Initial settings on a landlord

Initially when you are setting up landlords, there are steps you can take to ensure best practice. The settings on a landlord record will determine:

  • The delivery method used to send the landlord statement
  • How a landlord is paid and to which bank account you will pay the rental income
  • Your allowance to retain money if needed
  • Your ability to attach supplier invoices to the landlord statement
  • Your ability to change the landlord next statement number
  • Your ability to record the landlord overseas tax and VAT status
  • For landlords with multiple properties, the setting up of Payment Groups will determine if they get one statement with all rental income and one combined payment, or if they get one statement per property with individual payments per property


It is important that your landlord records are set up correctly before entering opening balances or accounts transactions onto Alto. Changes to settings after this will not be applied to existing transactions, only those created going forward

This article includes: 

Landlord set up

 Best practice

In line with current HMRC guidelines, each landlord should have their own individual contact record. This will allow you to add each landlords individual NRL exemption details and will ensure that your HMRC reporting is as accurate as possible

Account delivery method for accounting documents

  1. Click Contacts on the main toolbar
  2. Select the relevant contact (Landlord) from Recent & Favourite Contacts
    1.  Alternatively, find the contact (Landlord) using the Search Contacts bar in the top right
  3. Click Contact on the side menu
  4. Scroll down to the Account Delivery Method section and tick the applicable delivery method(s)
  5. Click Save

Adding Landlord Bank Details

When setting up the landlords Payment Groups, the associated bank account information is assigned in the corresponding Payment file.  

On the landlord record:

  1. Click Contact on the side menu
  2. Click the Bank Details top tab
  3. Click Add Bank Account
  4. If the bank already exists in your system, use the Search bar, or, click a bank from the list
    1. To add a new bank, branch, and sort code to the list, click Add New
    2. Select the bank name from the Bank dropdown menu
    3. Enter the bank Branch Name
    4. Enter the Sort Code
    5. Enter the Postcode
    6. Click Ok
  5. Click Confirm 
  6. The Add Bank Account Details window appears. Complete the bank account information for your landlord 
  7. Click Add to save

For more information on Adding landlord bank account details, click here

Setting up Payment Groups


All properties initially assigned to a landlord will automatically appear together in the Default Payment Group

A landlord statement is produced for each Payment Group. For individual properties or a group of properties to have their own statement, you must first create a Payment Group and then move the property/properties into the new Payment Group.

  • Example 1: A landlord with 6 properties requires a separate statement for each property so that they can keep the income and expenditure separate for each property
    You will need to create 6 Payment Groups with 1 property in each group

  • Example 2: A landlord with 8 properties in 2 blocks of 4 flats may want one statement for each block of flats, and regularly uses the income from one flat to pay for the maintenance on another flat in the same block
    You will need to create 2 Payment Groups with the 4 relevant flats in each group

Creating a new Payment Group

On the landlord record:

  1. Click Contact on the side menu
  2. Click the Payment Groups top tab
  3. Click Create Payment Group
  4. The Configure Payment Group window opens
    1. In Group Name, type the name of the payment group, i.e. the name of the property or block
    2. In Retention Target, add the amount of money you intend to hold, i.e. if you retain a maintenance float
    3. Select the Payment Method from the dropdown menu
    4. For Payment To, if paying by BACS, you need to select which bank account the payment is to be made to. If you fail to complete both of these steps, the BACS process will state you have insufficient details when processing your BACS payments
    5. From the Statement Remark dropdown menu, select your default statement remark
    6. Change the Next Statement Number if needed
    7. Check the tick box if you want suppliers invoices uploaded into Alto to be attached to statements
  5. Click Save


The Payment Method is automatically set to BACS on all contact records. If you do not have BACS payment functions set up with your bank, it's important that you select the correct Payment Method that you do use, before you generate any landlord statements 

Moving a property to the new Payment Group

  1. Click the red downward arrow to show the list of properties in the current Payment Group
  2. Click Move next to the property you want to move
  3. On the popup box, click Select for the Payment Group you want to move the property into
  4. Click Move

All accounting transactions for these properties will now be on separate statements. You'll be able to see them separately on the Landlords To Pay screen.

Default Payment Group Settings

  1. Click the cog next to the Default Payment Group
  2. The Configure Payment Group window opens
    1. Change the Group Name, i.e. to the property address
    2. Follow the process as stated above in Creating a new Payment Group

Setting Landlord VAT status

 On the landlord record:

  1. Click Contact on the side menu
  2. Click the Tax top tab
  3. Change VAT Registered from Unknown to Yes or No


If left as Unknown, Alto will assume that the landlord is VAT registered. An incorrect VAT status could affect the overseas tax calculation

Landlord overseas tax settings

You should ensure that you set the landlords tax status before receipting any money.

On the landlord record:

  1. Click Contact on the side menu
  2. Click the Tax top tab
  3. Click Add Overseas Period
  4. Enter the Overseas From and to dates. Tick Ongoing if you do not have a return date 
  5. Enter the landlord Exemption Certificate Number
  6. Click Add to save  


If you don't have an Exemption Certificate Number and click Add without adding this number, Alto will automatically retain 20% of any monies receipted

Related articles: 

Initial settings on a property

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