Not only is it good practice to provide renters with a rent receipt that shows what they have paid for rent, but, as mentioned, landlords in many states are required to do so. Keep reading to learn what information is usually found on a rent receipt form and where you can get a simple, customizable rent receipt template for your rental properties.
What is a rent receipt?
A rent receipt, also known as a rental receipt or rent proof of payment slip, is a vital document that shows the amount renters paid for rent, the date on which the rent was paid and whether the payment constitutes the full amount of rent due.
This remittance slip is comparable to a sales receipt that customers receive from the store. It confirms what was paid for, when and how.
As a written receipt, the form gives your tenant proof that they paid the full amount of rent due on time. This information can help renters complete their taxes or provide proof of rental payment to a third party.
When to issue a rent receipt
A landlord should always be able to provide their tenant with a paper receipt for payment of rent — and keep a copy for themselves.
If a tenant pays monthly rent, a landlord should keep track of all payments made (or unpaid) with rent receipts. This rent receipt document can then be copied or scanned into a record-tracking system, like a rent receipt book.
Property owners that are renting for short-term use (e.g., a one-time rental fee for a vacation property) should also use a rent receipt for financial documentation.
Many states require landlords and property managers to complete rent receipts. Be sure to verify with local and state laws to ensure that you’re following proper real estate protocol.
Important note: A landlord should only complete and sign a rent receipt after the funds have been transferred to them and not beforehand.
Why would a landlord or tenant need a rent receipt?
Rent receipt forms can help landlords mitigate rental risks. If a tenant primarily pays monthly rent with cash, a rent receipt creates a documented paper trail for both parties to keep track of payments. If a renter pays with checks, the landlord should wait until after the check clears before providing a rent receipt. If the check doesn’t clear, the landlord can note that in a rent receipt and notify the tenant of the situation.
Similarly, if any renters tend to pay the rent late, the form serves as written proof the rent was not paid on time (in addition to a late rent notice). This is important if you charge a late fee, or if you accept rent through multiple channels. For instance, if you accept electronic bank transfers and the bank transfer comes outside of your grace period, the rent receipt proves the rent was not received on time. A renter is less likely to contest late payment fees when you have written proof of non-timely payment.
Essentially, rent receipts will be useful should a dispute arise regarding delinquent or unpaid rent. Rent receipts protect you when renters do not pay the full rent. In the worst-case scenario, where you are evicting a renter, it helps your case when you can show a stack of rent receipts indicating the discrepancy between what was paid and what was owed by the renter.
Rent receipts also help landlords who own multiple properties to keep track of which renters have outstanding rent, sum up their total rent received for taxes and stay organized.
What should you include in a rent receipt?
If you’re renting out your property, it’s critical that your rent receipt form contains the following information:
- Tenant name
- Tenant contact information (e.g., phone number)
- Property owner, landlord or property manager name
- Full rental property address
- Date of completed (or partial) rent payment
- Monthly rent amount
- Amount paid
- Payment method (e.g., check, cash, credit card, money order, etc.)
- Remaining balance
- Property owner, landlord or property manager signature
If the tenant makes a partial payment, that should be reflected in the rent receipt form. Alongside the remaining balance, the landlord should include any applicable late fees that were referenced in the signed lease agreement.
A printable rent receipt is simple to customize with the amount of rent, property address and renter name, helping you complete the form quickly.
Get a customizable rent receipt template from AAOA
Whether you are required by your state to deliver a rent receipt or want to use one so you can keep your rental income organized, you can get a customizable form when you join the American Apartment Owners Association.
A membership with AAOA gives you access to rent receipt templates, tenant screening, tenant background checks and other rental documents to help you manage your business better.
Rather than create your own form and risk omitting something important, grab one of our rent payment receipt forms, fill in the relevant details and send the form to your tenant. The process couldn’t be quicker or easier to do!
Become a member today to get the lowest price on a printable rent receipt and all other forms, receive landlord education and tips, and get discounts you can use on your rental properties.
Join AAOA today!
This information is not meant to substitute for legal advice. If you have issues or questions regarding rent receipts, it is recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney. Many local and state bar associations have referral services that can assist you in locating an attorney or you can find one here.