Can You Rent Out Your USDA Loan Home? (Explained!)

We’ve all been there: finally securing that dream home with the help of a USDA loan, breathing a sigh of relief as the keys jingle in our hands. The backyard is spacious, the neighborhood pristine, and everything seems perfect.

But then, life happens. A job change, a family emergency, or simply the itch to travel might prompt you to wonder, “Can I rent out this beautiful space and make some extra money while I’m away?”

This isn’t just about pocketing a few extra dollars; it’s about leveraging one of your biggest assets in a way that benefits you in the short and long term. The world of USDA loans is complex filled with rules, regulations, and fine print.

However, understanding these intricacies can be the difference between a sound financial decision and a missed opportunity. Dive in with us as we unravel the mystery: Can you really rent out your USDA loan home?

The answer might surprise you, and the implications could change how you view your property forever.

Can you rent out your USDA loan home?

Securing a home through a USDA loan comes with its own set of unique conditions, especially when considering the option of renting it out. So, can you open your doors to tenants? In short, yes, but it’s not as straightforward as it might seem.

After sealing the deal on your home, you’ll need to move in within a tight timeframe of 60 days. More than just moving in, this place has to be your primary dwelling spot. However, it’s not forever, just a year, to be precise.

After living in your USDA-financed home for at least 12 months, you’re free to explore the rental market, be it for long-term leases or short-term stays.

While the initial restrictions might seem a tad limiting, they’re a small wait for the potential returns and flexibility offered down the line.

Also read: Can You Build a Barndominium with a VA Loan?

Can You Rent Out Your USDA Loan Home

What are the benefits of renting out your USDA loan home?

Leaping to rent out your USDA loan home can unlock a trove of financial benefits. At the top of the list is the prospect of ushering in an additional stream of income. With tenants paying rent, you have a consistent influx of funds that can substantially bolster your monthly budget.

But the benefits don’t stop at the extra cash. Renting out your home can also be an effective strategy to counteract the weight of your mortgage payments. Instead of shouldering the entirety of the cost yourself, your tenants effectively contribute, making homeownership a bit lighter on the wallet.

Lastly, as the rental income rolls in and you continue to pay down your mortgage, you’re also amplifying the equity in your home. Over time, this can significantly enhance your property’s value and your overall net worth.

Also read: Can A Loan Officer Also Be an Insurance Agent?

What are the drawbacks of renting out your USDA loan home?

While the allure of extra income and increasing equity can be enticing, diving into the rental market with your USDA loan home isn’t without its challenges. One of the foremost considerations is the sheer effort required in managing a rental property.

From handling maintenance requests to ensuring timely rent collection, being a landlord can demand significant time and attention. Moreover, with tenants come uncertainties.

Despite thorough screenings and background checks, there’s always the risk of property damage, and as the homeowner, the financial responsibility for repairs often falls squarely on your shoulders. And let’s not forget the taxman.

Earning rental income means you’re potentially subject to additional taxes, which can eat into your profits and complicate your financial picture. It’s essential to weigh these considerations against the benefits to make an informed decision about your property’s future.

Can You Rent Out Your USDA Loan Home

How to rent out your USDA loan home?

So, you’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to plunge into the world of renting out your USDA loan home. Where to begin? First and foremost, reach out to your USDA lender. They hold the keys to your eligibility, and it’s essential to confirm that you’re in the clear to proceed with your rental plans.

With the green light from your lender, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and prep your home. This could mean a fresh coat of paint, fixing that leaky faucet, or other updates that make your property more appealing to potential tenants. Don’t just guess the rental price—get a professional rental appraisal. This will provide clarity on the competitive rent you can charge in your area.

Finding the right tenant can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Cast a wide net by advertising your property on online platforms and even the good old local newspaper.

However, remember, not all who show interest may be the right fit. Rigorously screen potential tenants by examining their references and delving deep into their credit history.

The final step? Drafting a lease agreement. This document is crucial as it sets the tone for your relationship with your tenant. Clearly define all terms, from rent and security deposit amounts to the responsibilities each party holds. A well-thought-out lease can be the cornerstone of a smooth rental experience.

How to Manage Your Rental Property:

Having tenants is just the beginning of your rental journey; the true task lies in managing the property efficiently. Regular responsibilities range from ensuring timely rent collection to addressing the occasional leak or electrical hiccup.

But it’s not all about the bricks and mortar. At the heart of successful property management is fostering a positive landlord-tenant relationship.

Why is this relationship so pivotal? A tenant who feels respected and valued is more likely to treat your property with care, almost as if it were their own. This mutual respect can translate into fewer complaints, less wear and tear, and a higher likelihood of lease renewal when the term comes to a close.

Remember, a harmonious relationship doesn’t mean you forgo your rights as a property owner; it simply means you approach situations with understanding and open communication.

In the world of property rentals, a little bit of goodwill can go a long way in ensuring both your peace of mind and the upkeep of your investment.


The idea of converting your USDA loan home into a rental property is undoubtedly tempting. Those monthly rent checks could mean a significant boost to your finances, giving you that much-needed cushion to tackle mortgage payments and maybe even a little extra for that vacation you’ve been dreaming of. But, as with all good things, there’s a flip side to consider.

USDA loans come with their set of rules, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these before diving headfirst into the rental market. From occupancy requirements to the responsibilities of being a landlord, there’s a lot to digest.

And while the extra income is enticing, potential challenges, like property damages or tax implications, might just be lurking around the corner.

In the end, the decision to rent out your USDA loan home boils down to understanding the complete picture—both the shining promises and the potential pitfalls.

Armed with knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to make a choice that aligns with your long-term goals and financial well-being. Here’s to making informed decisions and thriving in the world of real estate!


Can I rent out a portion of my USDA loan home while I still live in it?

While the USDA loan program mandates that the home must be your primary residence, there is no explicit rule against renting out a portion of your property, like a basement or a room, as long as you continue to occupy the main part of the home. However, it’s essential to check with your lender and local regulations to ensure you’re not violating any terms or ordinances.

Are there any penalties if I rent out my USDA loan home before the 12-month occupancy requirement?

Yes, renting out your home before meeting the 12-month occupancy requirement can lead to serious consequences. You could be considered in default on your loan, which might result in your lender demanding the full loan amount immediately. It’s essential to adhere to the USDA loan’s conditions to avoid such complications.

How does renting out my USDA loan home affect my insurance?

When you transition from being an owner-occupant to a landlord, you might need to update your homeowner’s insurance to a landlord or rental property insurance. This type of insurance typically covers the building itself but not the tenant’s personal belongings. It’s crucial to speak with your insurance provider to ensure you have adequate coverage for a rental scenario.

Can I refinance my USDA loan home if I decide to rent it out?

Refinancing a USDA loan property that’s been turned into a rental can be complex. Typically, USDA loans are designed for primary residences, so if you want to refinance after converting your home to a rental, you might need to look into other mortgage options outside of the USDA program. Always consult with a financial advisor or mortgage professional to understand your options.

Are there any tax benefits to renting out my USDA loan home?

Yes, renting out your property can offer tax benefits. You may be able to deduct rental-related expenses such as repairs, property management fees, property taxes, mortgage interest, and depreciation. However, remember that rental income is taxable. It’s essential to consult with a tax professional to understand how renting out your USDA loan home will impact your tax situation.

Olivia is a finance expert with years of experience in the industry. She is passionate about helping people make informed decisions about their finances, and her expertise lies in the areas of loans and insurance policies.

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