Some 18 per cent of properties let in the first half of 2018 were registered in the name of a company rather than an individual - the highest proportion ever recorded by the Countrywide brand Hamptons, which publishes a monthly lettings market snapshot.
The figure is some four per cent up on the first half of 2017 and a full eight per cent above the comparable period of 2016.
There are of course sharp regional variations.
No fewer than 25 per cent of homes let in Yorkshire and Humberside in the first six months of this year were owned by a company landlord, followed by the north west of 20 per cent and London (19 per cent).
The numbers have been steadily rising since H1 2015 when the Chancellor announced changes to tax relief on rental properties in that year’s Spring Budget.
The changes meant that it became more tax efficient, in some cases, for landlords to own their buy-to-let portfolios through a company rather than hold as a personal asset.
Hamptons says company landlords are more likely to rent out cheaper homes than individuals.
Thirty five per cent of homes let by a company landlord cost under £500 pcm, compared to 19 per cent of homes let by individuals.
Only two per cent of homes owned by a company landlord were let for more than £2,000 pcm so far in 2018.
One in 10 rented homes owned by a company landlord were registered overseas.
“Nearly one in five homes let so far this year were owned by a company landlord, almost double the proportion in 2015, before the tapering of mortgage interest tax relief changes were announced. Companies are generally taxed more favourably, so in many cases landlords can make cash savings by operating through a company rather than as an individual” explains Aneisha Beveridge, an analyst at Hamptons International.