skip navigation
Search Help
Navigation Help

Tax Map Index

Tax Topic Index

Affordable Care Act
Tax Topic Index

Tax Topics

About Tax Map Website
Publication 527

Chapter 5
Personal Use of Dwelling Unit (Including Vacation Home)(p17)

If you have any personal use of a dwelling unit (including a vacation home) that you rent, you must divide your expenses between rental use and personal use. In general, your rental expenses will be no more than your total expenses multiplied by a fraction; the denominator of which is the total number of days the dwelling unit is used and the numerator of which is the total number of days actually rented at a fair rental price. Only your rental expenses may deducted on Schedule E (Form 1040). Some of your personal expenses may be deductible if you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).
You must also determine if the dwelling unit is considered a home. The amount of rental expenses that you can deduct may be limited if the dwelling unit is considered a home. Whether a dwelling unit is considered a home depends on how many days during the year are considered to be days of personal use. There is a special rule if you used the dwelling unit as a home and you rented it for less than 15 days during the year.

Dwelling unit.(p17)

A dwelling unit includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, vacation home, or similar property. It also includes all structures or other property belonging to the dwelling unit. A dwelling unit has basic living accommodations, such as sleeping space, a toilet, and cooking facilities.
A dwelling unit does not include property (or part of the property) used solely as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment. Property is used solely as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment if it is regularly available for occupancy by paying customers and is not used by an owner as a home during the year.


You rent a room in your home that is always available for short-term occupancy by paying customers. You do not use the room yourself and you allow only paying customers to use the room. This room is used solely as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment and is not a dwelling unit.

Dividing Expenses(p17)

If you use a dwelling unit for both rental and personal purposes, divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use based on the number of days used for each purpose.
When dividing your expenses, follow these rules.

Fair rental price.(p17)

A fair rental price for your property generally is the amount of rent that a person who is not related to you would be willing to pay. The rent you charge is not a fair rental price if it is substantially less than the rents charged for other properties that are similar to your property in your area.
Ask yourself the following questions when comparing another property with yours. If any of the answers are no, the properties probably are not similar.


Your beach cottage was available for rent from June 1 through August 31 (92 days). Except for the first week in August (7 days), when you were unable to find a renter, you rented the cottage at a fair rental price during that time. The person who rented the cottage for July allowed you to use it over the weekend (2 days) without any reduction in or refund of rent. Your family also used the cottage during the last 2 weeks of May (14 days). The cottage was not used at all before May 17 or after August 31.
You figure the part of the cottage expenses to treat as rental expenses as follows.
Note.When determining whether you used the cottage as a home, the July weekend (2 days) you used it is considered personal use even though you received a fair rental price for the weekend. Therefore, you had 16 days of personal use and 83 days of rental use for this purpose. Because you used the cottage for personal purposes more than 14 days and more than 10% of the days of rental use (8 days), you used it as a home. If you have a net loss, you may not be able to deduct all of the rental expenses. See Dwelling Unit Used as a Home, next.