Rental Documents Landlords Need

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rental documents

Are you a landlord trying to keep track of which rental documents you should have in place? Whether you’re a new landlord or an experienced one, ensuring that your rental documents are all in order is essential.

From tenants’ records and applications to disclosure documents and property inspection forms, there are many records required by landlords when they rent out a property. In this blog post, we at Bigham & Associates will take you through some of the most important paperwork needed so that you can ensure your rental business runs as smoothly as possible. 

Importance of Landlord Documents

Keeping clear, organized records of landlord documents is key to being a successful landlord. A comprehensive file of property management documents enables landlords to maintain control over their investments and protect themselves in the event of any legal disputes.

What’s more, having detailed files of paperwork will help ensure that all local, state, and federal laws are followed during the tenancy. These records can also provide additional security in negotiations by tying all the agreement details back to a signed paper document.

The bottom line, having accurate documents readily on hand can save landlords time, money, and stress down the road.

List of Rental Documents to Keep on File

The following are some of the documents you’ll have to have on record when running a rental business: 

two people looking over a lease contract while someone else points to a specific section

Lease Agreements

Lease agreements are an essential document for landlords, and it’s important that they are organized in a clear, easily accessible way. They are the cornerstone of any rental business because they spell out the legal rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord. This is why it’s important to consult a lawyer or property management professional when creating the lease agreement

Their advice should be sought in order to ensure all parties’ rights are adequately protected under the legally binding agreement. In the lease agreement, you’ll want to also include details on specific policies that will be in place during the tenancy. Some guidelines to list in the agreement can include:

  • If pets are accepted (Note that services animals are not considered pets)
  • If a tenant can sublet the property
  • If there are fees associated with late or missed rent payments

Lease Amendments

Keeping lease amendments organized and in one place is critical for landlords, as it’s crucial to have a record of the changes made to each lease over time. Amending leases allow landlords to adjust their leasing agreement to evolving market conditions and ensure that renters, who may have varied needs, have access to appropriate housing.

person in a gray suit looking over a document on a clipboard and make notes with a pen

Records can also prove invaluable should legal disputes arise, as they show the exact terms of the original agreement, as well as any later adjustments. Maintaining an accurate documentation system ensures that legal agreements are enforced properly and that all involved parties adhere to agreed-upon rental guidelines.

Furthermore, maintaining lease alteration documents assists with contract compliance audits and provides landlords with valuable information on any areas where their rental business may need improvement.

Rental Inspections

Keeping a rental inspection document is essential for landlords as it serves as useful evidence both when it comes to addressing any possible dispute between landlord and tenant, as well as defending claims by or against the landlord. 

Rental inspection records should be detailed enough to be used in court if needed and serve as a reminder of the condition of the property before and after any lease terms. 

They also demonstrate proof of any property maintenance provided or changes made at the beginning and end of the tenancy. Landlords should organise this documentation into files that can easily be referred back to if ever needed in the future.


Rental notices for non-payment of rent or non-renewal of the lease are important documents for a landlord as they provide a consistent reference point to the terms of the rental agreement. They should be kept in the landlord’s file and organized carefully to ensure their quick retrieval when needed.

passing a white envelope from one person to another across a desk

The document acts as proof that the landlord has informed the tenant of their obligations. It’s also beneficial to provide updates on any changes or amended clauses through this method. 

Rental notices protect both parties involved. Landlords can use them as evidence if legal proceedings arise, and tenants can refer back to them should any issues with an amendment arise down the line. It provides both sides with security and peace of mind in knowing that all terms have been agreed upon from day one.

What To Do if You Misplace Important Rental Documents?

If you, the landlord, misplace your rental documents, it’s a good idea to visit the local courthouse or state office responsible for rentals in your area. They may have records of all the documents that were filed in relation to your rental agreement. 

You can also opt for getting an attorney who can help you piece together the relevant documents and get things back on track with your tenant. 

If both landlord and tenant have lost their physical copies of the lease, they can either agree to proceed verbally or write out a new lease. However, losing important documents might make it difficult to enforce restrictions. It’s, therefore, best to invest in various systems to keep documents organized and safe.

Bottom Line

Getting rental paperwork in order might feel daunting, especially when you’re dealing with multiple properties. Take your time going over these old records, and start planning for the future. 

You can also seek assistance from a trusted property management company like Bigham & Associates. For the benefit of landlords, we’ve invested in developing a variety of methods for writing and documenting important rental-related paperwork. We also provide a full-suit of property management services.

Contact us today to learn more about how our property management solutions can benefit you!