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Let Property - Repairs or Improvements

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Newsletter issue - December 2014

If you let out residential property you need to know whether you can receive a tax deduction for the cost of replacing or repairing furniture and fittings provided inside that property. The cost of equipment used to maintain the outside of a property, or used in the communal areas of a building containing multiple dwellings, is always deductible.

When you fit something for the first time to a property, such as a fitted kitchen, that cost will form part of the capital cost of the building and will only be deductible when you sell the property. If you repair a fitting or replace the fitting with something of the same quality, the cost counts as a repair which can be deducted from the rental income.

If the fitting is replaced with items of a higher quality, the whole cost must be treated as a capital improvement, which is only deductible from the proceeds of selling the property. This does not apply if the replacement is superior just because the modern equivalent of an outdated material or design is used. For example when you replace an old central heating boiler with a new condensing boiler, which does the same job but with greater energy efficiency, that will be a tax deductible repair not an improvement.