Browsing all articles from November, 2022

BLOG: What are the pros and cons of investing in property via a Limited Company?

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A recent survey from Paragon Bank suggested that the number of landlords planning to set up a Limited Company to purchase a buy-to-let property reached 62% in the second quarter of 2022, up from 50% in the first quarter of the year.

According to the research, this is the highest proportion of landlords in the last three years that have indicated they are moving to a Limited Company.

Although some landlords have been investing in buy-to-let via a company for many years, the trend has increased rapidly since April 2017, when the government decided to phase in changes to the rules on how mortgage interest was taxed.

By April 2021, none of the interest paid on buy-to-let mortgages could be deducted from rental income; instead, investors filing Self Assessment tax returns would apply a relief of 20% to the cost of mortgage interest and other finance costs. This typically penalised higher-rate tax payers who could, in the past, have claimed 40% or more tax relief.

Attractive option?

Meanwhile, those that invest through a Limited Company are still allowed to deduct finance costs from their rental profits so, on the surface, that may seem a more attractive option for landlords.

However, it’s important to be aware that this is not straightforward and there are a number of factors that can affect whether such a move would be beneficial overall to you. So, if you’re considering making new investments via a Limited Company and/or transferring the ownership of existing buy-to-lets, you will need expert advice.

For any professional to be able to advise you, it’s important that they understand both your own personal financial situation and also your long-term property investment objectives.

For instance, are you looking to invest for pension income? Do you plan to pass on your portfolio to your children? Only then can all the pros and cons be properly taken into consideration, to help assess whether investing via a Limited Company is the right thing for you.

The pros

  • You can deduct all your finance costs from the rental income.
  • Typically, you pay a lower tax via the company, versus rates of personal income tax.
  • Transferring ownership of a property or portfolio can be easily done via reallocation of shares, rather than changing the actual ownership of the property.
  • Any profit you make can be kept in the company until you need it, rather than having to be declared in the year that you personally earn the income from buy to let. If you’re looking for income when you retire, drawing down dividends as and when you need may be a better option for you.  
  • You may be able to save money when selling a property via a Limited Company rather than as an individual.  
  • It can improve your profit and loss balance, as Limited Companies have to carefully account for every expense, which you may not be doing if you investing as an individual.
  • If you wish to pass on your portfolio to your children, making them shareholders or a Company Director can be much more cost-effective than them inheriting property.

The cons

  • You can’t simply transfer a property from your own ownership to a company without incurring costs such as Stamp Duty charges (Land Transaction Tax in Wales; Land and Buildings Transaction Tax in Scotland).       
  • Financing via a commercial mortgage may cost more than financing a buy-to-let as an individual and you may have to pay higher fees as well. On top of this, you’re likely to have to pay for your Limited Company bank account, which currently may be free of charge.
  • You need to calculate whether the overall amount of tax you pay via a company will be less, or at least no more, than the amount you pay investing in your own name. For instance, with a Limited Company, you will pay Corporation Tax, tax on dividends and will lose your personal allowances and exemptions. 
  • You will need expert advice to understand the most tax-efficient way for you to set up a Limited Company, how to manage your funds via a company, your ongoing accounting and filling in tax returns differently. So you may incur higher ongoing costs if you need to employ an accountant to make sure you produce accounts according to government rules and regulations.

If you haven’t already, it’s worth finding out if investing in buy-to-let via a Limited Company could be right for you. We’ve partnered with GetGround, who have helped over 10,000 property investors set up their own Limited Companies and their experts can work with you to discover whether it might be worthwhile for you to make the switch.

If you’re keen to find out more, do contact your local Leaders branch and they will put you in direct touch with the experts at GetGround.

View Full Article: BLOG: What are the pros and cons of investing in property via a Limited Company?


Tenants happy to pay 13% rent premium for green homes, says big landlord

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Renters are willing to pay a 13% premium for a low carbon property, according to new research from Legal & General.

Its survey found that buyers would fork out 10.5% more, with all consumers now rating homes that have energy efficient, sustainable features as more important than the size of the property. There has also been a 34% rise in searches for eco-friendly homes.

Almost two-thirds (62%) see more green investment in housing as an attractive or very attractive option to address the cost-of-living crisis. When asked why they would buy or rent a low-carbon home, 65% of those surveyed chose environmental factors such as reducing their carbon footprint or helping to prevent climate change, while 37% prioritised the cost savings from cheaper energy bills.

Legal & General says the figures indicate that greener residential buildings could generate higher purchase and rental premiums, which would represent a major turning point in the way residential housing is valued in the future.

Material difference

“Climate change and energy efficiency have risen right up the agenda for many people when choosing a home,” says John Alker, head of sustainability.

