Landlords are required to keep a record of rent during the tenancy, and for 12 months after the tenancy ends. It’s important that you keep a good record of when your tenants do or don’t pay rent, so that in the event that you need to be able to provide evidence of them paying/not paying rent, you’re able to do so. If you need to go to the Tenancy Tribunal for a rent-related issue, it’s vital that you have good records so that you’re able to clearly show what the issue is, and who is at fault.

A rent book is a way to keep track of your rent. If you don’t already have one, and don’t want to draw up one yourself, you can buy one at Warehouse Stationary for $5.99. Otherwise, you can easily just draw up an Excel spreadsheet if you’re trying to go paper free. TenancyServices has a couple of good templates you can download from here.

If you don’t want to use any templates, and want to create your own rent records system, you will need to keep a note of the following details:

  • The address of the tenancy
  • The name(s) of your tenant(s)
  • The period that the rent covers (e.g. 1 or 2 weeks)
  • The amount of the rent due
  • The amount of rent paid
  • The date that it was paid
  • The value of any rent arrears

There are some circumstances where you might need to provide your tenant a receipt when they pay rent. If it’s paid automatically from a bank account, then legally you’re not required to provide a receipt. But, if the tenant pays in cash, then you must give them a receipt immediately, and if they pay using any other payment method, then you must provide them with a receipt within 72 hours.

It’s not a legal requirement to provide your tenant with a receipt if it comes from an automatic bank payment, but it’s good practice to. That way you’ll both be on the same page about how much rent has been paid and/or is due.

In the rent receipt that you give to your tenant, you must include the following details:

  • The address of the tenancy  
  • The name(s) of the tenant(s) that paid rent
  • The period that the rent covers (e.g. 1 or 2 weeks)
  • The amount of the rent due
  • The date that it was paid
  • The value of any rent arrears
  • The signature of the person who received the rent (normally you, the landlord)

As you can see, these lists are almost identical, with the one distinction that the receipt needs the signature of the recipient of the person that received the rent. Therefore, it’s good practice to keep good records for yourself so that you can provide accurate receipts to your tenants. 

In general, making sure to keep good records is going to set you up well for any renting situation as a landlord. Getting into this habit early, and making sure that you take good care of your records is going to make life a lot easier further down the line. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get into contact with someone like TenancyServices, or even the Citizens Advice Bureau. There’s plenty of information out there to help you, all you need to do is ask.


If you’re looking for a way to make this process a clearer, consider Proper, the new end to end renting service that takes the hassle out of being a landlord. Proper won’t keep your rent records for you, but it keeps track of rent payments, making it easier to see when rent is overdue, or has been paid, as compared to a big spreadsheet of numbers. You can have peace of mind, knowing that Proper is there to make everything quicker and easier than ever before. 

Featured photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

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