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Basic Record Keeping System for Landlords

Keeping all records of your business as a landlord can be daunting at the beginning especially if you rent out multiple properties. 

No matter how many rental units you own, even if you only have one, it is essential for you to document all your landlording activities. Doing this can save you in the future just in case a dispute happens between you and your tenant. You have documents to present in court and you can also prove that you followed everything to the book.

On this topic, several questions arise: 

1. What record keeping system do you need?

2. What specific records do you need to keep? 

3. How long should you keep your records? 

Let's talk about the first of these 3 questions. What record keeping system do you need?

The most important thing to remember is that you need to document everything that goes on during your rental relationship with your tenant. 

If you rent out several properties and have a lot of tenants, it's best to keep their records separately or categorize them accordingly so they don't get mixed up. There are various ways for you to keep your landlording documents. How you organize these records is up to you for as long as you can easily and conveniently access them so you can find what you need. 

You can use any of these record keeping systems:

  • Binder - A binder has dividers that allow you to assign a section for a specific set of documents. You can create tabs for each section in the binder. A binder holds up to 500 pages so this would be a good option if you want to keep all your files in one place and simply categorize them. 
  • Accordion file - This comes with different pockets so you can separate your documents depending on the category. It's also expandable and comes with a flap and cord for added security. Some expanding files offer more space for your business cards, keys, etc. 
  • Ordinary folder - If you choose an ordinary folder for your documents, you can keep the folder in a filing cabinet or a flip top storage file box. 

For the rest of this lesson, existing Landlord Prep students should log-in to the module entitled Between Tenants - Things to Do Before Renting (Record Keeping System). In the module, you will also be able to download the Record Keeping Checklist so you will know what records to keep. 

Not a member yet? Join the Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials so you can access this section and get the complete DIY landlording course. This will help you stay knowledgeable and confident as a landlord.