Rental Documents Landlords Need

Landlords shoulder numerous responsibilities, ranging from tenant screening to property maintenance. Alongside these tasks comes a substantial amount of paperwork. Whether it's rental applications, security deposits, vendor invoices, or lease agreements, maintaining organized documentation offers several advantages.

One advantage is that it ensures compliance with local landlord-tenant laws, safeguarding your interests in potential legal disputes. It also facilitates a smoother tax filing process. Keeping comprehensive records also helps adhere to privacy laws and fosters transparency with tenants.

For landlords uncertain about which documents to keep, RedSail Property Management can give you the guidance you need. In this article, we'll outline the essential documents landlords should maintain for effective property management.

1. Rental Applications

Each prospective tenant should complete an application form, supplying essential details such as their contact information, employment status, and rental history. During this phase, you should also ask for authorization for credit and background checks. This data, coupled with the screening process, informs decisions on applicant qualification.

You should safely store all applicant information, including those of rejected candidates. These records serve as evidence of adherence to fair housing laws should an applicant challenge your decision.

2. Tenant Screening

Upon reviewing their initial application form, it becomes imperative to conduct a thorough screening of potential tenants. This involves an extensive process, encompassing credit checks, verification of employment status, examination of rental history, and background checks.

Reaching out to references and conducting interviews with applicants are essential steps in ensuring the suitability of prospective tenants. Throughout and following the screening process, it is crucial to securely store all relevant information.

This includes not only the data collected during the initial screening but also any subsequent pet screenings and renewal screening checks conducted.

Maintaining meticulous records is essential for compliance purposes and can serve as vital documentation in the event of any disputes or challenges regarding tenant selection decisions.

3. Lease Agreements

A lease or rental agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines crucial details like lease terms, rental costs, and tenant obligations concerning property maintenance. Renting out a property without a lease is ill-advised, as it exposes landlords to potential risks such as property damage, unauthorized occupants, and eviction challenges.

So, it's imperative to ensure tenants fully comprehend the lease terms before handing over keys to the rental. Throughout the tenancy, it's vital to retain a signed copy of the lease for reference in case of any disputes or misunderstandings.

Even after the tenant vacates the property, we recommend keeping the lease, as it serves as essential documentation in potential legal conflicts with former tenants, safeguarding landlords' investments.

4. Pet Policy

There are many advantages to letting pets stay in your rental. After all, a lot of tenants are prepared to pay extra for cozy pet accommodations. Pets do, however, entail certain risks and responsibilities.

Fortunately, you can safeguard your investment by including a comprehensive pet policy in each lease you sign. This way, tenants are aware of their obligations when it comes to their pets and ensure that they pay any cleaning or pet-related costs.

Having a copy of this pet policy on file can safeguard you in the event that a problem with a pet ever occurs.

5. Property Inspection Reports

Starting a tenancy with a walk-through inspection with your new tenants is a terrific idea. This will make it easier for you and your tenants to understand the property's current condition and spot any potential issues.

To make sure that renters are taking good care of your property and that there are no issues that need to be resolved right away, it is imperative that you perform routine property inspections during the tenancy. Similarly, once the renters have left the property, you have to perform a move-out inspection.

You need to document the property inspection with as many pictures and videos as you can, along with notes. Store them collectively in a file. Comparing these records can determine whether a tenant has caused damage beyond typical wear and tear.

This will also protect your interests in the event that there is a disagreement over the security deposit.

6. Maintenance and Repair Requests

Maintaining your rental property regularly is essential to keeping your tenants satisfied and your property in good shape. Maintaining your home will help you stay in compliance with laws, since landlords must always maintain safe and livable properties.

Tenants may be able to sue their landlord or break the lease early if the property is not kept up properly. For this reason, you need to keep thorough records of everything you do to keep your property in good shape. Invoices from suppliers and contractors, as well as any additional costs you expend for maintenance duties, should be included.

Documentation pertaining to tenant requests for maintenance or repairs should also be kept on file by landlords. You must document the problem along with the method and timing of its resolution, even if they make the request over the phone or through text.

7. Complaints

You will handle a good number of tenant complaints during a tenancy, ranging from noise concerns to maintenance issues. Your connection with your tenants will greatly improve if you handle them as soon as possible.

You must maintain thorough records of every tenant complaint that is made. Whether it's an email exchange, a string of texts, or dated notes from a phone call, be sure to maintain track of all correspondence pertaining to the matter. You should also keep track of any follow-ups as well as how and when you resolved the issue.

Bottom Line

Tenant complaints, maintenance requests, and rental applications are just a few of the documentation that landlords must handle. Organizing this documentation will help you complete your work more quickly.

Do you require assistance with your rental's documentation? Our team is here to help with administrative duties such as lease preparation, maintenance request simplification, and document tracking. Get in touch with RedSail Property Management today!