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NDIS FAQ

Browse our library of frequently asked questions.

Purchasing an NDIS SDA property

Yes you can, but only as a single contract. This would normally mean you would need to purchase the property in cash from your SMSF. Only single contract purchases can be purchased in a SMSF, not 2 part contract purchases, Single contract NDIS are a very rare commodity and we suggest not basing your investment plan around your SMSF without contacting us first.

A Family Trust is worth considering for holding this type of investment due to its tax benefits, but we suggest you speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor for advice to suit your needs.

We allow around 6 months to build an NDIS SDA approved home. This would start from once plans are approved by the Council. Your house will be built as a construction loan with 5 drawdown stages under a fix priced building contract.

 

Building Warranty

Yes, each home is offered a 6 year structural builder’s warranty dated from practical completion. This warranty covers structural items and faults of original workmanship.

There is a 12 month maintenance period on build so any maintenance issues or defects that come to light within this period, are the responsibility of the builder to fix and repair, at no additional cost to you. Fixtures and fittings are covered by the manufacturer's warranty applicable to each item e.g. Oven and cooktop.

 

Who manages the tenants 

We provide access to a specialist property management firm that is SDA approved & works with NDIS Service Providers in assisting their NDIS clients to apply for and be placed in suitable Specialist Disability Accommodation. This process starts as soon as the property has been registered with SDA and the commencement of the build, with the intention of having the property occupied as soon as possible after the property is completed.

 

Management, enrollment & payments 

An NDIS SDA home must be managed by a property manager that is a registered service provider under the NDIS. There are very strict practices that have to be adhered to when working with people in the disability sector and only an authorised service provider can manage your property, once you have selected your home we will introduce you to our preferred SDA approved provider.

With a non-NDIS Home, you work with a Local Real Estate Agent to help find you a suitable tenant. You sign a lease management agreement with the Agent so they can then find a tenant and then sign a lease agreement with the Tenant on your behalf. With an NDIS property it is slightly different. You sign a Head lease, with our management provider, this then enables us to sublet the property to suitable SDA approved Tenants.

Currently in QLD there is a bond payable when letting an NDIS SDA property, although Queensland has yet to incorporate specific legislation surrounding SDA with the RTA. With multiple tenants, at present, all are handled under a rooming accommodations agreement where all are charged separately per room and not as part of a single lease arrangement.

The bond fee will be the equivalent to four weeks rent for each participant per room (which is the participant contribution amount only, the NDIS payment is not factored for bond calculation).

Under current NDIS SDA policy the enrollment application commences as soon as you have received the certificate of practical completion from your builder, and we are in receipt of required documentation.

New policies are being introduced throughout the year and we will hope to see the introduction of pre certification of SDA dwellings. (This is a pre enrollment approval pending completion of your build as per requirements of relevant codes and NDIS SDA requirements).

Our management company will deal with all of the SIL providers directly, any opportunities will be presented to you for your consideration, so you don’t need to deal with organization or company directly at any time. The SIL’s will be the ones to match together the tenants, which is the best way to handle the process as they will already know the clients they have on their books and their personalities and requirements to match them with an appropriate house and appropriate co tenant (e.g. younger people tend to want to live in larger groups, older participants would prefer to share with one other occupant).

Payments for an NDIS SDA property are paid through differently to that of a non NDIS property. Your rental payments will be paid to you from the management company at the end of each calendar month. Each Tenant’s payment is made up of 3 parts;

  • Fair rent contribution: (25% of base disability supplement) Paid Fortnightly by the participant (tenant) 
  • 100% Commonwealth Rent Assistance Paid Fortnightly by the participant (tenant) 
  • NDIS SDA Payment (Refer to the NDIS SDA Schedule: Paid Quarterly in arrears 

This depends on which property you select as most management companies like to work with builders they have experience with so you could have a 20% covers all fee or-

Ongoing management fee is between  10% + GST of the gross rental income. Any other property related expenses will be payable by the Landlord as detailed in the Head Lease Agreement.

