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Vacant housing and deduction of charges: What works concerned in 2019?


Vacant housing: what works can be tax deducted?

The deduction of work carried out in vacant accommodation is not systematic. This is essentially what the Administrative Court of Appeal of Versailles recalls in its judgment of January 15, 2019. Any owner of vacant accommodation must therefore comply with the rules relating to the deduction of charges from said accommodation, in particular the deductions of tax charges granted for work carried out.

What are the rights of owners of vacant accommodation with regard to deductions?

According to the observance of certain rules, the Tax Administration authorizes the owners to carry out work in vacant housing and to deduct these charges from the amount of property income as part of their taxation. However, the deduction cannot be applied in all cases. Indeed, in the event that the owner reserves the future enjoyment of this vacant accommodation, the tax administration does not accept deductions of charges.
In short, it is up to the owner to justify two things. When these conditions are met, the charges related to vacant housing can be deducted from the property income:
  • The fact that he does not reserve the home as his main residence in the future
  • Proof that he has done all the research possible to find a tenant without succeeding

What work is deductible?

The owner of a vacant home can benefit from the exemption of certain charges and taxes from property income. This possibility is accepted by the tax authorities, insofar as the work carried out is part of the list of eligible work. While renovation and maintenance work is allowed, however, expansion work is not deductible.
Here are the works that can be deducted from the charges:
  • Work aimed at repairing and maintaining vacant accommodation : this includes, for example, changing locks, maintaining pipes, repairing the property, or installing a fitted kitchen.
  • Work aimed at improving the functionality of housing : this category includes, in particular, roof renovation work , repair of the electrical network, or the installation of new windows .

What work is not deductible?

The Tax Administration does not allow all expense deductions. Thus, the owners of vacant housing cannot deduct the costs related to construction work or even expansion of the property . In fact, since this is not work aimed at improving the functionality of the accommodation, they do not enter into account as deductible charges.
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