Record Keeping as a Landlord
Good record keeping as a landlord, by many standards, one of the most important aspects of being a landlord. Maintaining organized and detailed records can protect both the landlord and tenant and helps to ensure that they maintain a positive and productive relationship throughout the length of the lease. There are four major types of records that every landlord should ensure that they keep:
- Written Lease – Every landlord should have a written lease for every property, every time. This protects both the landlord and the tenant and should be a non-negotiable aspect of the rental agreement. Always keep a record of current and past leases, to avoid any confusion or potential disputes.
- Record of Payment – Again, maintaining proper records of payment protects both parties in a rental agreement. This is especially important if a tenant is paying cash, which is more difficult to verify but should be a priority regardless of the tenant’s form of payment.
- Repair Requests – All repair requests and communication surrounding them should be done in writing, and records should be kept every time. Whether the request is made by text, email, or another written format, ensure that both it and the similarly written responses are kept in an accessible and organized manner.
- Communication Around Money – Make sure that any conversations about money, whether they involve late payment, rent increases, or anything else, are communicated in writing from both parties.
Following these guidelines will not only make things smoother and safer for both landlord and tenant but will also make it easier if the landlord ever wants to sell the property with a tenant in place. By keeping these guidelines in mind and maintaining good records, every landlord can be successful in building a positive and professional relationship with his or her tenants.