Do you know what you can deduct as a landlord on your personal tax return?

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When I met my wife we both owned our own houses. I decided that it was best to turn my house into a rental property to hold on to it for awhile to pay down my mortgage and then sell it when the time was right.  Here are some common expenses that can be claimed by landlords:

  • Utilities, electricity, heat and water
  • Water heater rentals
  • Advertising
  • Legal, accounting and other professional fees – however, if incurred in the process of acquiring the property they should be capitalized with the property and not expensed.
  • Property taxes
  • Insurance
  • Internet, telephone and cable
  • Repairs and maintenance – cost of labour and materials, however you cannot deduct the value of your own labour.
  • Office expenses – small items such as pens, paper, stationery and stamps.
  • Salaries, wages and benefits – payable to superintendents, maintenance personnel and others that you employ. You cannot deduct the value of your own services.
  • Mortgage interest
  • Motor vehicle expenses – depending on your situation. There are factors such as proximity, number of rental properties and if you are doing part or all of the necessary repairs and maintenance on the property

There are two factors to consider when determining the value of the rental property.  If you purchased the house with the intention of renting the property, the cost is what you paid for it. However, if you own the house as your primary residence and then convert it to a rental property, you will need to determine the value of the house.  The best way to determine fair value is to look at similar houses in your area to see what they are selling for. If you are unsure you should contact a real estate agent. This figure is key as it will have an impact on determining whether there are any capital gains when the house is sold.

Want to know more?

Shawn Oldridge


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