When you own income property it is essential that you keep accurate records of all financial transactions made, as well as documentation on your tenants. This includes rent collected and even any funds you have spent on renovations and repairs. This is important since you will need these records for tax purposes. They also protect you against any possible claims of damage to the property, discrimination claims and to prevent any misunderstandings.

What should you keep records on? Here is a rundown.

Rental Payments

It might seem like a given but you should keep accurate records of all rental payments you receive. You can keep a physical log in which you write down each payment from all your tenants or you can use a computer software program to do the same job. It is wise to have at least 2 copies of this log, one on actual paper as backup. You could even have a separate book or log for each tenant you have.

Receipts and Documentation for Damages and Renovations

You should save all receipts for any damage repair that was completed on the property. It is also a good idea to save receipts for any regular maintenance work completed, materials, equipment used or any furniture you purchase for the units. This can also include light fixtures, major appliances and even cleaning costs. If you outsource your cleaning and maintenance to contractors, then keep these payment receipts too.

Keep Accurate Files on Each Tenant

Along with any financial records you need to save, you also need to keep records on each of your tenants. This should include their signed lease agreement, a record of their rental payments and if they have spoken to you about any problems or complaints. You need to include any problems such as warnings or notices you have given the tenant and any documentation you might need in the event you must give an eviction notice.

In this file you need to include their current cell phone number as well as a landline if they have one. There needs to be an emergency contact number for both them and one of their relatives or friends. Plan to keep a copy of their initial rental application and reference list in this file too. This information could prove helpful if they leave without paying their last month's rent in order to track them down.

Finally, if you have your tenants pay a security deposit, keep note of this receipt and track the interest paid on it.

For more information about solving problems with tenants, look into resources like tenant conflict resolution Ottawa Rest Easy Property Management.