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Research by estate agents Countrywide found that in the past quarter, one in five UK landlords were operating through limited companies – the highest proportion since records began in 2010.
"The incoming tapering of mortgage tax relief is likely driving the increase," said Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide. "Companies are generally taxed more favorably, 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."
The changes to income tax relief on mortgage interest payments announced in Budget 2015 make it more tax efficient in some cases for landlords to own their buy-to-let portfolio through a company rather than hold it as a personal asset, said Countrywide.
The changes are being phased in over a four-year period until 2020 and took effect on April 6, 2017.
Countrywide said that the numbers have been steadily rising since 2013 but Q1 2017 recorded the biggest annual jump, of six percent.
London was the location with the most properties structured through a company, with 27 percent of rental properties owned by a company.
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