Landlords to weigh up costs of changing to company status

Landlords will need to weigh up the costs of incorporating to combat the changes hitting the buy-to-let sector, David Cox has claimed.

Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said landlords will need to look at whether the costs of setting up a limited company will create savings compared with the capping of mortgage interest relief that can be offset against tax, and Stamp Duty hikes.

Speaking at ARLA’s 2016 conference, he said: “Landlords will make losses. They have to do the maths to see if incorporating would make them better off.”

He said there is still an opportunity for lettings agents, especially with so much regulation and legislative changes.

Much of the conference focused on institutional investment in buy-to-let and whether that threatened smaller landlords, Mr Cox said he didn’t see this as a threat, adding: “There is a big shortage of hosing stock. Even if institutional landlords build 100,000 a year extra, we would still be 150,000 short.

“There will always be a role for private landlords.”

Cox predicted a lot of properties will come onto the market in the second quarter of this year as a result of the Stamp Duty changes but suggested the market could get quieter until early next year as landlords regain losses from the extra tax paid.

Over 1,000 delegates attended Tuesday’s highly successful ARLA conference.