Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules encompasses the rules for family members of British nationals, including unmarried partners, fiancés, spouses, or children who wish to come to the UK. To obtain a visa under this category, most individuals are required to meet a financial requirement. The rules provide detailed guidelines on how these requirements can be fulfilled. This post focuses on the use of property rental income as a means of meeting the financial requirement.
The minimum income requirement for a partner applying under Appendix FM without dependant children is £18,600. A partner with one child in addition to the partner will be required to demonstrate an income of £22,400 and an additional £2,400 for each further child. The financial requirement does not apply to children who are British nationals or those who are settled. This income requirement is the same for applications for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
When considering property rental income as a means to meet the financial requirement for a UK visa application, the Home Office examines the actual income received from property rental during the 12 months before the application date. You can rely on income from property in the UK or overseas. It’s important to note that if the property is jointly owned with someone other than your Sponsor, you can only rely on the income derived from your share of the property.
The total income from property rental is considered the amount that can be relied upon to meet the financial requirement, without the need to deduct any expenses related to the property, such as maintenance, management fees, or mortgage payments. This implies that even if your rental income is lower than your mortgage expenses, you can still potentially fulfil the requirements set forth in the Immigration Rules.
The property does not necessarily need to be rented out for the entire 12-month period. If the property serves as a holiday let and is only rented out for part of the year, it can still be counted towards meeting the financial requirement. Furthermore, it is not mandatory for the property to be rented out at the time of the visa application. As long as you can demonstrate sufficient income from the property within the past 12 months, you can fulfil the requirements.
UK Property and Rental arrangements
Property rental income from a property that is your current or future residence in the UK cannot be used to fulfil the financial requirement. This also means that lodger arrangements cannot be considered a valid source for meeting the financial requirement.
What Evidence is needed to rely on property rental income?
To meet the Immigration Rules requirements for rental income from property in the UK or overseas:
- Ownership Proof: You must demonstrate ownership of the property. It can be owned by either the applicant or their partner. This can be shown through title deeds, confirmation from the Land Registry, or a mortgage statement.
- Bank Statements: Bank statements for the 12-month period preceding the application date should be provided. These statements should demonstrate that rental income has been deposited into a personal account in the name of the applicant or their partner. Note that it should be a personal account, not a business account. If rental income is paid into a business account due to renting properties through a business, alternative sources of income may need to be used to meet the requirements.
- Rental Agreement: A rental agreement or contract should be provided to confirm the rental arrangement and to specify the monthly rental amount.
If the property is jointly owned with a third party, only the income received from the applicant’s share of the property can be counted.
Deducting Management Fees
In calculating rental income, it is permissible to consider the amount received before any management fees are deducted. This means that the gross rental income can be considered for meeting the financial requirement.
Combining Rental Income with Other Sources
There are specific circumstances where rental income can be combined with other sources to meet the financial requirement:
Returning UK residents who plan to bring their partner to the UK and are relying on employment income must earned at least £18,600 in the last 12 months and have a job offer in the UK of at least £18,600.
Property rental income from a property that will become their main residence upon return can be included in calculating the income earned in the last 12 months. However, the rental income cannot be counted towards the income required when they return to the UK.
If combining self-employment or income from a limited company with rental income, the rental income must be from the same period as the other source. For example, if you are self-employed and relying on the most recent tax year ending on 5 April for income, your rental income should also be from that same period.
The amount of rental income you have will reduce the amount of cash savings you need to demonstrate towards the financial requirement.
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Frequently asked questions
Equity in a property cannot be used as a means to fulfil the financial requirement. Only rental income generated from the property can be taken into account.
Yes, it is possible to combine rental income from multiple properties to meet the financial requirement. However, you must be able to provide evidence of ownership and rental income from each property, along with the relevant supporting documentation.