“With buyers and renters prepared to pay a 10.5% and 13% premium respectively, energy efficiency and sustainability in homes make a material difference to the consumer. This research helps cement the business case for investors and developers to invest in low carbon homes.

“It also shows that clarity is key when it comes to low carbon and energy efficiency. Energy Performance Certificates are not well understood – they need reforming to better reflect real world energy consumption and to help incentivise adoption of low-carbon technology.”

Read more about EPC upgrade costs.

View Full Article: Tenants happy to pay 13% rent premium for green homes, says big landlord


TONIGHT: ITV News to investigate huge problems caused by lack of stock in PRS

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ITV News is to highlight the problems facing the private rented sector tonight, including items during its 6pm and 10pm Evening News bulletins.

Reporter Dan Hewitt (pictured above) is set to lift the lid on the challenges facing landlords and tenants, including how the Government’s Section 24 tax changes and the looming Renters Reform Act measures are reducing the amount of stock and driving up rents.

The bulletins will also include an interview with Landlord Action’s Paul Shamplina in London.

This included visits to two properties where tenants faced eviction in Ilford and Barnet; both being served Section 8 notices.

One had built up rent arrears of £17,000 after it took the landlords months to get their possession order via the courts.

“During the interview I highlighted to Dan that, during my 30 years spent working in the private rented sector, and 22 years running Landlord Action, I’ve never seen such a severe crisis of rental supply in the market,” he says.

“We are seeing an unprecedented number of landlords leaving the sector and serving Section 21 notices to enable them to sell their properties – many small landlords are simply throwing in the towel.”

Shamplina (pictured with Hewitt) says this is due to three drivers; the Section 24 changes to tax relief on mortgage interest, the hike in interest rates brought about by Kwarteng’s mini budget, and the extra regulation expected in the Renters Reform Bill next year.

“As I said on camera to Dan, the biggest losers from all this are tenants many of whom are now finding that huge competition – sometimes up to 40 applicants – for a reduced number of rented properties means higher rents.

“And it’s not going to get better – next year I predict that evictions next year will eclipse those during 2019 before Covid struck – so possibly more than 120,000, although this will include more mortgage evictions as the recession bites as well as landlords exiting the market.”

Watch the ITV news team in action


View Full Article: TONIGHT: ITV News to investigate huge problems caused by lack of stock in PRS


How much landlords will pay under new CGT rules revealed

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Changes to capital gains tax (CGT) announced in the recent Autumn Statement will see the average landlord pay up to £1,764 more if they exit the BTL sector in the 2023-24 tax year, research reveals.

That’s according to the London lettings and estate agent

The post How much landlords will pay under new CGT rules revealed appeared first on Property118.

View Full Article: How much landlords will pay under new CGT rules revealed


Rents will continue rising as landlords ‘withdraw’

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A lack of rental stock because landlords are leaving the PRS and continued tenant demand will continue pushing up rents, researchers reveal.

The data from TwentyEA also highlight that the average asking price for rent across the UK was sitting at £1,605 per month in Q3 2022.

The post Rents will continue rising as landlords ‘withdraw’ appeared first on Property118.

View Full Article: Rents will continue rising as landlords ‘withdraw’


COURTS: Landmark ruling given on commercial property ‘notices to quit’

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In a landmark decision, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a landlord was wrong to serve notice on a commercial tenant who hadn’t told him he had assigned the tenancy to a company.

It overturned previous rulings relating to the case of O G Thomas Amaethyddiath v Turner & Ors concerning the validity of a notice to quit an agricultural holding which was held under an oral tenancy.

The tenant, Mr Thomas, assigned the tenancy to a company – and was the sole director and shareholder – however the landlord was unaware that the company existed.

Three days later, he served a bare notice to quit, addressing both the notice and its covering letter to Mr Thomas and not the company. This was served on the tenant at his home address which was also the company’s registered address.

Stuart Nevin (pictured) principal associate at Shoosmiths, says that the key issue for the court was whether the notice to quit was valid, despite having been addressed to Mr Thomas rather than the company.

The previous courts – first instance and first appeal – ruled that sufficient notice had been given to the company despite the landlord having no knowledge of the assignment.

But the Court of Appeal overturned that decision. Nevin explains that a notice with typographical errors – where an intention to serve on the correct recipient is clear – could still hold, but not when the landlord was unaware of the assignment to the new tenant company.

“O G Thomas is an important decision for practitioners, landlords and tenants when effecting proper service of a notice to quit,” he says. 

“The fact that Mr Thomas was the sole shareholder of the company, and that the company’s registered address was identical to Mr Thomas’ address, did not offer sufficient grounds to validate the notice.”

Read the ruling in full.

