tax deductions for property maintenance

Allowable Property maintenance tax deductions

Landlords often mention that most of their rental income is actually paid in taxes. What are your options to both improve your property and limit your tax bill?

All work done by Robust Property maintenance can be deducted from your rental income tax bill. You can write off Robust’s invoiced cost as an expense. This is subject to some rules of course but basically all our services would be considered allowable deductions.

This is what Revenue say are allowable deductions from rental income in regards property maintenance expenditure deductions:
• maintenance of the property, e.g. cleaning and general servicing, exterior and interior
painting and decorating,
• repairs, (a ‘repair’ means the restoration of an asset by replacing subsidiary parts of the
whole asset). Examples of common repairs which are normally deductible in computing
rental income include:
1. damp and rot treatment,
2. mending broken windows, doors, furniture and machines,
3. replacing roof slates.

The full text and details are available here and in revenue leaflet IT70.

Save money on your taxes
Save Money on your taxes

What expenses can I write off my rental income?

Remember you can’t  actually claim a deduction for your own labour. So any work you undertake yourself will not be tax deductible.

Save yourself time and money today by getting your property maintenance done the Robust way.

get an extension built without planning

Build on without Planning permission

Outgrown your existing house and storage, looking to extend or add a garage? Want to do this without getting planning permission? Well you can!

There are quite a few options for most dwellings to build on without planning permission. This is especially true if your house has never had an extension added to the original floor size of the development.

The following outlines the Exempted Developments under the legislation:

The extension of a house, by the
construction or erection of an extension
(including a conservatory) to the rear of the
house or by the conversion for use as part
of the house of any garage, store, shed or
other similar structure attached to the rear
or to the side of the house.
1. (a) Where the house has not been
extended previously, the floor area of
any such extension shall not exceed
40 square metres.
(b) Subject to paragraph (a), where the
house is terraced or semi-detached,
the floor area of any extension above
ground level shall not exceed 12
square metres.
(c) Subject to paragraph (a), where the
house is detached, the floor area of
any extension above ground level
shall not exceed 20 square metres.
2. (a) Where the house has been extended
previously, the floor area of any such
extension, taken together with the
floor area of any previous extension
or extensions constructed or erected
after 1 October 1964, including those
for which planning permission has
been obtained, shall not exceed 40
square metres.

homeowners we look after you
Its in your own hands, extend without planning

In simple terms

  • Extend out at ground level + 40m2
  • Extend  over 2 levels  with an area on each floor of less than 20m2
  • Leave 40m2 of space in the back garden
  • Don’t extend higher than oringial build

This would allow a lot of scope for most properties.

Now all you need is someone to manage and build it.

Adding Solar Panels to your roof

The use of solar panels on the roof space is getting more attention lately as the costs have come down the last few years.

Under the Building Regulations – Part L there is minimum level of energy provision from renewable energy technologies. There is three ways to meet these minimum guidelines:

  1. 10 kWh/m2 /annum contributing to energy use for domestic hot water heating, space heating or cooling;
  2. or – 4 kWh/m2 /annum of electrical energy;
  3. or – a combination of these which would have equivalent effect

In this analysis I am looking at Option 2 to meet the buildings regs for a new build. The manner on which i propose to do this is by means of PV panels. (PV-solar photovoltaic)

Taking the standard size of a Semi-detached house, two-storey with a total floor area 110m2 the minimum electrical energy that must be produced a year is 440 kWh.

To achieve this output it will require two of the 260W peak PV panels. The total area required on the roof for this is 3.27m2. The additional weight on the roof due to the panels is 37kg.

Taking the Irish national average electricity consumption of 5,300 kWh per annum part L has meet 8.3% of its needs. The typical cost of this energy usage generated by the PV would be 75 euro per annum. The avoided CO2 would be 210kg of carbon a year.

Of course you don’t need to be building a new build to add PV panels to your roof. You can do this on an existing property. The cost of two additional panels is less than €600 using a quoted price of supply, install and commission price of 1.20 euro a watt. In bulk this can be reduced to less than €500, not much of an impact on the bottom line. If you want 4 panels you are looking at a cost of somewhere between 1500-2000 by the time the additional works are done. This would be a valuable addition to any roof though.


What Electric Heaters to choose?

Robust often get asked the question what electric heaters are best to use?

“I hear that this new type of heater is more efficient and the best to get”

The answer is never yes or no or as simple as choose this model.

In essence the best heating is no heating! What do you mean no heating? Well the best thing is to have you house well insulated and draft proof so your need for heating is minimized. Following this the best heating is really going to be the cheapest.

If mains gas is available this will almost always be the best and cheapest option.

In regards apartments where electricity is the means of heating your options are reduced. Whats important to remember is don’t let a salesman tell you that their electric heating is the most efficient.

how to choose an electric heater
€25 2kW Electric heater vs €550 2kW Electric Heater

Electricity is 100% efficient in that the electricity that comes in at the meter is discharged as heat. So 1kW of heat from a fan is the same as 1kW of heat from a storage, the same applies to the new ‘efficient’ electric heaters and existing convection heaters. The cost of this heat is also exactly the same. The modern designed electric heating comes with a digital programmable interface and thermostat to make them a ‘smart’ radiator.

