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How To Choose a Quantity Surveyor

Choosing the right Quantity Surveyor to produce a Depreciation Schedule for your rental property can seen daunting. Sometimes Depreciation Schedules are incorrectly called a Quantity Surveyor report and that doesn’t help either. That’s why we produced this list to ensure you know what to look for when choosing a Quantity Surveyor

1. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who will physically inspect your investment property

Some Quantity Surveying companies take short cuts by using untrained people to carry out cursory inspections and gather information. This information is then (hopefully) sent to an actual Quantity Surveyor to cost up. These companies may produce cheaper schedules, but is it worth the risk? And if you have questions after you get your Depreciation Schedule, you will get much better answers if the person who inspected the property is the person who works out the costs. Also, if your property is being inspected by an actual Quantity Surveyor, you should NOT have to provide plans.

2. Choose A Quantity Surveyor who doesn’t charge for updates

You may want to avoid spending more money on your rental property, but there are some things you can’t avoid. You might have to replace a hot water heater, or a stove, or carpet. If that happens, your depreciation Schedule needs to be changed. If it’s only a couple of items, we can do this free of charge and get the revised Schedule to you the next day. If it’s a bigger renovation, we have a Self Assist facility where you can amend your own Depreciation Schedule – provided it’s one that we have done.

3. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who provides accountant friendly Depreciation Schedules

More than 60% of our work comes to us from accountants. They know that we provide Depreciation Schedules that have exactly what they need i.e. the construction cost at the time of construction and a written-down value of the Assets as of the first available to lease date. A Depreciation Schedule that creates work for your accountant can mean extra cost for you.

4. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who specialises in tax work

Many Quantity Surveyors turn their hands to tax work during the tax season, but because it is not their core business they may not be up to date with the current rules. Many of the Tax Depreciation Schedules produced each year will not pass an ATO audit and you need to remember that you are liable for any errors.

5. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who services the entire country

This might not be a consideration for your first investment property. But when you buy another one (and most successful investors do) it will be handy if you don’t have to go hunting for another Depreciation Schedule provider. We can just open another job under your existing profile, give you a discount for coming back to us, and we’re off and running.

6. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who can handle the Tax Season rush

During tax season, things can get pretty busy for the Quantity Surveying companies that do this work. It’s common to leave it till the last minute and not all Quantity Surveyors can manage a quick turn around in Tax Season. Some even charge extra for ‘urgent’ jobs

7. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who is a Tax Agent

On March 1, 2010, the Tax Agent Services regime came into effect. All people doing Depreciation Schedules need to be registered as Tax Agents. It’s vital you choose a Quantity Surveyor who is a registered Tax Agent for your own protection.

8. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who’s a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS)?

The AIQS is the industry body for Quantity Surveyors and they assist their members keep on top of the ATO rules relevant to investment properties. To find out whether your Quantity Surveyor is a member click here, Then go to “Find a Member” and click on the Business Register. If your Quantity Surveyor isn’t there, it should ring a few alarm bells.

9. Choose A Quantity Surveyor who can answer questions about your Depreciation Schedule

This is something that few people think about before they order a Depreciation Schedule. Let’s say it’s the first time you’ve seen a Depreciation Schedule. You may need a few clues on how to read it – even though we’ve made it as straightforward as possible. Just call 1300 66 00 33 and the person you speak with will probably be able to answer your questions. If you’ve gone with a cheap Quantity Surveyor and your only contact number is a mobile, good luck. Maybe you have a query about the value ascribed to certain items. Who will you talk to if the person who visited the property wasn’t the person who put the costs together?

10. Choose a Quantity Surveyor who provides complete Depreciation Schedules

There’s surprisingly few requirements for a Tax Depreciation Schedule to be considered valid. This may explain why some schedules are far more complete than others. We’ve even seen a few one pagers that only give the first year’s depreciation – our Depreciation Schedules run for 20 years. Some Depreciation Schedules have only provided one method of depreciation. Others haven’t included the Low Value Pool as an option. Having a less complete Depreciation Schedule that’s a few dollars less initially is likely to cost you far more in the long run. 

Whether you call it a Quantity Surveyor report or a Depreciation Schedule, Depreciator meets all these criteria. Why not call us now on 1300 66 00 33 for a FREE no-obligation quote and a depreciation estimate.

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