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Number of landlords setting up limited companies rises nearly four-fold

Mortgage brokers says tax relief reduction is driving landlords to seek new ways to avoid paying extra tax.

Nigel Lewis

The number of landlords setting up limited companies to run their businesses through has increased dramatically as the April 6th tax relief deadline looms, it has been claimed.

Lender Mortgages for Business says the number of landlords applying for loans through limited companies has increased from 21% of all applications in 2015 to 77% of today, an almost four-fold increase.

Purchases and transfers

Mortgage for Business says the increase is made up of both landlords purchasing properties through newly set-up limited companies, and those transferring existing personally-owned properties to limited companies.

The government is gradually reducing the finance cost relief that landlords personally receive on their mortgage interest payments each year between now and 2021, when the relief will end.

Limited company mortgages are also quickly starting to eat up more of the overall buy-to-let market, increasing from 18% two years ago to 47% today, and the number of buy to let mortgages available has increased too, by more than a third.

landlords setting up limited companies John Whittaker“With the changing face of the buy to let mortgage market, it is no surprise that lenders are keen to appeal to limited company borrowers,” says David Whittaker, CEO of Mortgages for Business (pictured, left).

“We have been recommending for some time that our clients seek professional tax advice to determine whether incorporation is the most suitable route for their circumstances, and these figures can only further encourage landlords to consider their position.”

John Eastgate landlords setting up limited companiesBut setting up a limited company is not the only strategy open to landlords. John Eastgate of OneSavings Bank (pictured, right), says many of his landlord clients have also been transferring ownership of properties to “a spouse or other or partner in a lower tax bracket”.

“Worryingly, one in six landlords do not understand the financial implications of the changes and will be in for a nasty shock when they find that they can no longer deduct all finance costs from rental income at the end of the 2017/18 tax year.”

April 5, 2017

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