Can we claim $500K tax break if renting to tenants?

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DEAR BOB: We have rented out a legal apartment in our primary residence for 17 years. My wife and I intend to sell our house and shelter $500,000 of our gain. In order to do so, must we be "tenant free" for 24 of the last 60 months? --Bruce C. DEAR BRUCE: No. You can sell your principal residence with the tenant still living in the apartment. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. For capital gains tax purposes you will be making two sales. One is the sale price of your principal-residence portion. The other sale is the sales price of the rental apartment. But the Internal Revenue Code 121 principal-residence-sale tax exemption up to $500,000 for a qualified married couple (up to $250,000 for a single home seller) applies only to your capital gain profit on the principal-residence portion. That's presuming you both occupied your primary residence at least 24 of the last 60 months before the sale. The capital gain on the sale of the rental apartment has two components. One...