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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I don't want to push the envelope too far, but I certainly want to deduct as many expenses as I can as a landlord. For example, weekly mileage trips to drive by the property to check on it.

Costs of repairs are an easy no-brainer. So would utilities unless they are the Tenant's responsibility.

Commissions to tenant-brokers, yes.

Taxes and insurance, yes.

Can readers chime in to help me create a list of things I certainly need to deduct?

How about expensing periodic dinner with the tenant as a business expense, e.g. customer development and retention?

Posts: 475
Reply with quote  #2 
Any mileage between rental properties is deductible. If you have a home office, then the mileage between home and any rental properties is deductible. If you don't have a home office, then it is from your actual office to rental properties. 

Dinner might be a bit of a stretch. How often are you dining with tenants? That's not a 'normal' expense of being a landlord, so track it, but ask your tax preparer about it, it smells just fishy enough to get IRS attention (probably not, but you never know). 

Anything they reimburse you for is a deductible expense. The reimbursement from them should go in as 'other income'. For example, they broke the stove, you buy a new one and replace it, and they pay you for the new one. 

Any legal fees (attorney, court fees, etc.) are deductible expenses. As are bookkeeping, tax preparation, etc. 

Any advertising expenses are deductible (ads in a local paper, any ads online, your website, etc.). 

Real estate taxes are deductible. 

Just be careful with repairs and expenses. Almost anything you do will be correct, but if you have a legitimate improvement (beyond normal repairs and maintenance), then that needs to be capitalized (depreciated over many years). Painting and carpet is an expense, but adding an addition or remodeling the whole place in a way that significantly improves resell value (even if it is not to sell the property yet) need to be capitalized. Any time you aren't sure, ask you tax preparer.

Credit checks are an expense. Applicants' application fee goes to 'other income'.

Interest, bank fees, etc. are all expenses.

Office supplies, postage, etc. are all expenses.

Anything else? 


Posts: 153
Reply with quote  #3 
LLinVA has a good list going.  I agree about avoiding meal deductions.  I would also avoid a home office deduction as it's a huge red flag.  

Some other expenses to consider:
  • Conferences and training materials
  • Dues and Fees (HOA, CO, etc.)
  • Software and Hardware (Computer and Property Mgmt software you use for rentals)
  • Landscaping

AccidentalRental - A profitable resource for new landlords


Posts: 3,803
Reply with quote  #4 
New flooring is a depreciable deduction, not an expense. This is depreciated over 5 years.
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