Part of your task as a landlord is making sure all your paperwork is in order. Having a backup for all your documents decreases the likelihood that anything will get lost. Properly organizing your documents can grant you peace of mind.

A good way to ensure you have immediate copies of vital files is by signing documents in digital as well as physical formats. We recommend storing one physical and one digital copy of all documents.

Why are Landlord Documents Important?

Keeping essential rental documents is vital as a landlord for the following reasons:


A lease is an instrument that holds the landlord and tenant responsible for their duties. If there are disputes, it can also be a point of reference to settle down conflict since the terms and conditions in the rental agreement are clear and complete. Both parties would just need to review their copy of the lease.

Keeping landlord documents is a great way to keep your investment safe.

Supporting Evidence

In court hearings, your lease can protect you since the law accepts it as solid proof that a binding agreement was created. This remains true, even if renters file a lawsuit against you for evicting them.
binders full of paper
You can easily present the leasing contract where terms for eviction are outlined and show the tenants’ signature signifying that they understand the terms of the tenancy.


With rental documents available, you won’t have a hard time managing your bookkeeping. You can track important dates and easily check rent payments, security deposits, and invoices for property repairs.

When tax season arrives, it is easy to organize your records since everything is accounted for with complete documents. When the tenant moves out, you can also calculate the security deposit refund since all files for repair receipts are stored properly.

Streamlined System

With several tasks on their to-do lists, landlords can easily waste time searching for receipts and other important rental documents. That’s why it’s helpful to get your rental documents organized in order to run your rental property efficiently.

What Are the Vital Rental Documents Landlords Should Keep?

If landlords keep rental records securely stored, it helps avoid a lot of big issues and stress, especially if they are working as a long-distance landlord.

Here are some critical rental documents landlords should keep safe:

Lease Agreements

A lease or rental agreement must be a priority for landlords to store. If you retain a physical copy of the contract, you can easily sidestep problems in case tenants lose their copy.
someone signing a paper
Do ensure you still retain a digital copy of the lease agreement of all the tenants who ended their tenancy.

Lease Amendments

Since an agreement may have several adjustments over the course of a renter’s residency in your rental unit, you should also safely keep these amendments attached to the lease. It will be quicker to refer to it.

Make sure to digitally scan a record of the amendments so you can refer to them easily. Ensure to keep them updated on the current changes of the clauses, terms, and conditions made.

Rental Inspections

One of the most common issues landlords and tenants have disputes over is the refunded amount of the security deposit. To avoid this, you need to have a copy of all the property inspection reports, including the documentation you gathered during a walk-through inspection, specifically on the move-in and move-out stages like the end of tenancy cleaning.

Make sure you don’t skip rental inspections, as the reports provide you with factual data on the state of the rental property at different periods of the tenancy. You can see whether repairs were done and also present receipts you have securely tucked away.

Moreover, you need to store all notices, such as the nonpayment of rent and non-renewal of the lease. This helps you defend your case in court in case a tenant claims to not have received any notice from you.

How to Keep Your Rental Documents in Order?

You must have an organizational system for your rental documents. If you have plenty of arrangements to do due to several backlogs, it can feel tiring but this pays you well in the future since it leads to minimal stress.
papers held together with multi-colored paper clips
It is best to start organizing your documents from the beginning, but if you have failed to do so then the first step is to begin making digital copies.

What Are the Required Documents to Provide Tenants?

Landlords must give their tenants the security deposit receipt and the lead disclosure form. The security deposit receipt is essential since this informs the renters where their security deposit is kept (location of the bank) and if it gained interest (type of account).

Although some states won’t require landlords to release these details, it’s still a good practice to adapt. Providing tenants with all the information they need is key to improving landlord-tenant relationships.

If your rental unit was constructed prior to 1978, your unit may be exposed to lead paint. Given that it endangers the health of residents, you must provide a lead disclosure form to the tenants.

It’s recommended to check your local property laws to ensure you remain compliant.

What Are the Documents Landlords Need From Tenants?

Landlords normally request candidates submit the following documents:

  • Rental application
  • Authorized consent for background checking
  • Pay stubs or W-2s
  • Reference letter
  • Proof of renter’s insurance

What to Do if You Lose Rental Paperwork?

Occasionally, without proper duplication, rental paperwork can get lost. When this occurs, the landlord must issue another copy to the renter so they have a document for easy reference of the property policies and terms and conditions.
someone looking confused at papers
If both the landlord and tenant lose their copy of the lease and there’s no digital backup then it’s advisable to craft a new one. It’s important to have a copy of all the details of the agreement. Enforcing the rules is easier when you have a lease.

Without a lease, it can be challenging to evict delinquent and rule-breaking tenants. As a landlord, you should always keep all rental-related documents safe.

Bottom Line

If you need a trusted property manager to get your rental paperwork in order, maintain your property, and manage your tenants, contact NFI Property Management Solutions today!