Landlords ‘prefer operating as limited companies’

Buy-to-let landlords prefer to purchase residential properties through a limited company, regardless of the size of their portfolio.

Foundation Home Loans (FHL) claimed that 62% of landlords with up to ten properties bought homes via a limited company in the three months to the end of September 2019.

That figure was almost matched (65%) among buy-to-let landlords with more than 11 residential properties in their portfolio.

Around two-thirds (63%) of the 883 landlords polled in September planned to make their next purchase via a limited company - up from 55% in June.

Jeff Knight, marketing director at FHL, said:

"Landlords with large and small portfolios are equally convinced by the limited company model, which has gained a foothold

"It is narrowing the cost margin that previously left landlords choosing to buy in a spouse's name or as an individual.

"Property investors seem more reassured that the limited company structure is a feasible way for them to press on with growth plans confidently."

Prior to April 2017, predominantly buy-to-let landlords with large portfolios were the ones using the limited company business structure.

Individuals with small portfolios tended to borrow money through buy-to-let mortgages and benefit from mortgage interest tax relief.

But this relief has been gradually phased out since April 2017, resulting in rising tax bills for some buy-to-let landlords. A basic-rate tax credit will completely replace it by 2020/21.

Mortgage interest tax relief does not affect buy-to-let landlords operating through limited companies.

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