Tenant Sourcing Fee - $5000 (plus GST) per participant,The Tenant Sourcing Fee also covers all service agreements required under NDIS Guidelines and state legislation.  Payment of the Tenant Sourcing Fee is payable on invoice following successful placement of the tenant.  The fee will be included on the end of the financial year summary statement and is charged in a way so it should be fully tax deductible.

NDIS Enrolment Fee - $3,000 (plus GST) This fee covers administration costs and enrolment of your property with the NDIA to become a certified NDIS SDA approved home.  Our management company work closely with qualified certifiers to gather all required information and submit the necessary documentation for the enrolment of your property with the NDIA.  This fee also covers the annual attestation required under the new SDA Rules whereby supplying content to the NDIA confirming the dwelling is being appropriately maintained, while abiding by governmental regulation requirements

 

Responsibilities of the landlord and the tenant 

It would be unlikely that a complete furniture package would be required, as most Tenants would have their own furniture for their bedrooms, but we would suggest there might be some furniture required for the shared spaces. Each home would have different requirements, but we believe an allowance of $5,000 - $10,000 for items like a fridge, washing machine, table and chairs and lounge, would be wise, on some properties a higher furniture package price may be recommended.

It is generally considered that tenants will look after their own maintenance of the home, but it is suggested that a Landlord look after lawn mowing and basic garden maintenance. The Landlord is responsible for all other normal maintenance as per any other investment property. The Tenants would be responsible for damage caused to the property.

The Tenants, but it is advised that Landlord’s connect utilities such as NBN, electricity and phone connections in their own name and bill the ongoing costs back to the Tenant’s, as it will be hard to get connections made to the home with 3 separate tenants.

 

Finding and retaining tenants

Unlike a non-NDIS SDA style home, there are many factors at play when looking for and securing an NDIS SDA approved Tenant. Location of the Property, suitability of the style of property in that area, demand for that style of home with a suitable tenant and current Government “red tape” are just some of the factors that come into play. We are committed to finding a suitable Tenant as soon as we possibly can. The process of looking for a Tenant starts before the build has even started. We work closely with Service Providers, most of which have Participants on file, but there can be many factors that can delay this process also, as they may not yet have SDA funding approval on their Care Plans, or they may need to move out of current accommodation which may take time to transition across. There are still some challenges with the current NDIS structure and speed of delivery, but we are doing our best to push as hard as we can to get a tenant in every one of our homes.

Initial leases will be for 12 - 24 months where possible, but once locked in, most Tenant’s will stay for many years to come.

Like any investment property, rentals are certainly not guaranteed, and neither is 100% occupancy. However, we have found that based on research undertaken, many disabled SDA residents want to “stay for life” when they are in appropriate accommodation, that is why we refer to these homes as their “Forever Home”.

Like all ongoing investment property ownership, there is always the risk of losing a Tenant, although research has shown that once someone with a disability finds a home they are happy with, they don’t ever want to move, although once your property has been enrolled and tenanted Initially, the NDIS has allowances for vacancy payments (NDIS SDA portion only). The amounts covered are for up to 60 days for properties with 2 or 3 participant rooms, and for up to 90 days for properties with 4 or 5 participant rooms.

 

Locations of NDIS properties

Currently we have NDIS SDA homes available throughSouth East Qld. Our properties are spread between regional and more central areas due to the demand for disability housing in all areas of QLD. We are taking a cautious approach to housing placement, fully aware that we don’t want to see an oversupply of property in any area. Once we have placed tenants in our current supply of properties, we will then continue to work with Service providers, to hopefully create an ongoing balance between supply and demand.

There are currently 4 Levels of NDIS SDA homes. 

  • Improved Liveability - LHA Silver Level 
  • Fully Accessible - LHA Platinum Level 
  • Robust - LHA Silver Level 
  • High Physical Support 

Currently NDIS SDA Homes have no official building standard, but to make sure we are providing a quality home, compliant with current NDIS SDA our NDIS homes are built to LHA (Livable Housing Australia) standards, new legislation is will be inforce as of June 2021 and all our properties meet the new standards.