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RubyMonday

UK landlord insurance

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For anyone who rents out UK properties and has UK based landlord insurance, any suggestions of companies to go with? I'm just looking around now and thought it wouldn't be that complicated as it's not uncommon but finding there aren't a huge amount of options and the premiums are more than 4 x what I'm paying now. 

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22 hours ago, Peach said:

I've used https://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/ for 12 years, never had to claim (touch wood) so can't comment on if they're any good.

 

11 hours ago, Cheery Thistle said:

Thanks, I'll see if I can get some quotes. Annoying that it looks like I'll be paying as much insurance for a flat and a house as a non resident as it costs for the whole block of 6 flats. 

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If you set this up before you leave the UK you may be able to apply for 'consent to let' and still pay normal premiums.  I did this with Santander, although this was 9 years ago so things may have changed.

Probably too late for the OP but may be worth looking into for those planning to come over.   

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7 hours ago, Johnny Kash said:

If you set this up before you leave the UK you may be able to apply for 'consent to let' and still pay normal premiums.  I did this with Santander, although this was 9 years ago so things may have changed.

Probably too late for the OP but may be worth looking into for those planning to come over.   

Regardless of if it’s consent to let or not (which I have now on the flat and will have on the house when I leave) I’d still need landlord insurance since I’m still a landlord. So it wouldn’t make a difference really, at least I only need contents on the flat and not buildings as well. I don’t go until July/August next year so plenty of time to sort something out.

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15 hours ago, RubyMonday said:

Regardless of if it’s consent to let or not (which I have now on the flat and will have on the house when I leave) I’d still need landlord insurance since I’m still a landlord. So it wouldn’t make a difference really, at least I only need contents on the flat and not buildings as well. I don’t go until July/August next year so plenty of time to sort something out.

At least it'll be tax deductible on your Australian tax. 

Do you understand about claiming depreciation for your property?  It's an important way of reducing your Australian tax if you own a rental property.  You'll need to get a depreciation report done just before you leave for Australia.  It's not easy to find someone in the UK to do one, since it's not a thing there, however I found this company:

https://www.washingtonbrown.com.au/london-tax-depreciation-schedules/

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11 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

At least it'll be tax deductible on your Australian tax. 

Do you understand about claiming depreciation for your property?  It's an important way of reducing your Australian tax if you own a rental property.  You'll need to get a depreciation report done just before you leave for Australia.  It's not easy to find someone in the UK to do one, since it's not a thing there, however I found this company:

https://www.washingtonbrown.com.au/london-tax-depreciation-schedules/

Thank you I had no idea about that, I've requested a quote but imagine it will be quite expensive and may not be worth it for the possible meager reduction in tax. Given that it looks like you can deduct mortgage interest payments which you can't anymore in UK and the UK tax then I probably won't have to pay any addtional tax or very little. Do you know what the going rate for accountants is in Aus just roughly? I think I remember it being around $500 for a backpacker tax return when I was there before, the second one I did myself but defintiely won't be doing any of this myself.   

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34 minutes ago, RubyMonday said:

Thank you I had no idea about that, I've requested a quote but imagine it will be quite expensive and may not be worth it for the possible meager reduction in tax. 

How old is the property?  If it's old, and you haven't done any improvements in the last few years, it may not be worth it.  However it's worth noting that the taxman doesn't look at your property's income and expenses in isolation.  On your tax return, you show all your income from all sources, then from that total, you deduct all your allowable expenses from all sources.

When I owned a new property in Sydney, my depreciation allowance was so high, my property expenses wiped out all the tax on my rental income AND a fair chunk of the tax on my salary.

So I'd say, do your research before deciding.

With UK property to think about, I'd be looking for a tax agent (not an accountant, differing thing in Oz, though some people are qualified in both) that knows about both tax regimes. Trying to juggle them separately is too difficult.   @Alan Collett for instance.

Edited by Marisawright

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9 hours ago, Marisawright said:

How old is the property?  If it's old, and you haven't done any improvements in the last few years, it may not be worth it.  However it's worth noting that the taxman doesn't look at your property's income and expenses in isolation.  On your tax return, you show all your income from all sources, then from that total, you deduct all your allowable expenses from all sources.

When I owned a new property in Sydney, my depreciation allowance was so high, my property expenses wiped out all the tax on my rental income AND a fair chunk of the tax on my salary.

So I'd say, do your research before deciding.

With UK property to think about, I'd be looking for a tax agent (not an accountant, differing thing in Oz, though some people are qualified in both) that knows about both tax regimes. Trying to juggle them separately is too difficult.   @Alan Collett for instance.

