User story: Non-resident landlord Eleanor Gash

Non-resident landlord now living in France saves lots of time and gains greater peace of mind thanks to GoSimpleTax For hundreds of years, Limoges in southwest-central France has been famous for its decorated porcelain and it…

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Last Updated: 23rd August 2023

Non-resident landlord now living in France saves lots of time and gains greater peace of mind thanks to GoSimpleTax

For hundreds of years, Limoges in southwest-central France has been famous for its decorated porcelain and it remains one of Europe’s key porcelain-manufacturing centres. It is also the place that Eleanor Gash calls home.  

In 2009, she moved to France from Glasgow, accompanied by her two teenage daughters and husband, John. “We’re retired now, but I’m a former magazine journalist and John was an art director. We moved to France to open a B&B, which we’d wanted to do for some years,” she remembers. “We did that for nine years, but it was exhausting work, so we finally sold the B&B in 2018.”

Investment rental property

Four years earlier, Eleanor inherited some money following her father’s death. “I wanted to make sure I invested it wisely rather than waste it, as well as generate additional income. Property was the obvious option,” she explains.

“We’d sold our house in the UK, which enabled us to move to France. One of our English guests had left a copy of The Sunday Times and it featured an article about UK property investment hotspots. It included Ashton-under-Lyne, which, I have to admit – I’d never heard of.”

Ashton-under-Lyne can be found on the River Tame’s north bank, in the foothills of the Pennines, about 6.2 miles east of Manchester. “After reading the Sunday Times article, I went online and found a property advertised with a local agent. We viewed it in January 2015, made an offer and bought it by end of March!

“It’s a Victorian house that had been converted into two separate one-bedroom flats and it’s proved a good investment,” Eleanor continues. “The location, close to good local transport links, is attractive, so finding tenants hasn’t been difficult. The rent provides important monthly income for us, helping to pay our living expenses in France.”

Although tenants did move out during lockdown, overall, occupancy has been stable, says Eleanor. “We’ve got some young people on government apprenticeships living in the flats at the moment. The government apprenticeship people approached our agent – they were desperate to find one-bedroom flats to rent in the area,” she reveals.

Self Assessment made simple for non-residents

For a few years, Eleanor did her own Self Assessment tax returns to report her taxable property rental income. “I remember being late one year and having to pay the £100 late-filing penalty,” she confesses.

“I didn’t enjoy it – it’s boring. It took time, even though we only own two rental properties. And you’re always worried that you’ll make a mistake.” Things really changed when Eleanor discovered GoSimpleTax, the app that makes completing Self Assessment tax returns much quicker and easier. “It gives you peace of mind; the software smoothly guides you through the process and removes all of the guesswork.”

Eleanor found out about GoSimpleTax thanks to a listing on the HMRC website. She smiles: “The word ‘simple’ appealed to me – that was exactly what I was looking for, something that made Self Assessment tax return-filing much simpler. And that’s certainly been the case.

“The first time you use the app it takes slightly longer, because you need to enter details about your property, your agent, etc. But next time you file your Self Assessment tax return it’s much quicker, as all of that information is stored. All you need do is enter your income and expenses and I find that information online via my bank account. Very simple.”

No-fear Self Assessment tax returns

Previously, Eleanor admits that she would have put off doing her Self Assessment tax return would because it required a lot of effort. “That’s not the case with GoSimpleTax. It’s very straightforward and helps me to keep everything much more organised. If you need to look at your rental income and costs from previous years, it’s no problem. Everything is so quick and efficient, and you get peace of mind from knowing that all of the information you need to enter is being entered in the right places.”

Eleanor also believes that GoSimpleTax offers excellent value for money. “We pay less than fifty quid a year, which is definitely money well spent for the time you save and the peace of mind you get. I don’t worry about Self Assessment any more. I’ve no hesitation in recommending GoSimpleTax. If you have a phobia about filling out your Self Assessment tax return, try GoSimpleTax. It really does make everything much less scary,” she smiles.

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.

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