View Full Article: COURTS: Landmark ruling given on commercial property ‘notices to quit’


‘Tenants won’t be safe unless laws are fit for purpose, enforceable and fully policed’

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Following the tragic death of toddler Awaab Ishak NRLA boss Ben Beadle has written to Michael Gove to urge his department to ensure existing regulations and laws are enforced properly.

The two-year-old died from health complications brought on after living in a mould-infested property for several years run by a housing association in Rochdale.

Beadle has written to Gove to say that all responsible landlords “are appalled at this needless and avoidable death”.

“It is important though, that Mr Gove recognises that all of the laws and standards in the world won’t protect renters unless they are fit for purpose, enforceable and properly enforced.

“Good landlords should have nothing to fear in providing good quality, decent homes.

“It is essential therefore that full use of the 170 pieces of legislation governing the sector is made when it comes to improving standards in both the social and private rented sector.

“It is further important that local authorities have the means at their disposal to carry out this important function.”

Gove promised three days ago to bring in new initiatives to protect tenants in the social housing sector.


Sean Hooker (pictured), Head of Redress at the PRS, adds that his organisation has seen a steady increase in complaints on these sort of problems, but that “we only deal with the properties managed by agents [and therefore] what is desperately needed is redress that covers landlords and for that complaint service to be easily and readily accessible to tenants.

“This could help enforcement agencies concentrate on the hard core cases. I also believe that regular property inspections are essential and cannot understand why an inventory is not a must for all properties.”

Read the NRLA letter in full.

View Full Article: ‘Tenants won’t be safe unless laws are fit for purpose, enforceable and fully policed’


South Coast council seeks MP’s help to charge Airbnb landlords more tax

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Chichester Council hopes to enlist its local MP to help make holiday home owners pay council tax.

It’s writing to Gillian Keegan MP (pictured), asking her to raise the issue with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities after it heard that hundreds of homes in the city were making use of services such as rubbish and recycling collection despite not paying council tax.

Councillor Graeme Barrett told a cabinet meeting that a significant number of properties in the West Wittering parish had had their tax band deleted and did not pay council tax.

He said: “There are currently 326 properties registered as second homes of which many may be let out as holiday accommodation.

“In the case of holiday accommodation, the rateable values are well below £12,000, and the average in West Wittering for this type of business is £4,750, meaning that no business rates are actually paid. It is apparent that these properties do not contribute to the council’s cost of providing services.”

Barrett suggested the government should propose a solution for councils to be reimbursed for the services they provide.

Holiday lets

Councillor Peter Wilding (pictured) agreed: “My view is holiday lets should not be exempt from council tax at all because they receive exactly the same services as a property occupied by an owner.”

The authority isn’t the first to try and crack down on second homes; earlier this month, North Yorkshire backed plans to introduce a 100% premium for council tax bills on second homes in the county within the next two years, while Cornwall now looks set to do the same. However, neither council has closed the tax loophole on holiday lets.

Read more about Airbnb regulation.

View Full Article: South Coast council seeks MP’s help to charge Airbnb landlords more tax


Green Party calls for rent freeze in England – but are Ministers listening?

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The Green Party has joined the growing chorus of calls for a winter rent freeze in England to stave off evictions and homelessness.

It wants the government to introduce an immediate freeze on rent rises and a ban on no-fault evictions until at least the end of March – and for it to urgently bring forward the promised Renters Reform Bill.

The party points to MoJ statistics that show no-fault evictions are at their highest since 2017 and that evictions for rent arrears are at their highest on record, although new housing minister Felicity Buchan recently told a meeting of landlords that the Government would ‘never allow it’.

“Households already face soaring energy and food costs – the last thing they need, on top of everything else they have to contend with, is unaffordable rent rises and the fear of being evicted,” says co-leader Carla Denyer (main picture).

“Rising private rents and increasing evictions have also been cited as major causes of a dramatic increase in homelessness in London and other cities.”

Welsh hope

Following Scotland’s lead where emergency measures have become law, the Green Party hopes the Senedd will use its devolved powers to do the same, although this looks unlikely as Labour voted down a call to freeze rents in Wales last month, warning it could backfire if landlords remove homes from the market.

However, there is a long-standing precedent for the move in Europe. In France, a five-month respite for renters at risk for eviction lasts each year until 31st March while there are also winter eviction bans in Austria, the Brussels and Wallonia Regions of Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Last month, the Irish government signed-off on a winter eviction ban that will last until April.

Pic credit: The Green Party

View Full Article: Green Party calls for rent freeze in England – but are Ministers listening?


The Mortgage Market Maze

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To fix your mortgage rate or not. That is THE question of 2022, a year of uncertainty in the mortgage market.

Over the past 12 months the Bank Rate has increased 8 times, from 0.1% in November 2021 to 3.0% a year later

The post The Mortgage Market Maze appeared first on Property118.

View Full Article: The Mortgage Market Maze




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