The most recent report from Countrywide has revealed that the number of properties being let by company landlords saw the largest year-on-year rise during Q1 of 2017.
These landlords are now enjoying a 20% share of the market, which is the highest proportion since records began in 2010.
Countrywide suggests that alterations to tax relief on rental properties, as announced in the 2015 Spring Budget, could be behind the increases.
Landlords letting properties in the capital are most likely to own their own property through a limited company, with 27% of properties let here being owned through this measure.
In fact, company landlord lets drive both the top and bottom of the rental market, with the most and least expensive properties more likely to be owned by a company landlord. During the last year, one quarter of homes let by a company landlord cost less than £500 pcm.
Rents slipped in March 2017, with the cost of a new let 0.3% lower than it was in the same month last year. The average rent for a new let in Great Britain is now £928-£3 less than one year ago.
This fall in growth was driven by London, the South West and Wales, where rents fell by 0.4% 0.2% and 6% respectively.
Johnny Morris, Research Director at Countrywide, noted: ‘The number of rented homes owned through a company is on the up. The incoming tapering of mortgage tax relief is likely driving the increase. Companies are generally taxed more favourably, 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.’
‘Rents fell again in March, mostly driven by falls in London. Stock growth continues to outpace demand in the capital, giving tenants more negotiating power, pushing down rents. In much of the rest of the UK rents continued to grow, although at a slower rate.’