One is a house from the 1930s/40s, I haven't done any improvements other than a bit on the electrics. The previous owners did the kicthen and bathroom shortly before they sold, I'll have only lived there a two years before moving to Australia. The other is a flat from the early 90s. That was modern enough and I didn't do anything to it, owned that since 2018. I'll see what they say for the quote. I'm sure there will be plenty of tax agents who can do both, I'll probably be able to do my UK tax return myself maybe. My property agent can always help with getting a depreciation report once I've left if it would be worth it later.  

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1 hour ago, RubyMonday said:

. I'm sure there will be plenty of tax agents who can do both

You'd be surprised, they're like hen's teeth.  Some pretend they can but very few actually understand how the two systems inter-relate.

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On the landlord insurance question, directline are perfectly happy providing landlord insurance for a UK property to an overseas landlord (so long as they have the right to reside in the UK)

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On 04/11/2023 at 08:35, RubyMonday said:

Thank you I had no idea about that, I've requested a quote but imagine it will be quite expensive and may not be worth it for the possible meager reduction in tax. Given that it looks like you can deduct mortgage interest payments which you can't anymore in UK and the UK tax then I probably won't have to pay any addtional tax or very little. Do you know what the going rate for accountants is in Aus just roughly? I think I remember it being around $500 for a backpacker tax return when I was there before, the second one I did myself but defintiely won't be doing any of this myself.   

$500 for a backpacker tax return? That's unusually high for a backpacker as they normally have straight forward returns (and foreign income doesn't come into play).

One thing you need to assess for a depreciation report is how long you intend to keep the property. If you are already planning to sell, it probably won't be worthwhile as all the depreciation you've claimed adds back into your capital gain when you sell. Of course, you'll get the 50% discount on the CGT, so you still get the benefit of half the depreciation, but the cost of the depreciation report means needs you to claim the depreciation for a few years to be worthwhile.

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Chartered Accountant (England & Wales); Registered Tax Agent & Fellow of The Tax Institute (Australia) www.kbfayers.com

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12 hours ago, Ken said:

One thing you need to assess for a depreciation report is how long you intend to keep the property. If you are already planning to sell, it probably won't be worthwhile as all the depreciation you've claimed adds back into your capital gain when you sell. Of course, you'll get the 50% discount on the CGT, so you still get the benefit of half the depreciation, but the cost of the depreciation report means needs you to claim the depreciation for a few years to be worthwhile.

Sounds complicated to me. I have no idea how long I'll keep the properties. I don't know yet if I want to properly settle in Aus long term or if I did then what location/state and probably won't for a few years. I live in one of the most affordable places to buy property in the UK and bought at a high so I'll probably make a loss on selling for both the house and flat. The money I would get back wouldn't go that far towards buying a new place in Australia especially not a comparable property somewhere I'd want to live. Then again I'm only just breaking even financially on renting them out plus the difficulties in managing a property even with an agent with the taxes etc between the two countries. 

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7 hours ago, RubyMonday said:

Sounds complicated to me. I have no idea how long I'll keep the properties. I don't know yet if I want to properly settle in Aus long term or if I did then what location/state and probably won't for a few years. I live in one of the most affordable places to buy property in the UK and bought at a high so I'll probably make a loss on selling for both the house and flat. The money I would get back wouldn't go that far towards buying a new place in Australia especially not a comparable property somewhere I'd want to live. Then again I'm only just breaking even financially on renting them out plus the difficulties in managing a property even with an agent with the taxes etc between the two countries

Not as difficult as it seems if have a good property management agent. I know a number of expats who rent out UK properties without any issues - one has for decades. Once you become familiar with the Australian system the tax side won't be any more complicated than what you're already dealing with as a UK landlord. Again, just a case of finding a decent accountant. These additional costs will eat into your returns of course, but it will still work out far more cost-effective than selling up in the UK and buying in Australia, only to have to do it all in reverse if you decide you can't settle in Australia.


Australian Citizen since 2007 | Returned to the UK between 2008-2011 | QLD resident for over 20 years

All advice and opinions I provide on PomsInOz are solely my own and are general in nature. I am not a migration agent, accountant, tax expert or financial adviser, and my insights are no substitute for professional advice. I strongly encourage you to seek the guidance of qualified professionals for specific concerns. I do not assume any responsibility for actions taken based on the information provided in any of my posts, and if you choose to act on this information then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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Google search for "landlord insurance for expats". My current insurer is rarely beaten but doing this search each year gives me a few options to check I'm still paying the going rate.

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