Can I claim rent-a-room relief if I am not living in the property throughout?

March 1, 2018|In KRW Q&A|By Keith Witchell

Rent-a-room relief allows you to let out part of your home without any income tax liability, providing your rental income does not exceed £7,500 per annum.

This relief is designed to encourage homeowners with empty rooms to take in a lodger without having to pay income tax on the rent received.

Even where the income from letting a room or rooms out in your home exceeds £7,500 per annum, it is possible to just pay tax on the income over this threshold.

But what if you move out of the house temporarily, for example if you have to work away for a period of time? Providing the house is still your only or main residence while you are absent then rent-a-room relief will usually still apply. However, if you have use of another property, such as a rented flat, while working away then it may be necessary to demonstrate that you only intend to stay there temporarily so that your house still qualifies as your ‘main’ residence while you are away.

Even where there is doubt as to whether your home remains to be your main residence while you live away, providing you lived in it as your main residence at some point during a tax year and the room or rooms are rented out while you were living there, then rent-a-room relief will apply for that tax year.

Key Facts

  • Rent-a-room relief allows you to rent out part of your home without paying tax
  • The exemption allows income of up to £7,500 pa free of tax
  • Even if income exceeds £7,500 pa it is possible to only pay tax on the excess
  • The relief can be claimed even while you are temporarily living elsewhere

For further advice on this matter please contact me.

Keith Witchell