Expert Advice: by Tyron Hyde

If you buy a residential investment property where the construction commenced after 18 July 1985, you can claim depreciation on things like the brickwork, concrete, etc.

This can add up to thousands of dollars in tax deductions.

BUT if construction commenced on 17 July 1985 – you get nothing! So finding out the construction commencement date is pretty important.

So how can you determine when construction commenced on a property?

A. Ring the local council or make a request in writing. This is often the most accurate way of finding out. However, some councils do charge a small fee.

B. Check with the local utilities, like water and electricity, to see whether they can ascertain when these services were first delivered to your property.

C. If your property is a strata-titled property, check when the title was registered. This gives you an indication of the completion of construction and you can try and work back to the construction commencement date.

D. Check the hot water system. If original, it should generally have the installation date stamped on it.

The date of construction is not always easy to find, and as quantity surveyors, we sometimes find ourselves playing detective!

Tyron Hyde is a director of quantity surveying firm Washington Brown. For more QS Corner tips and information on property depreciation including a FREE online tax depreciation calculator, visit

To read more Expert Advice articles by Tyron Click Here

Disclaimer: while due care is taken, the viewpoints expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Your Investment Property.