A granny flat with your SMSF? Ask Margaret Lomas

A granny flat with your SMSF? Ask Margaret Lomas
A granny flat with your SMSF? Ask Margaret Lomas

Dear Margaret,

My husband and I would like to build granny flat through an SMSF at our own home – is this possible to do?

Lyn

 

Dear Lyn,

This one is a tricky one. I consulted Property Success team member Ian Rodrigues to get his thoughts and talk it through.

I’m not sure what it is that you are hoping to see as an outcome for doing this. Presumably, you are thinking that you can either get rental income from the granny flat into the super and it will be an inexpensive project since you won’t need to pay for the land, or that you can ‘rent’ some of your land to the super fund for the purposes of building the flat.

The issue is, once a building is built on a piece of land, that building becomes the property of the owner of the land.  And so the super rules would prohibit this, as the asset would no longer be owned by that super fund.

In talking this through with Ian, we considered what may happen if the granny flat was one of the mobile varieties, such as those often erected in holiday or mobile home parks. In this case, the super fund would be buying the flat as ‘plant’ and you would be allowing that piece of plant to be housed on your land. Technically speaking, if this piece of plant was fully mobile and could be shifted from place to place, it may be allowed, as the super fund can retain the ownership of this piece of plant, and receive any rent it attracted.   

Keep in mind that this granny flat would not be able to be rented out to any parties related in any way to the super fund, so if you’re thinking it could be a good way to get a place for the kids or a relative, then you won’t be allowed to do this. You may be able to personally receive rent on the land you provide to park the mobile home on. I say this because if you were, say, a plumber by trade, and your super fund rental property needed a plumber, you can carry out the work and be paid for that work.  I can’t see a lot of difference between that and receiving rent for land you provide.

The best way to check if any of this is allowable is to have a lawyer experienced in super fund law to check it out for you, or get a ruling from the tax office. As with all questions of this nature, pass it by your accountant to see what they think.

Regards,

Margaret

Have a property question?   Ask Margaret!

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas is a best-selling author and writes and hosts the popular Property Success With Margaret Lomas and Your Money, Your Call, both on Sky News. She is the founder of Destiny.

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