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A gold mine in your own backyard

By Katie Gibson

Increasing property and rental prices have forced many Australians to start looking for alternative living arrangements. This has caused a surge in demand for secondary dwellings or granny flats.

In response to this demand, data collected from thousands of BMT Tax Depreciation Schedules suggests construction of granny flats has increased by 24.1% in Western Sydney suburbs and 9.3% across Australia over the last two financial years. The dramatic increase in construction can be attributed to state-level legislative changes regarding secondary dwellings, aiming to boost housing affordability in capital city areas.

While renters are often attracted to granny flats for their affordability, many property investors are keen to capitalise on this recent demand for secondary dwellings due to the high rental yields often achieved.

In order to maximise these benefits, all granny flat owners should understand their depreciation entitlements.

When a secondary dwelling is income-producing the owner is entitled to substantial deductions, even if they are currently occupying the primary residence on the property. Research conducted by BMT has shown that the average first year depreciation deduction for a granny flat is $5,288, accumulating to $23,713 in deductions over the first five years. Shared areas between the granny flat and owner-occupied property such as patios, pools and barbecues may also entitle the owner to additional depreciation deductions, claimed based on the tenant’s usage percentage.

To understand the viability of using a secondary dwelling as an additional source of income on a particular property, the table below illustrates the differences in regulations between states as well as the first-year depreciation deductions a property investor would be able to claim.

Article courtesy of BMT TaxDepreciation: full article

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