Every SIPP and SSAS property purchase is different but there are some typical questions you might have before getting into the detail of an individual case. 

What sort of property can I buy? 

Commercial property in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. For example, shops, offices, warehouses, industrial units, agricultural land, forestry and more. In most circumstances, what you can’t buy is anything that HMRC could deem residential or shared with residential, or anything that is not fundamentally part of the fabric of the land or building. Any property purchase is always subject to satisfactory diligence.

Can I buy from/rent to myself/my business?

Yes, so long as it is done at arm’s length and on commercial terms. In other words, the purchase price and the rent and all other terms need to be at market value and on a commercial basis and evidenced to HMRC’s satisfaction.

Do I own the property once it’s in my SIPP or SSAS?

No. This is an essential point to accept if you are to proceed. BW SIPP Trustees Limited (or for SSAS the relevant trustees) owns the property. This means you must not make decisions or changes that affect the property and that are outside of normal property management matters without first consulting us as owner/trustee.

Can I borrow to fund the property purchase?

Yes, subject to HMRC rules. We do not have a panel of lenders so it is up to you to source a mortgage. You can use any high street lender although some are more familiar with lending for commercial property purchase by a SIPP or SSAS. We can let you know which these banks are but the list may not be definitive and it is not a recommendation.

Can I use my own solicitor?

Yes, but did you know we have a panel of solicitors? They are probably much more experienced in SIPP and SSAS commercial property purchase and related matters and definitely much more familiar with working with us and our suite of documents. This is invaluable for making the process smoother and keeping down our costs to you.

When should I complete the property purchase questionnaire?

As soon as you can – even before your SIPP or SSAS is set up, particularly if its reason for being is the purchase of that particular property. This form gathers all the information we’ll need from you to assess whether we will allow the proposed purchase to go ahead and gives us a chance to get to know you better and ask for more information at an early stage if it is needed. 

How long does a property purchase take?

It typically takes around three to four months from instruction of solicitors for a standard property purchase to complete. It is important that your SIPP or SSAS is set up before the purchase begins and we will need your help to ensure that everything is in place in good time. Unexpected, complicated or third party issues can lengthen timescales. We will keep you updated on the progress of the property purchase though and, where possible, work with you to minimise any delays.

Who manages the property?

Either you or your choice of properly appointed property manager. The former keeps costs down but means you have certain property management duties and you will be the first port of call for all queries. The latter involves additional costs but minimises your involvement.

Purchasing commercial property through your BW pension

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