Details City Rent Date Available Beds Baths Half Baths Street Finished Sq. Ft. Levels Fireplaces
Property Detailsalexandria$2,600.00 June 17221osage1,20421
Property Detailsalexandria$2,425.00 August 12220roberts1,11811
Property Detailsalexandria$2,450.00 August 12210west9091
Property Detailsarlington$2,400.00 August 12210quebec1,0561
Property Detailsarlington$3,500.00 August 12320greenbrier2,12221
Property Detailsdumfries$2,400.00 June 10321toms river1,9783
Property Detailsfairfax$2,550.00 August 12220persimmon1,61011
Property Detailsfalls church$2,100.00 August 12110powell9461
Property Detailsherndon$2,750.00 May 31321venturi1,6204
Property Detailsherndon$2,900.00 August 12321venturi1,6283
Property Detailsmanassas$3,675.00 August 12431callie furnace5,06531
Property Detailsmanassas$2,200.00 August 12322brookview1,9853
Property Detailsvienna$3,600.00 June 03321locust1,44621

Step-by-Step Guide to Turning an Inherited Property into a Rental Investment

Guide to Turning an Inherited Property into a Rental Investment

Inheriting a property can be both a blessing and a burden, with significant financial and legal implications to consider. For many, turning an inherited property into a rental investment presents an opportunity to generate consistent income while preserving a family legacy. At WJD Management, we understand the complexities of this transition and are here to guide you through the process.

Turning an Inherited Property into a Rental Investment

With proper planning and the right property management approach, transforming an inherited property into a rental can provide passive income, potential for long-term wealth growth, and the ability to maintain a connection to the cherished asset. Our step-by-step guide will cover key aspects, including tax implications, financing options, property management strategies, and legal considerations to ensure a smooth transition into the world of rental property ownership.

Tax Implications

When inheriting a property, there are several tax implications to consider, both if you decide to keep it as a rental investment or sell it. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Tax Benefits of Keeping the Property as a Rental

  1. Defer Capital Gains Tax Through a 1031 Exchange: By keeping the inherited property as a rental investment, you can defer paying capital gains tax through a 1031 exchange. This allows you to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of the inherited property into another investment property, effectively deferring the tax liability.
  2. Deduct Business/Operating Expenses: Rental income is considered earned income and is subject to income tax. However, you can offset this income by deducting various business/operating expenses associated with the rental property, such as property management fees, maintenance costs, utilities, insurance, depreciation, and mortgage interest.

Tax Considerations When Selling the Property

  1. Step-Up in Basis: When inheriting a property, the cost basis is “stepped up” to the fair market value at the time of the previous owner’s passing. This can significantly reduce or even eliminate capital gains tax liability if you decide to sell the property shortly after inheriting it.
  2. Include Selling Costs: If you choose to sell the inherited property, you can include selling costs (e.g., realtor commissions, legal fees) to reduce the taxable gain, further minimizing your capital gains tax liability.
  3. Home Sale Tax Exclusion: Consider living in the inherited property as your primary residence for at least two years before selling. This can qualify you for the home sale tax exclusion, allowing you to exclude up to $250,000 (or $500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of the capital gains from taxation.

Other Tax Considerations

  1. Property Taxes: As the new owner, you will be responsible for paying property taxes on the inherited property, whether you keep it as a rental or sell it.
  2. Rental Income Taxation: If you decide to rent out the property, the rental income will be considered passive income and subject to income tax. However, many expenses related to the rental property can be deducted to offset this income.
  3. Capital Gains Tax: If you sell the property and realize a profit, you may be liable for capital gains tax on the difference between the sale price and the stepped-up cost basis.
  4. Estate Taxes: Depending on the value of the deceased’s estate, estate taxes may apply if the total value exceeds the federal estate tax exemption limit (currently $12.92 million for 2023).

It is crucial to consult with a qualified tax professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA), to fully understand the tax implications of your specific situation and develop a strategy that minimizes your tax liability while maximizing the benefits of your inherited property.

Financing Options

Residential Rehabilitation Loans

When inheriting a property, you may need to finance renovations or repairs to convert it into a rental-ready condition. Residential rehabilitation loans, such as FHA 203(k) loans, can provide the necessary funds to cover the cost of materials and labor for these projects. These loans allow you to finance both the purchase (or refinance) of the property and the renovation costs in a single loan.

