A leading property consultancy claims that there has been a sharp rise the number of buy-to-let landlords investing in the commercial property market in recent years.

According to George Walker, of Allsop, the number of residential landlords turning towards commercial investment has tripled in the past three years.

The comments follow a series of tax and legislative changes affecting the residential buy-to-let market. In April 2016, former Chancellor George Osborne introduced a three per cent Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge payable upon purchase of second homes.

Meanwhile, a new reduction in tax relief on landlords’ finance costs will be phased in from April this year.

Commentators have predicted that the new tax relief rules will push 22 per cent of buy-to-let investors into a higher tax bracket, and Allsop believes that these changes are primarily responsible for the surge in the number of residential landlords eyeing up commercial investments.

George Walker, commercial auction Partner at Allsop, said: “We’re getting a lot of investors into our market because of the changes to buy-to-let.

“Once they have bought one, they can’t believe the simplicity – and they want to do it again,” he added.