MDRN Wealth logo
Edit Content
Should I Set up An LLC for My Rental Property

Should I Set up An LLC for My Rental Property?

Setting up your first rental property comes with a barrage of decisions, one of which is whether to set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for your property. This question often plagues newcomers in the real estate investment sphere, leading to a mix of advice and misconceptions. In this article, we’ll explore the intricacies of establishing an LLC for rental properties, diving into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Debunking the Tax Misconception

A common myth surrounding LLCs is their supposed tax benefits for rental properties. Contrary to popular belief, an LLC does not offer any special tax advantage. Whether you own the property individually or through an LLC, you can still deduct rental expenses, mortgage interest, and claim depreciation. Essentially, an LLC serves as an asset protection tool rather than a tax oriented one.

The Asset Protection Advantage

The primary rationale for forming an LLC lies in asset protection. By establishing an LLC, you create a legal barrier between your personal assets and the assets owned by the LLC — in this case, your rental property. This separation is crucial in safeguarding your personal wealth from potential lawsuits arising from incidents on the property. Given the litigious nature of society, the protective shield an LLC can offer is valuable, particularly in real estate investing.

When Setting Up an LLC May Not Make Sense

While the benefits of an LLC for asset protection purposes are clear, there are situations where forming one might not be immediately beneficial. A notable example is when your rental property was once your primary residence. If you’ve recently transitioned your primary home into a rental property, waiting to place the property into an LLC could be wise.

The reason for this revolves around the capital gains exclusion rule on a primary residence sale, which allows homeowners to exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of capital gains on the sale of their primary residence, provided they’ve lived in it for at least two of the last five years. Placing a rental property, that was once your primary residence, into an LLC might forfeit this valuable tax benefit. I can’t tell you how many times I have worked with someone who transitioned their former primary residence to a rental property, and a year later realized that being a landlord is a lot more work than they realized. If this individual lived in the property 2 out of the last 5 years, we could sell the property, take our equity, and potentially avoid capital gains taxes. However, if they placed the property in an LLC, based on generic advice they read online, they could now be on the hook for capital gains tax.

Alternative Protections

If this is you or you live in a state where LLC set up and maintenance is expensive, increased personal liability coverage through insurance can offer a temporary protective measure without sacrificing potential capital gains benefits. This approach ensures some level of protection against liability without the need for immediate LLC formation.

Final Thoughts: Assessing Your Situation

Generally speaking, setting up an LLC for your rental property is a wise move, even if you have significant personal liability insurance. However, you need to assess your own personal situation to see if it makes sense. As you navigate the complexities of real estate investing, remember that the right choice is the one that aligns with your overall investment strategy and financial security. If you need a personalized financial plan that encompasses your real estate portfolio, please reach out to us using the link below.


This article is intended to be education only and is not intended to be construed as tax, legal or investment advice.

Complimentary Discovery Call

The next frontier of investment and wealth management is here. We are here to guide you through it, every step of the way.



There is no time like the present

The next frontier of investment and wealth management is here. We are here to guide you through it, every step of the way.