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Record high for company landlords
First The number of homes let out by company landlords has reached a record high as investors come up with creative ways to get around the Governments clampdown on buy-to-let.
One in five homes that are let out In the UK are owned by companies, according to new research by Countrywide. This is an increase of 6 per cent since the first quarter of last year, and is the biggest jump on record.
ln London, 27 per cent of rental properties are owned by a company landlord, a far higher rate than anywhere else in the country. The next highest level is Yorkshire and the Humber, where companies own 17 per cent of let properties
Companies in the capital largely control the top end of the rental market with many properties rented for hundreds of pounds a month.
More buy-to-let Investors are purchasing properties as a limited company to make it more tax efficient, as the Government’s assault on amateur landlords continues. Changes to the income tax relief an mortgage interest payments started in April, and are being phased in over a four-year period, until 2020.
The incoming tapering of mortgage tax relief is likely driving the increase. Companies are generally taxed more favourably, particularly with recent changes by government to tax relief, so in many cases landlords can make cash savings by operating through a company rather than as an Individual.
However, in some cases the changes could mean some landlords will end up paying more tax on their investment. This could lead them to either sell or increase property rents.
The news came as Countrywide's lettings index revealed average rents in Great Britain fell 0.3 per cent in March compared with me same period last year. This is the second consecutive monthly fall recorded,
In Central London, there was a fall in average rents of 9.5 per cent in the period since March 2016, but in the Greater London area, taking in me outskirts, that fall was just 0.4 per cent. Rents grew at the fastest rate in Scotland, where they went up 4 per cent.
Rents fell again in March, mostly driven by falls in London. Stock growth continue to outpace demand in the capital, giving tenants more negotiating power, pushing down rents. In much of the rest of the UK rents continued to rise, although at a slower rate.
Property Professional Magazine Issue 25 - November/December 2017