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The top 19 rental expenses that landlords claim from the ATO

By Eleanor Hopkins

Land tax, lawn mowing and legal fees sit among the lengthy list issued by the ATO of landlord rental expense claims.

Australia’s 1,895,775 property investors own 2.71 million rental investment properties, according to the latest figures from the ATO.

NSW leads with 812,000 properties, followed next by Queensland and Victoria.

The statistics for the 2011–12 income year show the extent of rental property expense claims on the properties.

Some 2 million plus properties were subject to claims by landlords for interest on loans, averaging an $11,500 claim.

The data shows council rates is the most claimed expense with 2.51 million claims from the 2.71 million rental property pool. The typical council rates were $937 a year.

Water charges averaged $530 a year, the second most utilised expense with 2.17 million properties.

The lowest number of landlord claims on the 19 expenses check list was for lawyers which was utilised by 69,590 properties at a $620 average expense. Pest control was also not that utilised, in second last place, with a typical $210 average cost.

Some 582,000 properties – 21% – were hit by land tax with the average expense being $1,270 a year.

Some 12% of tenancies were requiring advertising for new tenants at a typical cost of $230.

The highly scrutinised travel expense refund was claimed for 804,000 properties – around 30% of properties – with a typical $480 travel claim.

(Claim type                                  no of properties           $ total landlord claims)

Council Rates2,517,370$2,360,548,979
Water charges2,170,135$1,155,573,028
Interest on loan(s)2,087,570$24,102,668,712
Repairs and maintenance2,020,540$2,073,635,655
Property Agent fees/commission1,855,500$2,098,084,871
Plant depreciation1,780,500$2,028,038,155
Sundry rental expenses1,489,575$894,509,695
Capital works deduction1,054,175$2,139,156,047
Stationary, telephone and postage935,455$59,486,951
Body Corporate Fees852,805$1,667,073,259
Travel expenses804,925$388,233,963
Borrowing Expenses585,395$242,502,146
Land tax582,300$739,311,332
Gardening/lawn mowing409,145$165,738,793
Cleaning Expenses342,015$192,405,834
Advertising for Tenants331,470$76,681,158
Pest Control269,325$57,307,475
Legal Fees69,590$43,177,549
Total Net rental income2,696,785-$8,034,540,412


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