SPF Private Clients has incorporated a portfolio of more than 330 buy-to-let properties into a single company vehicle.
According to the firm, the deal is the largest buy-to-let incorporation in the UK and it took over a year to arrange.
The deal had to take place on the same day in order to qualify for business rollover relief and to avoid significant capital gains tax penalties.
Howard Levy, director of buy-to-let finance at SPF Private Clients liaised with, and coordinated, the lenders, solicitors and valuers involved in the process.
Levy said: “Incorporating on any scale, but particularly this one, is a specialist area that needs advisers who know what they are doing.
“The client has hundreds of properties with mortgages with various lenders – the objective was to create a company with sufficient funding to purchase the portfolio from him, and to complete every new mortgage on the same day.
“I brokered the new finance to six lenders, with each of those having a number of staff specifically assigned to liaise with me to get the transaction completed.
“Just as we got going, the world changed. Everyone was working from home on laptops.
“Some valuers were taking bookings, but tenants didn’t want to let strangers into their homes.
“I was dealing with 13 lenders to redeem the former finance, five legal firms – each with a number of solicitors to cope with the sheer volume of paperwork – and I lost count of the number of valuers.
“Timing was paramount as each valuation has a finite life, and subsequently many of these had to be extended.
“COVID-19 made everything more difficult. Obtaining responses from freeholders, service charge statements, ground rents and other legal requirements takes time in the normal run of things, but everything was much slower.”
Alan Cleary, group managing director of Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, added: ‘We have done quite a few of these large-scale incorporations, although this is the largest we have seen from an individual to a limited company.
“We were delighted to have been able to help a long-term client through this process.
“The client had best advice and we were happy to work with SPF as one of our key partners to ensure the smooth process of what was a complex transaction.”