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Home > News > A Landlord’s Guide to Paying Tax on Rental Income | Plaza Estates London

A Landlord’s Guide to Paying Tax on Rental Income

By Maurice Shasha  //  Mon 17th May 2021
As a landlord, you will need to pay tax on the money you make from renting out your properties. This guide gives an insight into how tax is calculated in rental income, the rates you will pay and your allowances.
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What taxes do landlord's pay? 

You must pay income tax on any profit you make from renting out property.

You may also need to pay class 2 national insurance if your profits are £6,515 a year or more and what you do counts as running a business. The website has more information on when you are required to pay national insurance.

If you sell an investment property, you will be subject to capital gains tax on any profit you make.

As a landlord, you do not need to pay council tax unless your property is empty. 

This article focuses on paying income tax on rental profits in the UK. 

What counts as rental income? 

Rental income is primarily the money you receive from your tenants in rent but can include charges for additional services you provide, including: 
  • Cleaning 
  • Hot water 
  • Heating 
  • Repairs 
You will also need to include any money retained from your tenant's deposit at the end of the tenancy. 

You must declare your rental income in the tax year it is due, even if you're not paid until the next tax year. 

Allowable Expenses 

You can deduct expenses you incur from your rental income to calculate your taxable rental profit as long as they are wholly and exclusively for your rental property business. 

From April 2020, none of the interest on your mortgage payments can be considered an allowable expense. 

Examples of allowable expenses include: 
  • General maintenance and repairs to the property, but not improvements 
  • Bill such as water rates, council tax, gas and electricity 
  • Landlord insurance 
  • Letting agent's fees 
  • Accountant's fees 
  • Service charges and ground rents 
  • Costs of advertising for new tenants 
You should declare any allowable expenses in the tax year the work was done, even if you don't pay the bill until the next tax year. 

Property tax allowance and tax relief 

The first £1,000 of your rental income is tax-free, this is your personal property allowance. This allowance can be particularly beneficial for joint owners as both parties can claim the allowance, i.e. £1,000 each. 

As of April 2020, landlords can no longer claim mortgage interest tax relief. Instead, landlords will receive a tax credit based on 20% of their mortgage interest payments. 

How much tax will I pay on my rental income? 

The amount of tax you pay will depend on the profit you have made, the income you received from other sources and any allowances and tax relief you are entitled to. 

To calculate your profit: 
  • add together all your rental income 
  • add together all your allowable expenses 
  • deduct the expenses from the income 
If you have multiple properties, all your rental income and expenses are lumped together, giving you an overall profit for the year. 

Subtract your property allowance and any tax credits to reveal your taxable rental income. 

Your rental income is added to your other income from your job or pension, and you are taxed according to the normal income tax brackets. 

Income Tax Band 

Taxable Income 2020 – 2021 

Income Tax Rate 2020 - 2021 

Personal Allowance 

Up to £12,500 


Basic Rate 

£12,501 - £37,500 


Higher Rate 

£37,501 - £150,000 


Additional Rate 

£150,001 and above 


How tax is calculated on rental income: an example 

Here is an example: 
  • You make £12,500 in profit from a rental property 
  • You can deduct your £1,000 property allowance 
  • You have paid £6,700 in mortgage interest, so you are entitled to a tax credit of £1,340 (£6,700 x 20%) 
  • This leaves you with a taxable rental profit of £10,160 
  • You earn £50,000 a year from your job giving you a total taxable income of £60,160 
  • If you have a standard personal allowance of £12,570, you will pay no tax on this part of your income. You'll pay 20% on the portion between £12,571 and £50,270 (£7,540) and 40% on the £9,890, which falls into the higher rate tax bracket (£3,956). 
  • Giving you a total income tax bill of £11,496 

When do I pay tax on my rental income? 

You pay tax on the rental profits you make in each tax year. The tax year runs from the 6th April to 5th April the following year. You must file your self-assessment tax return and pay your bill to HRMC by the 31st January following the end of the tax year. 

For example, for rental income earned between 6th April 2020 and 5th April 2021, you will need to file and pay your tax bill by 31st January 2022. 

What if I have made a loss? 

If your expenses are more than your rental income, you will make a loss. You can offset your loss against any profits you make from rental property in future years. 

For example, if you made a £1,500 loss in the tax year 2019/20 but a profit of £4,000 in 2020/21, you can deduct the previous year's losses from your profit so, in the tax year 2020/21, you would only pay tax on £2,500. 

What tax do I pay if I sell my rental property? 

As a buy-to-let landlord, you'll be liable for capital gains tax (CGT) when you come to sell if the rental property has increased in value during your period of ownership. If you are in the basic tax band, you will pay 18% CGT on any profits from your sale. If you are in the higher tax band, you will pay 28%. 

Read our blog on capital gains tax for more information. 

If you are a new landlord, contact us today. We can advise you about the various aspects of renting out a home - including tax - and help you find the buy-to-let property that's right for you. 

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