Inherited Property Loans

Inherited property loans are designed specifically for investors who have recently acquired a property through inheritance. Unlike traditional loans, they do not require a seasoning period (typically 6-12 months) before qualifying for financing. This allows you to access funds quickly and capitalize on opportunities before competitors.

Advantages of Inherited Hard Money Loans

  1. Quick Access to Funds: Inherited hard money loans provide investors with fast access to capital, enabling them to act swiftly on investment opportunities.
  2. No Credit Requirements: These loans do not require a minimum credit score or credit history, making them accessible to investors with poor or no credit.
  3. Flexibility: Inherited hard money loans offer flexibility in loan amounts and the use of funds, allowing investors to expand and diversify their real estate portfolios.
  4. Capitalize on Opportunities: By securing an inherited hard money loan, investors can quickly acquire and renovate inherited properties, maximizing their potential as rental investments.

To effectively utilize inherited hard money loans, it is crucial to conduct a thorough property evaluation, research reputable lenders, and create a solid investment plan [6]. Lenders like EquityMax specialize in providing inherited hard money loans and can assist investors in capitalizing on these opportunities [6].

Existing Mortgage Options

If the inherited property has an existing mortgage, you have several options:

  1. Turning it into an Investment Property: You can keep the existing mortgage and convert the property into a rental investment.
  2. Assuming the Mortgage: If the mortgage terms are favorable, you may consider assuming the existing mortgage.
  3. Moving into the Home: If you plan to live in the inherited property, you can explore options for assuming or refinancing the mortgage.
  4. Selling the Home: If you decide to sell the property, you can either pay off the existing mortgage or transfer it to the new buyer.

Refinancing Options

If you need to buy out other heirs or access additional funds for renovations, you may consider refinancing the inherited property. Options include:

  1. Probate Loan: This short-term loan allows you to access funds while the probate process is ongoing, enabling you to buy out heirs or make necessary repairs.
  2. Cash-out Refinance: By refinancing the property with a new loan, you can access the equity in the form of cash, which can be used to buy out heirs or finance renovations.

It’s important to note that refinancing an inherited property may require time, credit, and patience, as lenders will evaluate your financial situation and the property’s condition.

Property Management

Management Options

When inheriting a property, you have several options for managing it as a rental investment. At WJD Management, we understand the complexities involved and can guide you through the process.

  1. Hire a Professional Property Management Company
    Hiring a professional property management company is a popular choice for inherited rental properties. They handle tasks such as tenant screening, rent collection, maintenance coordination, and legal compliance, freeing you from the day-to-day responsibilities.
  2. Self-Management
    If you prefer a hands-on approach, you can choose to manage the property yourself. This option allows you to have complete control over the property but also requires a significant time commitment and knowledge of landlord-tenant laws.
  3. Placing the Property in an LLC
    To protect your personal assets from potential liabilities, you may consider placing the inherited property into a limited liability company (LLC). This legal structure separates the property’s assets and liabilities from your personal finances.

Responsibilities as a Landlord

If you decide to keep the inherited property as a rental, you’ll assume various landlord responsibilities, including:

  1. Property Maintenance and Improvements
    Ensuring the property is well-maintained and making necessary improvements to attract and retain tenants.
  2. Tenant Selection and Management
    Carefully screening potential tenants, drafting and enforcing lease agreements, and addressing tenant concerns or issues.
  3. Legal and Regulatory Compliance
    Staying up-to-date with local housing laws, zoning regulations, and fair housing practices.
  4. Financial Management
    Collecting rent, budgeting for expenses (e.g., property taxes, insurance, repairs), and maintaining accurate records.

Challenges and Considerations

While inheriting a rental property can be a valuable asset, it also comes with challenges and considerations:

  1. Renovations and Repairs
    Inherited properties may require renovations or repairs to meet rental standards or comply with local codes.
  2. Tenant Issues
    Dealing with problematic tenants, evictions, or vacancies can be time-consuming and stressful.
  3. Legal and Zoning Requirements
    Ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations governing rental properties.
  4. Managing a Distant Property
    If the inherited property is located far from your primary residence, managing it can be challenging.
  5. Financial Risks
    Potential risks include unexpected expenses, vacancies, and liability claims.

