Buy-to-let investors are rushing to set up limited companies to avoid Chancellor George Osborne’s forthcoming tax crackdown.
Investors are trying to escape the cut in tax relief announced in the summer Budget and a surcharge on stamp duty announced in the Autumn Statement.
Limited companies may be exempt from both these charges, as rules stand.
Kent Reliance building society has seen a 200% surge in the number of mortgages taken out by companies since George Osborne’s first raid on landlords in July, according to a report in The Daily Mail.
In September 6,000 homes were bought via a limited company, against the historical average of 2,500.
Limited companies took out one in four of all buy-to-let loans.
Cutting landlord tax relief to the basic rate of 20% will cost more than 200,000 landlords a total of £2.6billion.
The 3% surcharge on stamp duty tax could bring in an extra £4 billion for the Treasury.
Although others have warned that it could backfire by slashing tax revenues as investors desert the market.
The new surcharge on stamp duty for buy-to-let and second homes is forecast to cause mayhem in the run up to 1 April next year.
Some fear Osborne's assault on buy-to-let could trigger a housing market boom and bust.