I need to purchase a lawnmower for the duplex that I am house hacking. So we would be mowing both sides with it, including the side we are living in. I know typically with expenses for a duplex whatever money you spend on your personal residence unit is a non-deductible personal expense. Would I be able to deduct the lawnmower as a business cost for our rental side or just half of it? Any thoughts on this?
I owned a duplex, where I occupy one unit. I use QuickBooks to track things, and all expenses related to the house is booked, and for those used for the owner and tenant, it's allocated 50/50. Your lawnmower is one case. Some are allocated entirely to the tenant, such as a toilet repair in his unit. If it's in my unit, allocated 100% to owner. All expenses paid for the house is paid from a separate checking account.
I hope this helps. I have some duplexes as well. One of the things I try to do is make sure the lease includes the tenants responsibility to maintain the lawn. If you move into another duplex in the future and then rent out both sides of the one you are in you may not want to have to keep coming back to it to do the yard work.
If you are responsible to maintain the yard for the pother side of the duplex then you need a mower. You can't purchase half of a mower so I would use the entire thing as a write off. I write off tools I purchase that are used for maintaining any rental even though I also use those tools around the house.
I am not a CPA or anything so it is best to check with whomever you have do your taxes. Good luck. =)