When Buy to Let customers with an existing property portfolio in Manchester get in touch, we often hear the following question: Am I able to exchange ownership of my property from my own name, into the name of my limited company?
A good starting point is to know how a mortgage lender will approach purchases from Limited Companies. You will be hard pressed to find any lenders that will accept applications from a Limited Company through anything other than an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) Company.
An example of this is a company set up with the sole intention of investing in properties like this. When registering your company, your registration will include a SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) Code that shows the types of business in which the company will be involved with. Mortgage lenders normally would not accept applications from general trading companies that can trade in multiple areas.
If, for example, you have a plumbing and heating company (covering both trades), you will need to set up an entirely new company to own the properties in your Buy-to-Let portfolio, rather than buy them through your plumbing company. The SIC codes typically accepted are 68100, 68201, 68209, 68320, though this is varied depending on the lender you go with.
To find out more information about SIC Codes, consult the Government website: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/527619/SIC07_CH_condensed_list_en.csv/preview
You will find yourself with both advantages and disadvantages to purchasing a Buy-to-Let in Manchester under a Limited Company. For example, applications from SPV’s may not be considered by all lenders. Instead, they would rather limit their lending to lone applicants or couples who are applying in their own personal name(s) as opposed to a company name. Because of this, applicants using their own personal name will find themselves with a wider range of products than those using SPV’s.
When it comes to the lenders who would lend to an SPV, the mortgage rates are also generally much higher than the rates offered to individual applicants. An upside however, is that the way rental income is taxed has been changed over the past few years, meaning that many people prefer to make use of the advantages generated by SPV ownership (relating to how income is taken and how that income is taxed), as they more than make up for any extra interest charges or lack of choice when it comes to products.
One of the primary things we always suggest our customers look at when evaluating their options of buying your portfolio under an SPV, is that you speak with a specialist tax advisor for professional advice. A tax advisor will be able to assess factors such as external income sources and the rate of personal income tax you pay, seeing how they will affect the overall status of your tax. This will help decide whether or not individual or SPV ownership is an option you should go with.
As mentioned previously, a main deciding factor in your decision will be the position of your tax. This becomes a little more complicated when you start to weigh in whether or not you want to transfer properties you already own from individual ownership, to company ownership.
The issue is that it isn’t just a simple, straight-forward transfer. This type of transaction is a change of legal ownership. Your Limited Company is in it’s own right, a completely separate corporate identity. As such, the transaction will be counted as a purchase from you as the individual, to the SPV. With this in mind, stamp duty charges, legal costs and new mortgage and valuation charges will all be in play once again.
You must remember that Limited Companies come with running expenses and legal obligation, however, these may be offset by the possibility of tax-deductible costs or long-term tax benefits.
If a buy-to-let landlord is looking to increase their property portfolio, it would probably benefit them more to keep the current property under their individual name and only use the SPV to buy any additional properties. By doing this, you avoid any switching costs and unwanted legal fees for something that is already yours. That being said, each case is different, and you may find that the upside of a switch is far more beneficial than any of the downsides that come with it. It’s all depending on individual circumstance.
As covered, this is very specific territory. If you are thinking of following this path, please get in touch with an experienced and knowledgeable Buy-to-Let Mortgage Broker in Manchester.
Here at Manchestermoneyman, we have many Buy-to-Let experts on hand to provide a high standard of mortgage advice in Manchester, backed up by introductions to appropriately experienced accountants and solicitors as and when necessary.
To speak with a Mortgage Advisor in Manchester, please Get in Touch and we will see what we can do for you.