Company Buy to Lets
In the last few years, a big trend in the property sector has been people buying residential investment properties using a company structure.
Until a few years ago company buy-to-lets were rare for the very wealthy and any mortgage finance was expensive.
However, in the summer of 2015, the Government introduced changes to limit the deductibility of mortgage interest and as a result, there has been a considerable shift to either investors selling up any BTLs in personal names or buying any new properties in a company name and transferring existing properties into a company.
The potential benefits of a Company Buy-to-Let
The potential benefits are that corporation tax treatment on your profits could be more advantageous than you being taxed as income tax. The company structure will also enable you to have flexibility as to the withdrawal of profits.
As of April 2020, mortgage interest will no longer be an allowable expense for individual property investors but it will continue to be so for companies. These changes are now being phased in.
There are also opportunities to mitigate against inheritance tax (IHT).
In addition to the potential tax benefits, you are able to limit your personal liability through a limited company unless you are required by a lender to give a personal guarantee.
How do I form a buy-to-to-let company?
In order to set up a company you need to register with Company House, completing the necessary paperwork. This can be complicated, as the paperwork can be in-depth with legal and accountant jargon. Therefore you may find it easier and ultimately more cost-effective in the long run to ask one of our solicitors to set up your company for you. We can do this as an add-on to your conveyancing.
How do I transfer property into a company?
In order to do this, you will need to instruct a solicitor. As the current owner, you are effectively selling your property to a company, therefore you will need to redeem your current mortgage if you have one and set up the required finance in your company name. Selling the property will mean you are liable for stamp duty and may have to pay capital gains tax. Therefore we would also recommend you speak to an accountant first.
How long will it take?
Timescales vary and on average it will take 4-6 weeks but it depends upon a number of factors outside of our control. We will endeavour to complete the matter quickly as possible within your timescales.
How much will the legal fee be?
The fees payable for company buy-to-lets are as per the Attwells Residential Calculator plus an additional sum of £225 plus VAT.
In the event that it is a company buy-to-let purchase using mortgage finance or re-mortgage, then £749 plus VAT is due on top of our residential fee scale.
If you are using an overseas company then a £900 plus VAT supplement applies to cover the cost of the additional checks we need to undertake to onboard an overseas company as a client.
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will also be due and you can calculate your liability by reference to the Government Tax Service webpage.
Land Registry Fees are due and will be payable based upon the purchase price and using the registry fee scale.
If the buyer is a company taking lending then a Companies House fee of £23 will be payable.
In all cases, bankruptcy, final searches will be £25 and a Winding Up Search Fee will be £22.50 plus VAT (this is an estimate).
If the premises are leasehold then notice of the transfer of the premises will need to be served on the Landlord whose costs typically range between £50 and £200. We will confirm the figure once it is known to us.
When will I pay?
You will need to pay 50% of the fixed fee upfront together with the search fees. The balance of fees and disbursements will be due on completion.
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