7 things you need to know before you buy a property in your SMSF


Over the past decade, many Australians have invested in property via their superannuation funds.

2 Payment For SmsfOne of the reasons they do this is because they want to have control over the performance of the funds in their super.

Another is it allows them to buy an investment property when perhaps they could not have otherwise.

However, to invest in property they must have a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund or SMSF.

On top of that, there are a number of rules and regulations that must be followed, which is why this is not a strategy that should be attempted without receiving professional advice beforehand.

Here are 7 things that you must know before you proceed.

1. Your SMSF must have an investment strategy

When buying property via your SMSF, it must have an investment strategy.

That is, the investment property, or properties, have been selected because they are investment grade and are in strategic locations with the best chance of superior capital growth.

The property must also pass a “sole purpose test” which essentially means it has been bought to provide retirement benefits to fund members.

2. Your SMSF can borrow to purchase a property

An SMSF is an entity in its own right, separate from the trustees or you personally.

That means that it can borrow funds to purchase property via Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBA).

This also means that all funds for the property, including, say, a shortfall between the rent received and the mortgage repayments must be financed from funds within the SMSF.

3. Your SMSF can buy any type of property

SMSF’s can buy any type of property, including residential, industrial, or commercial property.

In essence, buying with your SMSF is no different when it comes to property selection than when buying via other ownership structures such as trusts or in your personal name.

However, to ensure you buy a property that outperforms the market, savvy investors work with experts to ensure they purchase the very best property they can for their budget.

4. Your SMSF can not borrow additional funds for the property

An SMSF cannot borrow more against a property it owns down the track, which means all property-related expenses must be financed from within the SMSF.

This also means that your SMSF can’t borrow funds to undertake development or major renovation on the property.

5. Can’t buy from a related party

If buying a residential property, it can’t be from a related party.

Under the superannuation law, a related party is anyone who is a member of the SMSF.

That is, a member making contributions into the SMSF, a member receiving a pension from the SMSF as well as a member who has deferred their entitlements to receive a superannuation benefit from the SMSF.

However, an SMSF can buy business premises from a related party.

6. Family members and associates can’t rent it

Likewise, your family and associates are not allowed to rent or use the property if it is residential.

This rule is to ensure that the property has been solely bought with the intention of providing retirement benefits to fund members rather than buying a nice property for your adult child to rent from you.

However, this doesn’t apply for commercial premises, with many business owners opting to set up their offices or workshops in a property bought within their SMSF.

7. SMSF is not for everyone

Property AuditWhile investing in your SMSF might seem like a simple enough thing to do, it’s not.

It has a number of expenses, such as auditing and complex accounting, that standard property investors generally don’t have to worry about.

Also, many people don’t have enough funds in their SMSF to undertake this strategy successfully.

That’s why it’s vital to get independent financial advice from an accountant with experience in SMSF investing long before you’ve started searching for a property online.

Here’s something you could do now!

Why not discuss your individual needs & let Ken Raiss, director of Metropole Wealth Advisory, formulate a Strategic Wealth Plan for you, your family or your business?

Remember attaining wealth doesn’t just happen – it’s the result of a well-executed plan so please click here and find out more about our services.

We offer you guidance and support that contribute to seamlessly combining the essential financial areas of your life.

Whether you are a business owner, a professional, or a high-income earner we provide you with an individually tailored solution integrating the core disciplines of taxation, superannuation, and property investment interwoven with finance, asset protection, succession, and estate planning, personal risk insurances, and philanthropy.

Using our depth of skills in these core disciplines, we adopt a coordinated project management approach and access other specialists as needed to further enhance our integrated advice solution.

Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 METROPOLE.

This article is general information only and is intended as educational material. Metropole Wealth Advisory nor it’s associated or related entities, directors, officers or employees intend this material to be advice either actual or implied. You should not act on any of the above without first seeking specific advice taking into account your circumstances and objectives. 

ALSO READ: Can you develop property using your SMSF?


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Ken is director of Metropole Wealth Advisory and gives strategic expert advice to property investors, professionals and business owners. He is in a unique position to blend his skills of accounting, wealth advisory, property investing, financial planning and small business. View his articles

'7 things you need to know before you buy a property in your SMSF' have 1 comment

    Avatar for Ken Raiss

    February 26, 2020 KS Plumbb

    Those are really a great tips honestly, thank you for sharing this.


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