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January 15, 2024

Can I Airbnb my SMSF property?

by Alices Home
Self-managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)

Can I Airbnb my SMSF property?

Alices Home
January 15, 2024
Self-managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)

Table of Contents

Explore the ins and outs of incorporating Airbnb into your Self-managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)  property investment journey with our comprehensive guide. Learn the key considerations, legal aspects and potential benefits of renting out your SMSF property on Airbnb.  Discover how you can optimise your SMSF investment strategy while navigating the regulatory landscape.

Unlock the potential of your SMSF property with our expert insights and make informed decisions on whether Airbnb is a suitable avenue for maximising returns within the bounds of SMSF regulations. Dive into the world of SMSF property management and Airbnb hosting with confidence and knowledge.

Introduction

One of the major benefits of a Self-managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) is the ability to purchase residential property with it.  There are many benefits to purchasing property through an SMSF, especially the lower tax rate.  However, many owners of a property purchased through their SMSF will wonder whether they can utilise it for Airbnb.  This article describes the nature of an SMSF, the benefits of purchasing property using an SMSF and then how to organise an Airbnb solution for that investment property.

What is a Self-managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF)

A self-managed super fund (SMSF) is a private super fund that you manage yourself. This means they  are different to industry and retail super funds.  You are responsible for the fund and have control over it yourself.

An SMSF comes with specific risks and responsibilities. For example, if you lose money, you don’t have access to a compensation scheme or to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). Up to six members can be part of the same SMSF but a relationship breakdown, or death of a member, may affect the SMSF.

Managing an SMSF takes a lot of time and money. You will need to set up the fund and then manage activities.  You need to keep up to date with changes in superannuation and tax laws, set up and review an investment strategy, research investments, arrange an audit every year and keep records.

Costs include investing, accounting, auditing, financial advice, insurance premiums and legal advice. Some are tax decuctible but most are out of pocket expenses for the SMSF holder.  

SMSF’s are a great tool to build wealth, but they can be quite complex to get the equation right, particularly if you are planning to use the property for Airbnb purposes.

Benefits of Owning a Property purchased through an SMSF

One of the major reasons people purchase property through their SMSF is the lowered tax rate. Your super fund will be taxed at 15%, which is lower than most people’s personal tax rates. Also, you may simply not have the cash or lending availability to purchase an investment property in your own name.

However, there are rules that apply to property purchased through an SMSF. One of the rules is that you, nor any other member of your family, are able to live in that home.  In order to comply with SMSF rules and regulations, the property must be part of an investment strategy to fund the SMSF’s members’ retirement. This is called the “sole person test.”

You can use the SMSF for purchasing the property (and all associated costs with the acquisition), to pay for repairs and maintenance of the property, and capitalise the interest.  The rules about using funds in the SMSF or cash for the type of maintenance are strict, so make sure you conduct proper research or consult with a professional.

Can I use my Property Purchased Through SMSF for Airbnb?

There are no rules preventing you from using your property purchased through SMSF for Airbnb or short term rental (STR).  However its important to ensure your SMSF investment strategy allows for the risks with this type of rental arrangement, such as the time it sits empty.

This is a time when it is particularly important to keep concise paperwork that shows details such as what dates the property was rented, to whom and at what price. Many STR and Airbnb hosts who don’t use a property management organisation find the extra administration particularly exhausting.

Conclusion

Purchasing an investment property through your SMSF fund and then using it for Airbnb can be an excellent strategy for wealth and security in your retirement. However, in this case more than any other, it is suggested to work with a professional property management organisation to ensure no regulations are breached.

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