The picture above shows two 2kW electric heaters. The plug in convective heater is only €25 and light and portable. It has no intelligence or safety features. The wall mounted smart heater is over 20 times the price for the same power output. Yet its a smart programmable safer heater with a less stiffing type of heat output. It’s important to note that if the property is intended for rental purposes the heater must be  “a permanently fixed appliance or appliances capable of providing effective heating.” This rules out the use of a portable plug in heater in a rental property due to regulations.

Choosing storage heaters over electric heaters in an apartment requires some consideration. Do you have a night rate meter as you can use these to get half price electricity at night time. Note the day rate is higher than standard though hence the consideration to your unit rate.

how to Keep your apartment warm
Keep your apartment warm

Storage heaters can be very useful when run on this cheaper electricity. The new style of electric heaters are intelligent, you can program them to come on at intervals. This gives more control but not more efficiency or cheaper. You can make them work out cheaper by utilizing less energy though but you will also have heated your space less. If the rooms are old and liable to damp care is need on your choices.

Installation Costs of heaters:

The cost of installing of electric heaters can vary quite a bit. You can go with zero installation costs with plug with heaters, convection or oil heaters. This can be easily moved around also.

The key difference between storage heaters installation and the programmable electric heaters is weight. A 2 kW storage heater will weigh 125kg whilst the programmable electric is just 22kg. The installation time is usually quicker and easier for the non storage heaters. Some trademens really don’t like dealing with the heavy installation of storage heaters once they have used the easier installation of smart wall mounted electric heaters. Don’t always trust the trademens that recommends this is the best option. Have a look around and ask an expert.

Contact us for further advice or if you want to upgrade your old heating systems.

Dublin painting

Give it a Lick of Paint!

Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest way to transform a property. Whether its just renewing you white walls to an entire colour change it’s one of the most critical aspects to get right.

Its important to remember that if you want to change from a red colour to a white there will be more coats needed to get the colours right. Equally if you are changing from bright colour to a dark colour. If you are going white to another beige 2 coats will cover it.

If you are concerned about mould you can also add in additive to the paint to give some protection against this.

Dublin property painting

In summary painting is the quickest and easiest way to give some gloss and sheen back to your property whether its for rental or for sale or more importantly your own home.

Ask us for a quote today.


what insulation best

What Insulation should I use?

Insulate, insulate and insulate some more is good advice this time of year with dropping temperatures and rising energy bills. Yet the choice, method of application and numerous other factors are critical in dictating your choice of insulation.

Some companies that specialize in blown or pumped insulation swear by their products for all applications when in reality one size fits all rule doesn’t apply.

For example in your attic or roof space would you choose a Composite foil board,  a Rafterloc 125mm, or consider pumped insulation or just some glass mineral wool ??

It’s important to consult the Technical Guidance Documents on the matter to meet the regulations. The guides  are quite detailed and an installer often may not be aware of the rules and guide lines to best meet a buildings requirements.

building regs confusion
Confused on building regulations?

This is where Robust comes into play, we will review your requirements and choose the best products. So if you have a cold attic space we will review and decide whether some wool insulation is ideal or whether we would apply a rigid board.

Sure warm up and ask us for a quote


Don’t Neglect your Extractor Fan!

Extractor fan are essential, yes essential to the fabric of buildings. Without extractor fans you would get moisture build up which would led to mould as we worryingly found before.

Often extractor are present but not working or the motors have blown on them. Please don’t neglect this issue. You will cause damage to your home or apartment and can allow toxic mould to develop.

There range from the very cheap at 17 euro to 100 euro for 100H BATHROOM HUMIDISTAT fan, both are Compliant with Part F of the Building Regulations. Part F is the  Technical Guidance Document on Ventilation.


Some rooms have fixed louvre vents, these are vented naturally from the environment. Some have a closer to open or close the louvre vents. These are equally important items of ventilation in a house, they are known as passive ventilation.

To summarise check extractor is working and if not get a new one installed immediately.

If you require a tradesman to install one contact Robust for a free quote.


mould growth on skirting boards

Mould on Walls

How do I remove Mould?

Robust has put together some of the information we have gathered in regards the difficult and dangerous problem of mould. You can use this advice to clear up your apartment, your house or your rental property. Queries on how do I tackle damp patches and mould patches is a very common question.

Robust recommend:

  1. Prepare the property and yourself by using the correct tools and PPE for the job
  2. Use a Mould Killer such as Ronseals. Follow the instructions carefully. Once clean let dry
  3. When clean and dry apply an anti-mould paint such as Ronseals
Mould killer spray and paint
Mould killer spray and paint

What is important to note is that normal paint will not suffice for the problem. Anti mould paint usually costs 25 euro a litre which is up to 4 times the price of standard paint. Anti Mould paint Example or Fleetwood Anti Mould Paint

Other good Mould products we recommend.

Some other options and products for Mould and Mildew: Mould and Mildew cleaner from the Krud Kuttter range. Paint choice of Zinsser Perma White, this is a waterbased paint that will prevent any mould re-appearing. Use these two products you should remove the Mould and Mildew and hopefully stop them appearing again. Mould Paint is best applied as as top coat.

Mould in apartment
Mould on walls

The most important step is to get the work done by a knowledgeable professional   so don’t delay and contact Robust today for a full breakdown.

Please remember we won’t be purchasing the cheap options here but the expensive treatment options and paints to ensure the job only is done once and not a patch job.

Any thing else we can help you with?