a SSAS can purchase commercial property.
it can also part-own property with another party, including you or your business.
it can even buy land or run-down property for the
purpose of development or major refurbishment.
an easy example
So, consider the basic scenario.
You’re looking for a new property for your business, maybe because you want to expand, or you want to downsize, or you’re fed up with your current landlord.
Your business doesn’t have the necessary funds for you to go and purchase something, and you don’t want to jump from the frying pan to the fire as regards your landlord.
Where can you go?
Well, alongside the traditional routes of looking for finance, there is the option of using your pension.
You can establish a certain type of pension scheme known as a SSAS and transfer monies in & make contributions.
A SSAS allows you to take control of your pension monies in a far more flexible way than normal pensions might do.
A SSAS is established by a ‘Sponsoring Employer’. This is normally the company that you own, control and operate.
In addition, you are appointed as a Trustee of the SSAS. This is one of the key ingredients as it gives you a huge amount of control over what you do with the pension scheme.
And one of those things that you can do is buy commercial property.
Buying a property through a pension scheme is very much like buying any form of property:
- You obtain a valuation report so that you can consider the condition and price;
- You instruct solicitors to undertake searches and prepare all the relevant documentation;
- The pension scheme provides the money and you can then complete the purchase.
Once the property is in the ownership of the pension scheme you then think about occupying the property as a tenant, paying a commercial rent to your pension scheme.
In reality, the solicitor will usually draft the lease at the same time as completing the other work on the property, so you move in from day one.
You can also borrow in order to fund a property purchase.
Your pension scheme can borrow up to 50% of its net asset value from a bank, building society, or other lender (even you, or your company!).
The borrowing repayments are made out of the rent that is received from the property.
Once it’s set up and running, you have the satisfaction of paying your own pension scheme rather than another landlord!
The biggest challenge is deciding what you will do next as the rental monies accumulate over time!
more complex scenarios
There are any number of more complex scenarios that a SSAS can get involved in.
For example, it’s possible to part-own a property – so a SSAS can join with other parties to buy a property, or even take a part share in an existing property.
A SSAS can buy all manner of types of property, ranging from offices and shops to hotels and other leisure industries. It can even purchase land.
A SSAS can help with property development as well – so the SSAS becomes directly responsible for building a property or undertaking major renovation or conversion.
With property development you need to think about the following elements:
Budgets – how much will the project cost and over what timescale?
Contractors – Who will build or renovate the property and what experience do they have?
Documentation – What does your build contract contain and what are the stage payment sign-offs?
Exit – If you’re developing residential property how will your pension scheme exit at the right time?
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