The UK remains one of the most popular places in the world for investing in buy-to-let property.
It’s been estimated the number of overseas landlords has increased by 19% in just five years. And with more and more homes being built, this figure is destined to rise.
In Manchester city centre alone, 5,000 new residential units were constructed in 2020 despite the economic effects of the pandemic.
And all these new apartments need owners: many of whom will live abroad.
But when you live thousands of miles away from the front door of your rental property, how do you manage a property from overseas? How do you find tenants, reliably collect rent and ensure it’s being suitably maintained?
Step forward landlord property management services, a way to outsource all aspects of renting out your property to the professionals.
Here we’ll explore how using a full property management service from MakeUrMove can streamline and simplify your life as an overseas landlord.
What is an overseas landlord?
Whether you call yourself an overseas landlord, a non-resident landlord or an international landlord, the definition in the eyes of the law remains the same.
It applies if you’re a property investor with a huge portfolio or a UK homeowner working abroad for a fixed period who doesn’t want to sell their property.
HMRC classes you as a non-resident landlord if you spend more than six months in any tax year outside of the UK. They’ll look at your ‘usual place of abode’, which doesn’t necessarily mean your main or permanent home.
Under this scheme, you can have UK tax residence at the same time as having a ‘usual place of abode’ in a different country.
Other types of non-resident landlords include:
companies renting out property in the UK with a registered office or main place of business outside the UK
members of the armed forces or Crown servants, such as diplomats, posted overseas
Note that having a PO Box or 'care of' address in the UK is not enough for a landlord to claim a ‘usual place of abode’.
How to manage a property from overseas
The easiest way to manage a property from overseas is to choose a letting agent offering a full property management service. They’ll take care of all the essentials, reassuring you from a distance that your property is in safe hands and your profit is being maximised.
At MakeUrMove you can choose from three full property management packages, each one offering different levels of landlord support:
From just £65 per month, you’ll enjoy:
property advertising when needed
annual Gas Safety Certificate
tenant reference checks, tenancy set-up and renewals
compliance and safety updates
property licence checks
monthly income statements
document storage and sharing
tenant hub account
agent support phone line
tenant reward scheme
Everything above, plus rent protection and legal eviction cover, all from £80 per month.
Everything above, plus boiler servicing and central heating, plumbing and electrical cover, all from £120 per month.
Every aspect of managing your property will be taken care of on a dedicated, award-winning software platform designed to make your life easier.
Understanding the benefits of using a full property management service
Even for landlords who live near their properties, the day-to-day management obligations can be time-consuming and stressful.
So when you’re not physically close, the task becomes even more demanding.
Using an agent’s full property management service will allow you to relax, knowing everything is being taken care of by experts.
Alongside freeing up your time and reducing hassle, you’ll enjoy a range of other benefits:
Compliance certainty: your agent will be up to date with the ever-changing UK legislation landscape. From the latest COVID-related eviction rules to the imminent abolition of Section 21, you can rely on them to make sure all the legal boxes are ticked.
Reliable rent collection: your agent will ensure your tenant pays their rent, deal with any arrears or late payments and work to protect your profit.
Expert market knowledge: your agent will know the best rental price to advertise your property at and be ready to negotiate a higher price when the market dictates.
Tenant management: your agent will be hands-on with your tenants while you remain completely hands-off. You can trust them to source, screen and manage tenants.
Maintenance management: your agent will have access to reputable tradesmen to carry out repairs and keep on top of maintenance, protecting the value of your investment.
Regular inspections: your agent will conduct the necessary inspections to give you the peace of mind that your property remains in optimum condition.
Understanding your legal obligations as an overseas landlord
As an overseas landlord, it’s important to understand the tax implications.
If you live outside of the UK for more than six months of the year, you must comply with HMRC’s Non-Resident Landlords Scheme. This means paying tax on your rental income.
You can pay this either through your self-assessment tax return or by deducting a basic rate of tax from the rent. The latter needs to be done by either your tenant or your letting agent, who’ll give you a certificate at the end of each tax year.
The most straightforward and popular method is to pay through your tax return. Simply fill in form NRL1i and send it back to HMRC. Once your application is approved, HMRC will tell your letting agent or tenant not to deduct tax from the rental amount.
You can then rest assured that your tax obligations have been met while you enjoy all the benefits of a full property management service.
Find the perfect full property management package for your needs at MakeUrMove