A rent receipt benefits both the landlord and the tenant by showing what was paid, when it was paid, and to whom it was paid. Some states require you to provide a receipt anytime the tenant asks for one. If you need to write out a receipt, include all the essential information that makes a receipt valid. Always give one copy to the tenant and keep a copy for yourself.
Date of Payment
The date the rent was paid is one of the most important items to include on the rent receipt. Should you ever need to prove anything in court, the date shows when the rent was paid and can be used to determine if the rent was paid on time or not. If the tenant’s check is returned unpaid, giving him a receipt won’t stop you from being able to collect the funds that you are owed.
Amount and Type of Payment
List the total amount paid on the rent receipt. The receipt isn’t valid unless it shows how much was paid. Also, be sure to indicate whether the rent was paid in cash, by money order, with a check or in some other manner. Many states require you to provide a rent receipt whenever your tenant pays in cash, and failure to do so can land you in legal trouble.
Property Location and Renter
Include the address of the rental property on the receipt. If it is an apartment, be sure to include the apartment number as well as the street address on the receipt. Also, list the tenant’s name so there is a record of who the payment is from. Such details eliminate any possibility of confusion about which apartment and tenant the payment was for.
Always sign the receipt so that it is clear you have accepted the tenant’s payment. It’s a good idea to also print your name and include your title, if any, along with your signature. This helps to show that you have the authority to collect the rent for the premises.
Many landlords choose to use standard rent receipt forms when accepting rent from tenants. These forms typically have blank spaces for the date, amount, tenant name, property address, etc., and all you need to do is to fill in the blanks where indicated. This is not only an efficient way to process receipts; it also helps you to remember the various elements you need to include on the receipt. Sample rental receipts are available online at websites such as LegalZoom.com. You can also create a receipt template yourself and print one out every time you need it.
- The State of California: Tenants’ Handbook (pg 39)
- NOLO Law for All: Are tenants entitled to a rent receipt?
- University of California: Berkeley Law
- U.S. Attorney Legal Services: Rent Receipt Template Forms
- Legal Zoom: Rent Receipt and Guide
- Oklahoma Real Estate Commission: Receipt of Property Management Funds
- David Hardman/iStock/Getty Images