Can You Claim The Cost of Repairs Before Renting Out Your Property?

Landlords, the tax season is fast approaching!

Are you ready?

We do appreciate that the focus of every landlord is to optimise their tax returns and maximise their income.

However, it is important to be aware of when you can claim repairs on the property as a legitimate tax deduction.

Can you claim the cost of repairs before you rent the property out?

You cannot claim the cost of repairing defects, damage or deterioration that existed when you obtained the property, even if you carried out these repairs to make the property suitable for renting. This is because these expenses relate to the period before the property became an income-producing investment.

What records do you need to keep?

You need to keep proper records in order to make a claim, even if you use a tax agent to prepare your tax return. You must keep records of the rental income you receive and the deductible expenses you pay.

As a landlord you must keep these records for five years from the date your tax return is lodged. You must also keep records of your ownership for the property and all the costs of purchasing/acquiring it and selling/disposing of it for five years as well – from the date you sell/dispose of your rental property?

As capital gains tax may apply if you sell your rental property, we recommend you keep records of every transaction over the period of ownership. This would include contracts of purchase and sale, and conveyance and loan documentation. Keeping these records will help you work out your capital gain or loss correctly and ensure you do not pay more tax than you need to.

For more information contact our Property Management team on 03 5152 3311 or send an email to

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