Tips for landlords: how to keep track of your expenses
Every landlord needs to find their own way of managing their rental property expenses. You’ll want to find a way which works for you.
You may choose to hand the responsibility over to an accountant, or to outsource certain elements to an accountant while managing everything else yourself. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for an opportunity to master the art of digital accounting, keeping track of all your receipts, invoices, documents and transactions that way?
Well, if you’re a new landlord and feel you could benefit from a little guidance in this area, read on. Here are our tips for landlords on how to keep track of rental property expenses.
Tip 1: Know your property expenses
Understand your rental property expenses, as this will put you on the right path to investment success. You need to know what your outgoings and expenses are compared with the amount you might receive in rent.
The main expenses will fall under these categories: tax, mortgage, insurance. If necessary, seek advice from a financial adviser and accountant. You could also consult your letting agent for guidance on aspects relating to property.
Tip 2: Know what expenses you can claim for
You need to know what expenses are allowable and which are not. For example, you can’t claim expenses on things which don’t form a part of your lettings business.
You can claim for certain expenses, which means you can reduce your tax bill. Some of the expenses you can claim for include:
- Contents Insurance
- Water, gas and electricity
- Council Tax
- Service charges, ground rent
- Letting agents’ fees
- Legal fees
However, you cannot claim expenses for anything that is classed as capital expenditure, such as buying the property or doing work which adds to its capital value, like adding an extension. You should keep a record of all such expenses.
Note, the rules are different for what can be claimed for residential properties than for holiday lets.
Tip 3: Always keep receipts and request invoices
Always keep receipts for your rental property expenses. Keep files and label those files in such a way that you know how to find the right receipt easily should you need to at any time. If you deal with contractors, always request an invoice and keep that on file too.
Tip 4: Stay tuned with new legislation
From changes to mortgage interest tax relief to the discontinuation of the wear and tear allowance, multiple tax changes have been introduced in recent years which impact landlords in the UK. A financial advisor or accountant would be able to help you here, as this will affect your expenses and tax payments.
Tip 5: Find an expenses tracking system or software that works for you
Once you know what is an allowable expense and what is not, you’ll need to make sure you keep track of all your expenses. And as we said before, you’ve got to find a system or software that works for you.
The buy-to-let business is so much more than letting a property to tenants and drawing a monthly rental income. You’ll need to know how to manage your expenses while keeping a record of all receipts relating to your lettings business for when you come to fill in your tax return.
If you need guidance from a letting agent in the Islington, Stoke Newington, Highbury and Newington Green areas, our team can help you. See our lettings guide or get in touch today to get the ball rolling.