Tax Depreciation Schedules – Information for Tenants


What is a Tax Depreciation Schedule?

Investment property owners in Australia can claim the depreciation in value over time on the property’s building materials and installed equipment. In order to do this, a depreciation schedule is the document needed by property investors for tax purposes.

What does this mean for me as a tenant in a rental property?

When Nightingale Property Inspections are requested to arrange a tax depreciation schedule for a property investor we will usually need to complete a survey at the property to measure and record all the depreciable assets – the building materials and any installed equipment that belongs to the owner. In a residential property this survey can take 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the house and if it’s being rented furnished.

When will the site survey be completed?

We will make an appointment to complete the survey at a time that suits you. We will make this appointment in consultation with you, your property manager and / or the property owner depending on the arrangement of the lease.

We can complete the survey when you’re home, however if you’re not home we will arrange to either meet your property manager at the property or collect keys from the management office on the day of the survey.  

If you need to change your appointment time for the survey please contact your property manager as soon as possible, or contact us direct on 0438 905 819 or info@nightingalepropertyinspections.com.au

Who completes the site survey?

Our team are all fully insured and accredited as home inspectors. We are polite, courteous and mindful of you as the tenant. If you’re home during the survey we will introduce ourselves first, and then we will do our best not to disturb you. We will remove our shoes if required, and we are happy to be greeted by friendly pets. All Nightingale Property Inspections staff will carry business identification.

What happens during the site survey?

One or two of our team will attend the property at the day and time agreed to by you. We will usually need access to all areas of the property inside and outside. 

We will take a record of any depreciable assets belonging to the owner of the property, examples of these are: the building itself – walls, floors, tiles, some types of doors and windows, and the roof; driveways and paved areas; pergolas and verandahs; garden sheds; blinds and curtains; hot water systems; light fittings; smoke alarms; built-in cupboards and wardrobes; garden reticulation; kitchen equipment such as ovens and dishwashers, benchtops, sinks; bathroom and laundry equipment such as baths, showers, toilets and sinks. 

Not every property will require the same items to be recorded as it depends on how old the house is and the owner’s investment situation.

We record these items by counting, measuring and taking photos on tablets and/or smart phones directly into our home inspection software that is set up specifically for tax depreciation surveys. 

The survey usually takes 30-60 minutes to complete, but we will let you know if we think it’s going to take any longer. The survey is non-invasive and we will not move or interfere with your personal possessions. 

What happens to these records?

The record of these items is used to calculate the depreciation rate of each item over time, and the measurements and photos are included in the tax depreciation schedule document. The records will usually be made available to: our team at Nightingale Property Inspections including our partnering quantity surveyor, and the owner of the property and their accountant or tax agent. Other than this the records are kept confidential. 

A tax depreciation schedule usually lasts for many years once it’s been done without the need to re-survey the property. However, a tax depreciation schedule can only be used by one owner of the property, it cannot be passed on from one owner to the next. If you are a tenant at a property where the house is sold to a new owner, you may find a new depreciation survey is required to complete a schedule for the new owner. 

What do I need to do to prepare for the site survey?

Not much! This is not a rental inspection, however we will need access to all areas of the property so please ensure we can open areas such as side gates, garages and back doors. We also ask that if you have any pets that these are contained during the survey if no one will be home. 


Thank you for your cooperation with this tax depreciation schedule at your rental property.