The answer is yes and no. You must add the expenses to get the property ready to rent to the cost basis (depreciable basis) of the house. Once the rental is available for rent, all of the expenses after that date are a deduction against rental income for the year. You may take these deductions even if you have no rental income this year.
Keep in mind that rental losses are limited to $25,000 per year, and not allowed to be currently deducted if your other income is above the limit. ($75,000 Single, $150,000 Married)
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