Deductible Loss Killed Because House Not Rented.

The petitioners, a married couple, bought a home in 2004 for $875,000 and used it as a seasonal residence.  They stopped using it as a seasonal residence in 2008 and converted it to a rental property.  A realtor hired to find a renter used the property as a "model" of similar units to show to prospective buyers.  The petitioners removed all of their personal belongings and converted a room to a child's room.  Two prospective renters expressed interest in renting the home, but ultimately did not do so.         The property was never rented before the petitioners sold the property in late 2010 at a loss.  On their 2010 return, the petitioners deducted the loss on sale under I.R.C. Sec. 165(c).  The IRS disallowed the loss under I.R.C. Sec. 262 because the petitioners failed to convert the house to a rental property before sale.  The court agreed with the IRS, determining that the facts illustrated that the petitioners had failed to change their intent from using the house as their personal residence to a rental property citing five factors - (1) length of time the house was occupied by the taxpayer as a residence before being placed on the market for sale; (2) whether all personal use of the home had been discontinued; (3) the character of the property ; (4) the number of offers to rent the home; and (5) the number of offers to sell the home.  The court noted that the petitioners had used the house for four years before moving out and there were only limited efforts to rent the property.  Had a deduction been allowed, it would have only been the amount of any further reduction in value after the conversion to rental.  No deduction is allowed for the decline in value while the house was used as a personal residence.    Redisch v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-95.