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  • Strata schemes and real estate agent services

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    Strata schemes

    The owners' corporation or body corporate is the body made up of all the owners in a strata scheme. It has the responsibility for:

    • maintaining and repairing the common property of the strata scheme
    • managing the finances of the strata scheme, including setting and collecting levies.

    For GST purposes, the owners' corporation is carrying on an enterprise. It must register for GST if:

    • it is considered to be a non-profit body and its turnover is more than $150,000 (turnover must include levies on unit owners)
    • it is not considered to be a non-profit body and its turnover is more than $75,000 (turnover must include levies on unit owners).

    It may be considered to be a non-profit body if there is no intention to distribute interest income or profits from rental or other activities to the members.

    If an owners' corporation is registered for GST, the fees or levies it charges its members will include GST – for example, for car parking, ongoing maintenance or administration. It can also claim GST credits on purchases it makes that relate to maintaining and administering the property held in common, including:

    • electricity
    • landscaping
    • management
    • cleaning
    • repair and maintenance services.

    Owners of commercial units who are registered for GST may be entitled to an input tax credit if their unit in the strata scheme is used for their business.

    Real estate agent services

    If you are a real estate agent and you are registered for GST, or required to be registered, you are liable for GST on your service fees, including:

    • letting fees
    • lease preparation fees you charge the landlord
    • lease preparation fees you charge the tenant
    • agency commissions
    • statement and administration fees
    • property inspection fees.

    Your services are taxable even if the property owner is not an Australian resident.

    A property owner who is renting or selling existing residential premises, such as a house, cannot claim the GST included in your fees and charges, because the rent or sale is input taxed.

    GST-registered property owners may be able to claim the GST included in their agent’s fees as GST credits when they:

    See also:

    • GSTR 2000/37 Goods and services tax: agency relationships and the application of the law
      Last modified: 17 Jul 2019QC 21960