Top tips for would be buy-to-let landlords…..

A significant proportion of the house purchases we deal with are for buy-to-let landlords. Whilst many of them are sophisticated investors with expanding portfolios there are also those who are new to the world of letting. And for some of them the requirements with which they will need to comply and the extra considerations to take into account can come as a shock.

This is a great article for would be buy-to-let landlords who are considering whether residential property might be a good investment. The right property in the right location and held in the most tax efficient legal structure can be a a great addition to any portfolio… but get it wrong and it could turn into a costly headache!

As buy to let solicitors, we do a lot of work at the initial stages with our clients to ensure that the investment property they are planning to buy is purchased by the correct entity – possibly by the individual personally but nowadays setting up property holding companies is becoming increasingly popular. There are also a number of easy steps that, if taken at the time of purchase, can capitalise on reliefs and minimise the tax that needs to be paid. At a time when the rules are changing it pays to take time at the beginning to ensure that your investment really is going to work for you.

As a landlord, you need to pay tax on the money you receive from tenants, if your total income for the tax year is above the personal allowance threshold of £10,600.

Failure to do so is against the law, and could result in a hefty fine or even a prison sentence.

On top of that, landlords need to be aware that the level of tax they pay is changing.

At the moment, landlords can claim tax relief on monthly interest repayments at the level of income tax that they currently pay.

But over the next four years from April 2017, this mortgage interest tax relief will be stepped down to a maximum of 20 per cent basic tax rate.