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Timescales – create your SIPP or SSAS as soon as possible, you should allow 10 to 12 weeks for the SIPP or SSAS to be created first. The legalities for the property purchase process will then start after the creation of the SIPP or SSAS. The SIPP or SSAS provider will have set procedural requirements that must be complied with and this could have an impact on your timescales.
Keep the seller informed – it is always best to inform the seller from the outset that the property will be bought with your SIPP or SSAS so that you can manage their expectations in respect of the likely timescales.
Preferred solicitors – usually a SIPP or SSAS provider will have a list of firms on their panel who can act on their behalf, you should check if your solicitor is on their panel list.
Due Diligence – while a SIPP or SSAS provider may not comment on whether the asset is a good and sound investment, it does take responsibility for each asset it accepts with regard to it being in the interests of its client to hold it. This means the SIPP or SSAS provider will want to carry out its own due diligence on the property, almost as if it were buying the property afresh. Whilst you may be willing to take a view on any title or property issues which may arise, the SIPP or SSAS provider will not accept this approach and will need the issue to be either remedied or the risk of it being sufficiently covered by indemnity insurance.
Commercial Lease – a lease must be in place before or on completion at market value rental value
Searches – the SIPP or SSAS provider may require full property searches to be undertaken including a check on environmental issues. You will need to factor in the costs of these.
Planning Consents and Building Regulations Approval – the SIPP or SSAS provider will need evidence to show that the existing use or intended use of the property has been authorised by the relevant planning permission and that any works carried out to the property have the requisite building regulation approval.
Asbestos – the SIPP or SSAS provider will require checks on the existence of asbestos at the property and you should make sure that an asbestos survey has been carried out to the property.
Energy Performance Certificate – since 1 April 2018 the minimum energy efficiency standard for a commercial property has now been set at an ‘E’ rating. Therefore you may now find that properties falling into the lower efficiency bands are difficult or impossible to market unless improvements are made to sufficiently improve the rating. You may find it useful to read our blog for further guidance.
Other compliance requirements – the SIPP or SSAS provider may require sight of any fire risk assessments, health and safety records or CDM regulation records relating to the property.
Capital Allowances – the SIPP or SSAS provider will want to confirm the position in relation to any capital allowances claimed over the property
VAT – if VAT is payable in addition to the purchase price you will need to ensure that there are sufficient funds contained in the SIPP or SSAS to account for this
Other costs – you should take into consideration the costs of any legal fees, surveyor’s fees and stamp duty land tax.
If you are considering investing in commercial property by way of a SSIP or a SSAS, why not call our commercial property team on 0161 941 4000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.