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Winter and Tax Time are Coming

By Sarah Barton, Terri Scheer Insurance Distribution Channel Manager

It’s that time of year when the weather starts cooling and winter is on its way. The seasonal conditions can escalate property issues, cause damage and put a tenant’s safety at risk.

The end of financial year is also nearing and landlords, along with property managers, will start turning their minds to tax time. There are tasks you can undertake now to ensure you and your landlords are well prepared.

Terri Scheer Insurance spoke with Jo Cullinan from Cullinan Property Management and Salina Kachel from Coronis Invest to prepare what you need to know at this time of year:

Winter property maintenance

Routine maintenance is required year-round however there are some tasks that become more relevant during winter.

Now is a good time of year for landlords and property managers to assess any potential or existing issues at their properties by undertaking a winter-related property maintenance review as part of their regular property inspections.

One of the most common winter household maintenance issues is clogged gutters. When gutters are blocked with leaves and debris, rainwater has nowhere else to go except to overflow or wash back through the eaves and into the home’s wall cavities.

Landlords should also inspect the roof of their property to ensure there is no damage, as this will help to reduce the risk of leaking water down the track.

Many tenants will soon be cranking up their gas or electric heaters for the first time in many months. Landlords should arrange a service and safety inspection to ensure they are in working order.

Backyard pools should also be cleaned and prepared for a period of non-use to make sure they are maintained for the summer months.

More broadly, it’s a good time for property managers to remind landlords to perform any annual routine maintenance or inspections that are relevant to their individual property and state legislation. For example, landlords may need to arrange pest inspections, smoke alarm testing or tree trimming and removal to ensure they are providing a safe, well-maintained property.

End of financial year preparation

The end of financial year is fast approaching. For landlords as investors, now is the time to get organised so they can achieve the best outcomes at tax time.

Property managers can play an important role in assisting their landlords reduce June 30 stress and maximise their deductions.

Landlords may be able to claim a number of tax deductions on their investment property but this can often be overlooked. For example, they can usually claim their landlord insurance premium as a tax deduction. Body corporate costs and advertising for a tenant are other potential deductable expenses to consider.

Property managers can help streamline the process at tax time by providing a detailed end-of-financial year statement to landlords.

This includes specific details they can pass on to their accountant outlining all of their costs, including property management fees, maintenance work and insurance.

If your agency offers an online portal for landlords to extract this information themselves, ensure they are aware of the feature and have login access ready to go.

While property managers can point landlords in the right direction, make sure you are encouraging them to seek advice from a tax specialist.

Landlords should speak with their accountants to confirm what they can and can’t claim as a tax-deductible expense in order to maximise their tax returns.


Disclaimer:

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as Vero Insurance. In arranging your insurance, Terri Scheer Insurance Pty Ltd ABN 76 070 874 798 AFSL 218585 acts under authority given to it by Vero Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance and consider whether it is right for you. Contact Terri Scheer on 1800 804 016 or visit our website at www.terrischeer.com.au for a copy.

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. Terri Scheer does not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it. This article has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The Target Market Determination is also available.

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