It is that time of year in which people are just realizing that their leases are expiring and are searching for a new place with the best rate, location, and amenities available.  This means for you, rental property owners, that your doors are about to be flooded with people looking for the best deal they can find.  However, before you accept any new leases, it is very important to make sure that all your assets are protected.

Asset protection is simply risk management planning that tries to prevent a lawsuit before it happens.  A comprehensive asset protection plan will be structured with the thought in mind that someday the plan may be laid out in front of a judge or a creditor who wants to attack the plan.  Even though there is no perfect strategy that will protect all of your assets all the time, there are ways, as a rental property owner, you can protect yourself from future liability, like creating your business as a limited liability company (LLC).

An LLC limits personal vulnerability to potential lawsuits related to the property. For example, if a lessee has a party and someone happens to get hurt, it would prevent the victim from going after your personal assets.

Also, as the owner of the rental property, you can enjoy the benefits of pass-through taxation. Since the IRS classifies a real estate holding company with one owner as they would a sole proprietorship.  The LLC is disregarded for federal tax purposes and income and capital gains from the LLC pass through directly to you.  Therefore, you are able to avoid double taxation, while still enjoying the protections offered by the LLC.  However, if you happen to have several owners, you not only get the benefit of pass-through taxation, but you also enjoy more flexibility than either a corporation or a partnership because you can have owners or third-party managers manage your rental property.

Essentially, as a property owner, it is important to protect yourself from future lawsuits and potential creditors.  Therefore, by setting up your business as an LLC, not only do you avoid personal liability, but you also get some extra tax benefits.

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It’s A Wild World. Are Your Protected?