When Your Rental Property Hasn’t Been Rented All Year…

Managing your rental income (and the expenses that comes from maintaining them) is particularly different from pandemic as most rental properties did not rent all year. COVID has hit the real estate market hard. If you own a rental property, then you know generating income has been a struggle, but there are some things you can do to manage expenses and claim deductions on your taxes.

In general, when the expenses of rental properties exceed the rental income you are generating you can deduct this amount from your taxes. The situation created by the pandemic is different, and while many landlords have realized significantly reduced incomes, there are a lot of federal programs and tax breaks in place to help them deal with the losses. Before you deduct any losses, speak to an experienced bookkeeper and tax expert to ensure you are taking advantage of all the tax breaks that you appear to qualify for.

Eviction moratoriums across the country means that when you have a tenant that is unable to pay their rent month after month, you cannot evict them for as long as the moratorium lasts. The CARES Act was passed in order to protect families and individuals dealing with the fallout of a national health emergency, but it didn’t provide blanket coverage and protections for all landlords. In order to get through difficult financial situations many landlords had to fall back on financial cushions that they worked hard to create over the years. If you were unable to do so before this situation unfolded, a line of credit in the form of a loan can help protect the assets you do have.

In the meantime, there are several programs and grants that have been made available through the federal and local governments that can help reduce the burden of financial income loss that you are facing. Some of these grants are tied to tenants being in the property, but there are those that are available exclusively to rental property owners as well. When these options fail to meet the necessary income needed to support yourself as a landlord, placing the property up for sale might be the best option.

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