Can You Rent Your House to Cover Your Mortgage and Taxes?

Can You Rent Your House to Cover Your Mortgage and Taxes?

If you’ve ever dreamt of turning your property into a source of passive income, you're not alone. These days, it’s common to explore the idea of renting out your house to cover mortgage payments and taxes. But, before you dive into rental property ownership, let's unpack the essentials to ensure you're well-prepared for this financial endeavor and can make the most of it.

Understanding the Financial Considerations

Owning a home comes with lots of financial responsibilities beyond the initial purchase price and these costs can quickly add up. Renting out your house presents an opportunity to offset these expenses, but it's crucial to have a clear understanding of your financial obligations. Some of the most common financial considerations for landlords include:

Mortgage Payments

Your mortgage is probably going to be your largest ongoing expense. Ensuring consistent and timely payments is essential to maintain your financial stability and avoid default.

Property Taxes

Property taxes vary depending on location and property value. Understanding your tax obligations and budgeting for annual tax payments is essential for financial planning.


Landlord insurance protects your property and finances from potential risks such as property damage, liability claims, and loss of rental income. Securing adequate insurance coverage is a great option when it comes to safeguarding your investment.

Ongoing Maintenance and Repairs

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are necessary to keep your property in good condition and ensure resident satisfaction. Budgeting for routine maintenance tasks and addressing any issues promptly can prevent costly repairs down the line.

Assessing Rental Potential

Can You Rent Your House to Cover Your Mortgage and Taxes?

Obviously, it’s essential that your rental rate covers the costs associated with the property or else there is no profit to be had. The way to ensure profitability is to understand your property’s rental potential. Determining the rental potential of your property involves evaluating factors such as location, property size, condition, and amenities. Conducting thorough research and seeking guidance from real estate professionals can help you estimate potential rental income accurately.

Remember to account for fluctuations in the rental market and potential vacancies when projecting your rental earnings. Additionally, consider the demand for rental properties in your area and the preferences of prospective residents. Factors such as proximity to amenities, schools, public transportation, walkability, crime statistics, and employment opportunities can influence rental demand and affect your property's rental potential. By conducting market research and understanding local rental trends, you can make informed decisions to maximize your rental income and attract quality residents.

Legal and Regulatory Considerations

It’s important to familiarize yourself with local landlord-tenant laws, property codes, and regulations so that you fully understand your legal obligations and the associated risks. Don't overlook the importance of obtaining any necessary permits or licenses for renting out your property. Failure to adhere to legal and regulatory requirements can result in costly fines, lawsuits, or even the revocation of your rental license.

Additionally, certain laws may restrict your ability to generate significant revenue from your rental property, such as rent control ordinances or limitations on rental rate increases. By staying informed about legal considerations and abiding by all applicable regulations, you can mitigate risks and position yourself for long-term success as a landlord.

Financial Planning and Risk Management

When managed properly, rental properties can provide a steady stream of income, but success is much more common when paired with effective budgeting. We recommend all landlords set aside funds for maintenance, repairs, and periods of vacancy in a contingency fund to avoid financial strain. Having a contingency fund in place can help mitigate risks and unexpected expenses that may arise during your tenure as a landlord.

While landlord accounting can be complex, there are basic steps you can take right away to set yourself up for success. Keeping accurate records of all income and expenses, setting up separate bank accounts for each property, and regularly reviewing financial statements and monitoring cash flow to make informed decisions about your property are all easy steps to take that help you on your way to financial success.

Property Ownership Pros and Cons

Renting out your property poses various pros and cons and it’s important to consider both sides when deciding whether or not to move forward into a rental situation. Let’s explore just a few of the pros and cons associated with being a landlord.


Building Equity

Owning a rental property can be a powerful wealth-building strategy, primarily through the accumulation of equity. Equity refers to the portion of the property's value that you own outright, minus any outstanding mortgage balance. As your residents pay rent and contribute to covering the mortgage, you're essentially using their payments to build equity in the property. Over time, as property values appreciate and mortgage balances decrease, your equity in the property grows.

Additionally, any improvements or renovations made to the property can further increase its value, boosting your equity even more. Ultimately, owning a rental property allows you to leverage the property's value to build wealth over the long term, providing a valuable asset that can generate passive income and contribute to your overall financial portfolio.

Tax Benefits

Owning a rental property can offer numerous tax benefits for landlords. One of the primary advantages is the ability to deduct various expenses associated with owning and operating the rental property. These deductions may include mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance and repairs, property management fees, and depreciation of the property's value over time.

Additionally, landlords may be eligible to deduct expenses related to travel, utilities, and home office expenses if they actively manage the property. These tax deductions can help landlords reduce their taxable rental income, resulting in lower tax liabilities and potentially increasing their overall profitability. It's essential for landlords to keep detailed records of all expenses related to their rental property to ensure they can claim all eligible deductions and maximize their tax benefits.


Resident-Related Issues

Resident-related issues can significantly impact the financial success of a rental property for landlords. Problems such as late rent payments, property damage, lease violations, or resident turnover can lead to income loss, increased expenses for repairs or legal fees, and potential vacancies. Moreover, dealing with difficult residents can consume valuable time and energy, detracting from the landlord's ability to focus on property management and growth. By addressing resident-related issues promptly and effectively, landlords can mitigate financial risks and maintain the profitability of their rental property. A great way to ensure minimal resident-related issues is by hiring a property management team that has the expertise and local knowledge that is so helpful when establishing and maintaining a successful resident relationship.

Market Fluctuations

Market fluctuations can have a significant impact on the financial success of a rental property for landlords. Changes in rental demand, property values, and economic conditions can influence rental income and property appreciation.

In a competitive market with high demand, landlords may command higher rental rates and experience faster property appreciation. Conversely, in a downturn, landlords may struggle to attract residents and may need to lower rental rates to remain competitive. Moreover, fluctuations in interest rates can affect mortgage payments and financing costs, further impacting the financial viability of a rental property. By staying informed about market trends and adjusting rental strategies accordingly, landlords can adapt to market fluctuations and optimize the financial performance of their rental property.

Final Thoughts: Can You Rent Your House to Cover Your Mortgage and Taxes?

Renting out your house to cover your mortgage and taxes can be a rewarding financial strategy, but it requires careful planning and consideration. By understanding the financial implications, accurately assessing rental potential, navigating legal requirements, engaging in financial planning, and considering the pros and cons of property ownership, you can set yourself up for success as a landlord. With the right approach, renting out your house can become a valuable source of income and a fulfilling investment opportunity.

While the list of considerations landlords must keep in mind is long, there is help out there. Consider enlisting the support of management professionals like Evernest! We deal with the details of renting your property so you can enjoy the benefits of ownership. 

Head to our website to find the Evernest team in your area and get started on the path to financial success today!