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My preferred option is to register for self-assessment and disclose all taxable income that way. The fact that your rental income is less than £2,500 does not mean it isn't taxable. It is taxable.
If you have a PAYE source of income, you can choose to have the tax collected on rental income up to £2,500 through your PAYE. If you have no PAYE source then you need to complete tax returns. In any event, you still have to have your tax checked at the end of the tax year.
You claim expenses from when the property is first let. So, if you stared to let in October, you work out your expenses from then. There are limited circumstances when you can claim pre-let expenses. Look here.
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