Retailers hand us receipts for even the smallest purchases. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to have printed proof of what’s likely our largest monthly expense—rent.
A rent receipt serves as a written record of payment and benefits both landlords and tenants. Tenants—especially tenants that pay with cash or cashier’s check—can use a rental receipt to show that they satisfied their home or apartment’s lease requirements. Tenants can also use rent receipts as a backup when tracking expenses or when filing taxes, as many states give renter’s tax credits. In the event of a dispute, tenants will have a physical document to show that they paid rent.
A written rent receipt also benefits landlords and property managers because they have a physical document to help track payments. If a tenant bounces a check, the rent receipt will not hinder the landlord’s collection efforts.
Where do I find a rent receipt online?
Landlords may be required to provide a rent receipt to tenants. In some states, such as Washington, it’s required if a tenant pays in cash. To create a receipt, landlords can use a standard receipt book or generate a printable rent receipt with accounting software such as QuickBooks.
The internet also provides many resources for printable rent receipts. LegalZoom offers a professional rent receipt template as an instant download. Landlords and tenants can also download a receipt template in Microsoft Excel.
What does a rent receipt look like?
A blank rent receipt contains only a few fields. After the date and the tenant’s name and address, the rent receipt form includes a short paragraph that states that the landlord has received the sum. It also provides a space to include any outstanding balance. The bottom of the form usually includes space for the landlord’s name, title, and the payment format (cash, check, etc.). The rent receipt format may differ slightly depending on its creator, but the basic information remains consistent.
How to use a rent receipt in a lawsuit
If your roommate doesn’t pay his or her share of the rent, you may be able to sue the roommate in small claims court. In this case, rent receipts serve as evidence of what you and your roommate paid. In a dispute between landlord and tenant, the rent receipt becomes proof that the tenant did or did not pay rent. Both parties would also need to present copies of the lease agreement and any other applicable paperwork in court. Both landlords and tenants should consider whether the opposing party will voluntarily pay the money if they lose the case. If the opposing party can’t be found or has no money or job, it may not be worth the time and effort.
A caution to landlords
Landlords should know that if they don’t provide a receipt to a tenant on request in a jurisdiction that requires a receipt, the tenant has the right to file a complaint with the local department of consumer affairs or its equivalent. The landlord could be subject to fees and fines.
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