Rent ledgers are one of the many tools real estate investors can use to manage and run a successful property business. Like traditional ledgers, rent ledgers enable property owners to keep records, including financials and tenant details.
Owning rental properties can be overwhelming, from ensuring your property is in good condition to having the right risk management strategies, like proper insurance, to keeping tabs on rent payments.
It is not hard to see why a rent ledger would be an ideal tool for any real estate investor. This post explains what it is, why it is essential, and how to use it.
- A fillable rent ledger allows you to keep track of your rental income and expenses in one place.
- Landlords can use it to record rent payments, security deposits, and other charges.
- A fillable rent ledger can be customized to fit your needs.
- Free software from Stessa automates the process of filling out a rent ledger.
Free fillable and printable rent ledger PDF
Can’t wait to get started? Download your free printable PDF rent ledger for a:
If you’d prefer to automate your rental property business instead of manually filling out a rent ledger, sign up for a free Stessa account and let rental property software take care of the busywork. Stessa offers several templates for landlords and property owners.
Stessa, a Roofstock company, offers free cloud-based software that helps real estate investors maximize profits through smart money management, automated income and expense tracking, personalized reporting, rent collection, and more. More than 100,000 investors already use Stessa to track over 250,000 properties with more than $60 billion in asset value.
Why savvy landlords use a rent ledger
There are 4 big reasons to use a rent ledger:
1. Keep your records organized
You want to know who stays in what property or unit at any particular time, how much they should pay, and whether their payments are in order. That’s a lot of information to process, even with one or two tenants. A rent ledger simplifies the organization of these details. It also makes your work more efficient.
For instance, it reduces the time and paperwork you need to instantly access this information, compared to rummaging through files looking for agreements and bank statements.
Most importantly, these records can come in handy when applying for a loan or attracting funding from another investor.
2. Track deposit and rent payments
A rent ledger’s most basic and important features include the tenant’s details, the name of the property and unit number, rent amount, and payment date. This information simplifies tracking each tenant’s payment records, allowing you to keep an eye on their payment history.
You can also use a rent ledger to track late payments, balances, and missed payments. Most importantly, you can track security deposits for each tenant, making it easier to avoid conflicts when a tenant moves out.
3. Create a record
Sometimes, things don’t always go according to plan. A tenant refuses to pay or misses payments, and you need to evict them. Perhaps there is a dispute by a tenant regarding payments. Or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is disputing some transactions on your tax return from 3 years ago.
If unfortunate situations like these arise, a well-kept rent ledger becomes your record of proof. It can help you prove rent payments—or lack thereof—by any tenant you might need to evict. It also acts as a transactional ledger of your rental business processes.
4. Business planning
The ability to clearly see past records enables you to recognize mistakes and identify areas to improve to make your business more successful.
For example, if a tenant is making late payments or never pays rent, you can make notes about what led to the situation and how you handled it. Then, you can use this information to strategize for the future.
Best practices for using a rent ledger
Every real estate stakeholder can use a rent ledger:
Property owners and managers
A rent ledger can be an excellent tool for tracking deposits and rent payments. These come in handy if you need to evict a tenant or return a security deposit.
Many property owners have suffered the aggravation of keeping tenants who do not meet their lease obligations due to a lack of proof. Others have had issues with vacating tenants disputing deposit refunds. A rent ledger can help you avoid situations like these.
Lenders and buyers
Whether you are looking for your bank to extend some credit using the property as collateral or you are looking for a new buyer, a rent ledger can help you prove the worth of the property.
Lenders only extend credit when they know you have a steady cash flow. Buyers look for properties that will generate a solid return on investment. You can provide a rent ledger to both of these parties to help them determine this information.
A fillable rent ledger can help you improve business cash flows, evict tenants when need be, get credit from lenders, and prove to buyers the property is worth its market price—or more.