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Ask Your Own Question, Chartered Certified Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 5115
Experience:  FCCA - over 35 years experience as a qualified accountant (UK based Practitioner)
Type Your Tax Question Here... is online now

Hi its been a while since I last contacted you. Our circumstances

Customer Question

Hi it's been a while since I last contacted you. Our circumstances during tax year 2013/2014 had changed and I need some advice before completing tax return for last year.
1. Myself, my son and daughter own two homes in Guildford in joint names. I live in one of them with my daughter. This ist a 4bedroomed house, we rent two rooms to pay for her uni room and my bills as I am ill and disabled. My son has moved back to his smaller home permanently and now he rents one room to help him as he is a trainee teacher. But for 6months this home had been rented outright to tenants so it does not fall under rent a room scheme
2. Since all three own the 2properties should I just split total income three ways under rent a room scheme.
3. Can expenses be claimed under rent a room scheme since the house in which my son lives is 1930s and needs a lot of work, for example we have just put in full new bathroom as the original one of 1936 was still there and had trickling water/damp. Various other jobs have been done but since the full time tenants moved out.
This year we are going to put solid wall insulation so that the house will have better insulation as it is cold and expensive.
3. Can we claim advertising fee on both properties. Do I have to inform HMRC prior to calculating the 2013/2014 tax to explain that we have a combination of full rental and rent a room scheme, and expenses for various things. For example do I have to inform them about choosing route B where expenses for rent a room have to be cldaimed
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert: replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to the site. Thank you for your question.

Rent a Room applies only to owner-occupiers and tenants who receive rent from letting furnished accommodation in their only or main home. You can receive up to £4,250 a year tax free (£2,125 if letting jointly). You and your daughter can claim on property you live in.

Your son would claim on property he lives in.

You can not claim expenses against rent under rent a room scheme nor can you claim advertising fee.

Where you opt for claiming expenses against rental income then you have to tick the right boxes as appropriate when filing your tax return. Method A applies automatically unless you tell HMRC within the time limit that you wish to opt for method B. More on this is covered on Page 4 of HS223 here

I hope this is helpful and answers your question.

If you have any other questions, please ask me before you rate my service – I’ll be happy to respond.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I am sorry but I still am not clear about things. If the small older property was rented outright to tenants for 6months, is that profit not to be to be split equally between three of us after expenses, since we own the property jointly. This was not lodging with the owners.

Secondly, I have still not understood about rent a room in owner occupied homes. From reading the pages you referred to me it seems that I can claim expenses provided I inform HMRC. I really need clarification about this. I don't understand when to opt for method A or method B. Your answer did not clarify this, kindly help.
Expert: replied 3 years ago.

Anita, thank you for your reply. For the period your son had not made the smaller home his permanent place of residence, the profit from rental income for that period would be shared by all joint owners. From the time he takes residence then he could opt for rent a room scheme as he would have a lodger.


You have the flexibility of changing from method A to method B annually. If your expenses are in excess of £4,250 then you are better off going for method A as you would be taxed on net profit (and this may be lower) instead of the excess over £4,250. If not then you should opt of method B. You can swap and change between A and B every year.


You should perform a comparison of net profit using both methods and opt for the one producing lower chargeable profit for tax purposes.


I hope this is helpful.