I was very interested to read a report advising that the number of investors purchasing buy-to-let properties through a limited company rose sharply in the final quarter of 2015.  Figures from Mortgages for Business indicated that nearly 40% of all new buy-to-let applications came from limited companies.  As readers of my blogs will know, I am concerned what impact the recent proposed tax changes will have on the buy-to-let market.  I am certainly seeing an increase in the number of clients purchasing via a limited company.  I am also in discussions with a number of property investors, both large and small, who are looking at converting their portfolio from the name of an individual to a limited company.  Whilst there are additional costs involved such as legal costs and borrowing costs – which tend to be slightly higher – the tax benefits, including the use of Directors’ Loan provisions, tend (in most cases) to make the switch worthwhile.  Recent proposals have, as I have always stressed, reinforced the importance of planning and working out your strategy for the short, medium and long term.

To slightly amend an old Law Society of Scotland marketing slogan:

“If you are thinking of investing in property, it’s never too early to call a property investment lawyer!”

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property

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