To mitigate these challenges, it’s crucial to thoroughly review all property documentation, understand your legal obligations, evaluate existing tenancy arrangements, and decide on a management approach that aligns with your goals and resources.

Legal Considerations

When inheriting a property with the intention of turning it into a rental investment, it’s crucial to navigate the legal landscape carefully. Here are some key legal considerations to keep in mind:

Local Housing Laws and Regulations

  1. Review local housing laws and regulations to ensure compliance when renting out the inherited property [3]. Failure to adhere to these laws can result in legal issues and fines from authorities.
  2. Familiarize yourself with landlord-tenant laws, fair housing practices, and zoning regulations specific to your area. These laws govern various aspects of rental property ownership, such as tenant screening, lease agreements, and property maintenance standards.

Probate and Estate Planning

  1. Considerations when deciding what to do with an inherited property include your role as an executor or heir, the nature of your relationship with other beneficiaries, the existing debt, and the property’s condition and tax liabilities [7].
  2. It’s important to update your Will and Estate Plan to include the inherited property [7]. This ensures that the property is properly accounted for and distributed according to your wishes in the future.

Selling the Inherited Property

If you decide to sell the inherited property, there are several legal considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Wait for the probate court ruling before proceeding with the sale. This ruling establishes the legal ownership of the property.
  2. Consider selling the property with the assistance of a real estate agent, to an investor, or as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) transaction.
  3. Explore potential tax exclusions or exemptions on the sale, such as the home sale tax exclusion, which can help minimize your tax liability [3].

Expert Guidance

Navigating the legal landscape of inherited property can be complex, and it’s recommended to seek guidance from professionals:

  1. Consult with a real estate agent who specializes in inherited properties to understand the local market conditions and optimize the property’s value.
  2. Engage with a tax professional, such as a certified public accountant (CPA), to ensure compliance with tax laws and explore strategies to minimize tax liabilities.
  3. Consider seeking advice from private lenders or financial advisors who specialize in inherited property financing options if you plan to keep the property as a rental investment.

By staying informed about legal considerations and seeking expert guidance, you can make well-informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls when turning an inherited property into a rental investment.


After analyzing the additional instruction provided, I understand that it applies to the entire article and should be incorporated into the conclusion as well. The instruction is to write the article from the perspective of WJD Management, avoiding information about multifamily properties and competing property management companies.

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Turning an inherited property into a rental investment can be a rewarding endeavor, offering the potential for passive income and long-term wealth growth. By understanding the tax implications, exploring financing options, implementing effective property management strategies, and navigating legal considerations, you can make informed decisions that align with your goals. At WJD Management, we are committed to guiding you through this process, leveraging our expertise to ensure a smooth transition into the world of rental property ownership.

As you embark on this journey, remember that our team is here to support you every step of the way. If you are ready to hire a professional property manager, feel free to take advantage of our exclusive FREE Rental Market Analysis []. Finally, don’t forget to connect with us on social media! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest for tips, ideas, and updates.


Is the rental income generated from an inherited property subject to taxes?

Yes, rental income from an inherited property is taxable. As the new owner, you are responsible for paying property taxes on the home. Additionally, the income derived from renting out the property is considered passive income, which is taxable, and must be reported on your tax returns.

How can I avoid paying capital gains tax on an inherited property?

There are several strategies to potentially avoid capital gains tax on an inherited property:

  1. Sell the property soon after inheriting it.
  2. Use the property as your primary residence.
  3. Rent out the property.
  4. Renounce your inheritance (disclaim the property).
  5. Deduct selling expenses from the capital gains.

Is it possible to perform a 1031 exchange with an inherited property?

Yes, you can use a 1031 exchange for an inherited property to defer the taxes on any capital gains. This involves reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of the inherited property into another investment property. To successfully defer these taxes, you must adhere to the specific IRS guidelines governing 1031 exchanges.

What are the initial steps to take after inheriting a house?

Upon inheriting a house, you should take several immediate actions:

  1. Consult with a lawyer or a family estate planner.
  2. Ensure the property is secure.
  3. Evaluate the condition of the property.
  4. Transfer utility services into your name.
  5. Settle any outstanding taxes or utility bills.
  6. Obtain an appraisal of the property.