Becoming Mr. Rigsby
June 11, 2007 6:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm in the fortunate/unfortunate positon of having to rent out my one-bed flat in Shepherds Bush, London. So I've got a few questions to ask:

1. I'm looking at charging £200/£210 pw for it. Is that a reasonable charge or can I ask for more these days? (Pics at

2. What's the best way of letting people know about it? How did you find where you're living now?

3. There's some kind of new-fangled tenancy deposit scheme to protect tenants against evil landlords such as myself. Have you had any experience with it yet? Is it obligatory?

4. How do I declare the income from said flat to the taxman? I've never had to file taxes before - and I'm loathe to do it mainly because it means I'm renting out the flat at a loss, albeit at a smaller loss than if I were to leave it lying empty.
posted by electriccynic to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here's some basic information about the tax aspect.
posted by Phanx at 6:45 AM on June 11, 2007

I'm no taxman, but as a landlord myself, my understanding is that the income you need to declare is based on the rent minus the interest, not on the capital repayment. So if the interest only on your mortgage (regardless of the type of mortgage) is say £400 and you're getting £800 a month rent then your income is £400. So in the in eyes of the taxman you might not actually be making a loss.

I would bite the bullet and call the tax office and ask them what to do, would be a hell of a lot easier. Tax returns seem daunting but are not actually that difficult if you do a little research beforehand. And you can do them online which makes things a bit easier.

As for question 2 you might want to consider using an agency to rent it out for you. This obviously costs money (I'm paying 14% of the rent) but if you're not near the flat then it might be worth considering. Also they deal with all the advertising / showing new tenants around etc. Whilst I wouldn't say overall they are worth the money they are at least a first port of call for problems and do find the plumber / electrician (and get quotes) etc if needed.
posted by jontyjago at 6:54 AM on June 11, 2007

If you want to go it alone, Gumtree is a popular listings site for London rentals.

Judging by the Shepherd's Bush 1-bedroom flat prices on there at the moment, I'd say your £210 pw is about right. You might be able to push it up another ten or twenty quid, but I don't think you'll get more than that.
posted by chrismear at 7:07 AM on June 11, 2007 is another popular flat rental site in London for advertising it.
posted by handee at 7:08 AM on June 11, 2007

As far as offering it, try Gumtree or ask your friends to post it their work bulletin boards. I know a fair number of people who in the past have let/rented flats through the accomodation board at RollOnFriday (a lawyers' site). The listings there might give you an idea about pricing.
posted by patricio at 7:19 AM on June 11, 2007

I would suggest posting at Sabbatical Homes which is dirt cheap to post and you will get a higher quality clientele i.e., no undergrads, who are on the lookout for various lengths of tenancy. I have used the site both ways as a renter and a landlord.

Because they, the potential renters, are faculty you can check on their backgrounds easily. The only tricky part is that because they are from overseas their banking in the UK would be more difficult, that is the catch-22 of needing a whole lot more proof to open an account so you will need to figure out reliable ways to deal with payments with their banks and in what currency.

Email me for specifics.
posted by jadepearl at 9:50 AM on June 11, 2007

For what it's worth, I am currently renting quite a nice one bedroom in Shepherd's Bush for 1000/month (so, 233/week assuming a 30-day month), everything included (electricity, gas, phone, internet, council tax). Also, to back up jadepearl: I found it on SabbaticalHomes, which is good for all the reasons she (I assume that's as good a term as any for your described gender, jadepearl) says.
posted by louigi at 11:15 AM on June 11, 2007

It might also be worth putting an ad in Ariel, the Beeb's in-house magazine.
posted by featherboa at 11:40 AM on June 11, 2007

Yes, take note of what louigi mentions in passing: council tax makes a big difference. If you're including it, you can charge more, but if not, you'll need to adjust your rent accordingly. Unless of course you rent to full-time students--they are exempt from council tax.
posted by yellowcandy at 12:18 PM on June 11, 2007

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