Why You Should Ask for a Rent Receipt

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Receiving a rent receipt should be a normal part of your interaction with your landlord. Among other things, it protects your reputation and your credit rating.

Rental Agreement Execution

A rental agreement is a legal document expressing the terms related to renting your apartment. Once signed, it is executed, according to those terms. One of the  most important terms in your lease is the rental payment. You are legally obligated to pay your rent each month, on time.

Tenant Record Keeping

While it may seem that your landlord is the businessperson in your relationship, as a good tenant, you also have business obligations. Since a lease is a contract, you must comply with the terms. A record-keeping system provides documentation showing that you complied.

Part of your record-keeping system should include obtaining a rent receipt each month to show that your landlord received your payment. In addition, you should keep your canceled checks or bank statements showing the check number, amount and date each rent check cleared your bank.

Rent Payment and Your Credit Report

Many transactions depend on your credit rating. A bad credit rating may prevent you from buying or leasing things. Opening credit cards, obtaining a car loan and renting an apartment are examples of transactions dependent on your credit rating.

Paying your rent on time helps you to build good credit. And, neglecting to pay your rent will ruin your credit rating, making you a bad risk for creditors and landlords alike.

In the event that you find yourself in the middle of a dispute with your landlord, or you find a mistake on your credit report, having a record of your rental payments will protect you. Copies of rent receipts and canceled checks prove what happened during your tenancy. Based on this information, you can defend against false charges by your landlord or have your credit report corrected.

Rental History

Your rental history is used by prospective landlords when deciding whether to rent an apartment to you. One of the primary events they look for is consistently paying your rent on time. In cases where a landlord denies your application on the basis of a negative rental history, you may be able to negotiate with them by producing evidence of a positive payment history. Without documents to this effect, you may have trouble renting apartments in the future. So keeping your rent receipts from previous apartments will work in your favor.

Avoiding Eviction

Non-payment of rent is the leading cause of eviction. Occasionally, eviction proceedings are initiated due to poor record-keeping on the part of your landlord. Landlords who do not routinely provide rent receipts, and keep a separate account for each apartment, can make mistakes in applying rental payments. Having your own payment history records can protect you from eviction, and all of its negative consequences.

Obtaining and keeping rent receipts is your best protection against accusations that your rent was never received or was not paid on time.

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Lisa Bernstein: As a long-time apartment dweller and seasoned condominium trustee, I have dealt with numerous landlord-tenant, property management, and day-to-day apartment complex issues. My extensive, direct experience has led to invaluable insights into apartment life from both the tenant and management perspectives.

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