There have been a fair few developments in this field recently with potentially more to come. Schedule 4 of the Finance Act 2012 came into force on 17 July and made the most significant changes to the UK REIT regime since its introduction on 1 January 2007. These included alterations to the listing and non-close company requirements and abolition of the fixed entry charge. The intention was to reduce barriers to both entry and investment in REITs. There is now an increased incentive for existing property investment companies to switch to REIT status as well the possibility of new types of start-up. The recent changes will be of interest to anyone with clients who may be considering making use of the REIT regime, be they institutional investors or property sector corporates.
Added to this, in the 2012 Budget the Government announced that it would be exploring the role which REITs might be able to play in supporting the social housing sector and considering whether to change the tax treatment of income received by a REIT when it invests in another REIT. A Treasury consultation is under way.
Real Estate Investment Trusts – REITs, London, MBL Seminars, Monday 3 December, 14:00-17:15.