I am often asked where my office is. And since I regularly meet clients up and down the country, last Tuesday, my office was the Hall of Trinity College, Cambridge: former college of Isaac Newton, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and AA Milne amongst many others.
One of my clients, a former fellow of the college, took me there for lunch as a surprise when I went to visit her. It is a quietly impressive building that is absolutely steeped in history. The roll of alumni stretches back to its formation in 1546 and includes 32 Nobel Prize winners, 4 Prime Ministers and 25 Olympians and somewhat mysteriously the comic strip character Dan Dare!
She wanted to discuss an investment property that she had seen but it somehow didn’t seem right to talk about such matters under the gaze of the founder of the college, Henry VIII.
So after lunch, we retired to the more comfortable surroundings of the lounge, where we settled into wonderfully aged leather chairs and discussed the proposed purchase whilst drinking coffee from fine bone china cups.
The crux of the discussion was over whether to buy the property in her own name or in the name of her limited company. We discussed the situation that would arise if the company owned the property but she, as a director, stayed there and the possible benefit in kind (BIK) charge that may incur.
After several cups of Kenya’s finest, we agreed that it would be best to proceed with a company purchase but with the proviso that she would have to pay to stay whenever her family used the house.
And with that, it was out into the real world and the bike jam that greeted us, as we wove our way along the tree lined avenue that is Queens Road.