A Guide to Tax exemptions for non-resident landlords

As a non-resident landlord, navigating the UK tax system can be overwhelming. You may be unsure of your tax obligations, and what tax exemptions are available to you. Understanding tax exemptions is crucial as they can significantly reduce your tax liability, helping you to maximise your rental income.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics of UK taxation for non-resident landlords and explore the various tax exemptions available. We’ll also provide information on applying for tax exemptions, compliance requirements and penalties for non-compliance.

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Understanding UK Taxation for Non-Resident Landlords

Firstly, let’s define who a non-resident landlord is. According to the UK tax rules, a non-resident landlord is someone who owns a property in the UK but lives outside the country. The UK taxes non-resident landlords differently from resident landlords.

Non-resident landlords are taxed on their rental income received from their UK properties. The UK tax authorities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), require non-resident landlords to register for self-assessment and file an annual tax return. Resident landlords, on the other hand, are taxed on their rental income after allowable expenses have been deducted.

Non-resident landlords are also subject to different tax rates compared to UK resident landlords. Currently, non-resident landlords are taxed at a flat rate of 20% on their rental income, regardless of their income level.

Tax Exemptions for Non-Resident Landlords

As a non-resident landlord, you may be eligible for several tax exemptions. Let’s take a closer look at each one:

  1. Personal allowance: Non-resident landlords are entitled to the same personal allowance as UK residents, which is currently £12,570 for the 2021/22 tax year. Personal allowance is the amount of income you can earn tax-free each year.
  2. Expenses deduction: Non-resident landlords can deduct certain expenses related to their rental property, such as maintenance costs, letting agent fees, and insurance premiums, from their rental income. These expenses can significantly reduce your tax liability.
  3. Tax relief on mortgage interest payments: Non-resident landlords can claim tax relief on the interest paid on their mortgage for their rental property. The amount of tax relief available has been reduced in recent years, but it is still a valuable exemption.
  4. Tax exemption on capital gains: Non-resident landlords are also entitled to the same capital gains tax exemptions as UK residents when they sell their rental property. This can result in significant tax savings if you decide to sell your property in the future.

Applying for Tax Exemptions

To claim tax exemptions, you’ll need to apply to HMRC. You can do this by registering for self-assessment and completing an annual tax return. You’ll need to provide evidence of your rental income and expenses, as well as any mortgage interest payments.

Compliance Requirements

As a non-resident landlord, it’s essential to comply with UK tax regulations. Failure to comply can result in hefty penalties. You’ll need to keep accurate records of your rental income and expenses and file your tax return by the deadline. You’ll also need to pay any tax owed on time.


In summary, as a non-resident landlord, understanding UK tax requirements and available exemptions is crucial. By claiming tax exemptions, you can significantly reduce your tax liability and maximise your rental income. It’s essential to stay compliant with tax regulations to avoid penalties. If you’re unsure about anything, seek professional advice. We recommend keeping up to date by checking the government’s website.

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