common property purchase structures

by Domonic Nyugen, April 23, 2017



A property purchase structure is all about how you buy a property. There are many ways you can do that in Sydney, and each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Depending on your financial goals and circumstances, your Sydney Conveyancer or Property Lawyer can help you pick the property purchase structure that best suits your conveyancing needs.


Purchasing a Property as an Individual

One of the easiest way to buy a property is making the purchase in your own name. This is usually very straightforward and involves no setup cost. 

For example, if you attend an auction and are the successful bid, you would write your name (i.e John Smith) on the front page of the Contract. 

When you buy a property, you may gain some advantages when you do it through a company structure.  A company is entitled to purchase a property as it is recognised as an entity. 

When signing the Contract, the Company Name and Australian Company Number (ACN) should be inserted on the front page of the Contract.  


Purchasing a Property as a Partnership

Buying a property with someone else allows you to share the cost. You can form a joint tenancy or tenancy in common with anyone from a friend to a family member. By pooling funds together, you can buy properties that you might not be able to afford on your own. 

However, a partnership is a long term commitment. You can’t be sure that you and your partners will always see things eye to eye. When there is a conflict, such as when someone can’t make the mortgage repayment, you can easily damage your finances and the relationship with your partners. It is common for agreements to be established between individuals when buying properties together. 


Purchasing a Property as a Trust

In the past, trusts were considered the investment vehicle of the rich, but nowadays, people from all walks of life have begun using trusts to purchase property. 

A properly set up trust can provide valuable asset protection to all investors of the trust. You can receive income from properties in a trust without having them in your name. 

However, the process for setting up and maintaining a trust can be complex. Some forms of trusts include Unit Trust, Fixed Unit Trust, Multi-Class Unit Trust, Special Trust, Discretionary Trust and Family Trust.


Purchasing a Property as a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund

A self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) provides financial options to its investors in retirement. These investors are also trustees of the fund who have full control of the fund to meet their individual needs.

Establishing and running your own SMSF can often be complex and consideration should be made in relation to taxation, contributions, benefit payments and winding up.  



Given that the structure that you purchase your property could provide certain tax, financial and liability advantages, it is important for purchasers to seek advice from their accountant, financial adviser and solicitor. 


DISCLAIMER:  The content of this publication does not constitute legal advice and is intended only to provide a summary and general overview. We do not guarantee that it is current. You should seek specialist legal advice or other professional advice about your specific circumstances. Your access to this publication is not intended to create nor does it create a solicitor-client relationship between you and Unified Lawyers.