LANDLORD: ‘Why I’ve Been Exiting Residential And Moving Into Commercial Property’

A leading portfolio landlord in Northern Ireland has vowed to focus on the commercial sector after becoming fed up with the UK’s overbearing tax regime.

Ian Jackson, a Belfast-based property investor and consultant, has offloaded all but 40 of his 142 residential properties in the last few years – 20 of them in the last 12 months – and has started buying commercial properties instead.

“I’ve had to rethink my tactics which was driven by the changes such as Section 24,” he tells LandlordZONE.

“I bought commercial buildings some time ago but have decided to revisit that because the sector isn’t as affected by the tax issues and there is less interference – although it is still challenging, with different pitfalls.”

Jackson has properties in Northern Ireland, Manchester and Scotland which means dealing with three different governments, none of whom are interested in what landlords think.

This is a mistake, he says. “They’ll find out the hard way that zero foresight will cost them more than the extra tax from landlords.

Snapped up The properties I’ve sold have usually gone to homeowners, which means there are fewer rental properties on the market, while every time we put something on for rent, it’s snapped up in a day.”

Jackson says the housing shortage is here to stay and doesn’t believe government will catch up, ignoring the warning signs and even hard data as they chase votes instead.

He reckons this attitude is particularly hard on new investors with less capital, so that anyone putting money into property will now be questioning their decision.

“It’s taking way too long for landlords’ voices to be heard. It may be too late for landlords like me who are wanting to get out, but the government certainly needs to support younger investors,” he adds.

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