Loss from renting a property

Q: I have just sold my rental property. The rental property used to make losses because it is quite heavily mortgaged. Can I offset the losses against my income?

7th April 2014

A: Rental losses can only be carried forward and set against profits of the same ‘business’. This gives rise to two main points.

Firstly, the losses cannot be offset against other income so they simply expire.

And secondly, if you try to get around this by investing in another rental property later on; you may not be able to offset the losses from the first business against the second one. There must be a continuation of the same business. As a general rule of thumb, if the interval between the businesses is longer than three years, it would be deemed that the first business has stopped completely.

So, based on the limited information you have provided, I suspect you cannot utilise your losses and they will just lapse.

As a side issue, the sale of the property falls under the capital gains tax regime so there may be capital gains tax to pay if you have made a profit on the sale.

I would recommend that you speak with your local TaxAssist Accountant, as there could be significant tax implications from the scenario you have described.

By Jo Nockels

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