Record Keeping for Landlords

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Good record keeping is essential for landlords. It can help you track your income and expenses, prepare your taxes accurately, and protect yourself in the event of a dispute with a tenant.

What records should landlords keep?

The types of records you should keep will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances. However, some general categories include:

  • Tenant records: This includes copies of all lease agreements, rental applications, and tenant background checks. You should also keep track of rent payments, security deposits, and any other financial transactions with your tenants.
  • Property records: This includes the title deed to your property, mortgage documents, and any other legal documents related to your property. You should also keep track of property taxes, insurance premiums, and any other expenses associated with owning your property.
  • Maintenance records: This includes records of all routine maintenance tasks that you perform on your property, as well as any repairs or replacements that have been made.
  • Financial records: This includes receipts for all income and expenses related to your rental property. You should also keep a record of your rental income and expenses on a monthly and yearly basis.

How to organize your records

There are a number of ways to organize your landlord records. One popular method is to use a filing cabinet with labeled folders. You can also use a binder system or a digital record-keeping system.

No matter which method you choose, it is important to have a system that is easy to use and maintain. Make sure to label all of your records clearly and keep them in a safe, dry place.

How long to keep your records

The length of time you should keep your records will vary depending on the type of record. For example, you should keep your financial records for at least seven years, in case you are audited by the IRS. You should also keep your tenant records for at least seven years, or for as long as you own the property.

For other types of records, such as maintenance records and property records, you may want to keep them for as long as you own the property.

Tips for keeping good records

Here are a few tips for keeping good records as a landlord:

  • Set up a system and stick to it. Choose a method for organizing your records that works for you and make sure to be consistent.
  • File your records promptly. Don’t let a pile of papers build up on your desk or counter. File them as soon as you receive them.
  • Review your records regularly. Take some time each year to review your records and make sure you are keeping everything you need.
  • Back up your records. If you are keeping digital records, make sure to back them up regularly. You may also want to keep a paper copy of important documents.

By following these tips, you can keep good records as a landlord and make your life easier in the long run.

In addition to the above, here are some additional tips for keeping professional records as a landlord:

  • Use a standard accounting system to track your income and expenses. This will make it easier to prepare your taxes and generate financial reports.
  • Keep your records in a secure place. This could be a locked filing cabinet, a safe deposit box, or a cloud-based storage system.
  • Be organized and consistent in your record keeping practices. This will help you to quickly and easily find the information you need.
  • Regularly review your records to identify any areas where you can save money or improve your efficiency.

By following these tips, you can keep professional records that will help you to manage your rental properties effectively and efficiently.