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You’ll need to keep accurate records for your residential rental property to calculate income and expenses. 

You must keep rental records for at least 7 years, even if you no longer rent the property. Your records include:

  • bank statements, cheque butts and deposit books
  • working papers for all calculations
  • a list of all receipts and payments
  • invoices, transaction listings or statements showing income received where the property is rented through a management company or service provider such as Airbnb or Bookabach
  • invoices and receipts for expenses
  • a list of assets with receipts showing their purchase value and date
  • the rental agreement (if long-term tenancy)
  • any loan mortgage agreement
  • vehicle logbook (if vehicle expenditure is claimed).

It's easier if you use a separate bank account for your rental activity.

Short-term accommodation rental records

If you’re providing short-term accommodation (eg through Airbnb) you’ll also need to keep records to show:

  • the market rental per night (including dates of when this changed or increased over time)
  • the number of nights you rent out the room or property and how much income you receive for this
  • the number of nights the room or property is used privately (this includes you, or people associated with you)
  • the number of nights you rent out the room or property at ‘mates’ rates’ and how much income you received from this
  • any excess deductions.
  • evidence of when it was not rented but available to be rented out

Rental records and property that is not rented but available

You'll need to keep records showing the time your property is not rented out but still available to be rented.

Your records cannot be:

  • just a statement of its availability
  • sporadic or limited advertising
  • advertising that is not likely to attract many customers.

Your records need to show:

  • evidence of active, regular and effective marketing of the space at market rates
  • that it’s available at times and for periods that demonstrate it’s genuinely available to rent.

Residential rental property deduction records

If the residential rental property deduction rules apply to your property, you'll need to keep records showing:

  • what basis you are electing for each property that you own
  • changes to the elected basis for your rental property, for example from the individual to the portfolio basis, and the year that change takes place 
  • any excess deductions, and which property or portfolio those excess deductions relate to
  • transferred unused excess deductions (that's from one property or portfolio to another), what the amount transferred is, and when the transfer took place 
  • when you disposed of a property, the date it took place, and if a property sale whether the sale taxable or not.

With residential rental property deductions you'll need to calculate what amounts should be included in your tax return. Keep records of the:

  • calculations
  • properties the calculations are for
  • decisions that may change your tax position. 

Residential rental property deduction rules