by registered post. The Rentview application will create this legal document at the touch of a button. In my experience, this will show the tenants you won’t stand for any messing and normally pay up or give notice to quit the property before it goes further.

If the tenant fails to pay the rent after 14 days you must issue an eviction notice (the amount of time varies from 28 days if a tenant is occupying the house less than 6 months to 100+ days if they are tenants are occupying the house for years+

Note that these letters act as legal papers and as such need to be written in a correct format. One error on the document can set you back and you must start over with a new notice period to your tenants. So make sure if sending these yourself and not taking on the expense of a professional, that you do it correctly.

Listening to a tenant’s promise that the rent will be paid in full at the end of the week and taking the tenant’s word is not good enough. Back yourself up by sticking to the law and insuring you act upon late rent immediately.

 You may not want to act to harshly on the first late rent payment as you may feel you will damage your relationship. This is a business, so treat it like one.

We hope this will help you in choosing the right tenant and managing your rental payments.