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How to fill out a rent receipt: Step-by-step instructions

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by Jeff Rohde, posted in Investment Strategy

As a landlord or real estate investor, you know that you need to keep track of your rental income and expenses. One way to do this is by keeping accurate and up-to-date rent receipts. This blog post will show you how to fill out a rent receipt correctly. We’ll also provide some tips on making the process as easy as possible for both you and your tenants.

Key takeaways

  • A rent receipt is a document that proves that rent was paid.
  • A completed rent receipt should include the date of payment, the amount paid, the tenant name, and the tenant’s signature.
  • It’s important to keep accurate and up-to-date records of all rental income and expenses.
  • Rent receipts can be completed manually, or landlords can use Stessa to fill out rent receipts automatically.


Why do you need a rent receipt?

As a landlord, you should provide a rent receipt to your tenant every time they pay rent. This is for your protection and records. The receipt should include the date of payment, the amount paid, the form of payment, and the signature of the person paying the rent.

Here are some of the main reasons for using a rent receipt:

Provides a landlord with a physical record of rent payments

As any landlord knows, maintaining a record of rent payments is essential for protecting your investment. Rent receipts provide evidence of payments made, late payments, and any bounced checks. This can be used in court to evict a tenant if necessary.

Tracks rental income and expenses for tax purposes

The rent receipt has the date of the rental period, the amount of rent the tenant pays, and the tenant’s signature. This is important because it helps the landlord keep track of when the rent was paid and how much was paid, which is reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Schedule E at the end of the year. The rent receipt also helps the landlord track any late fees or other charges that may be associated with the rental property.

Helps resolve disputes with tenants over missed or late rent payments

The rent receipt should be filled out by the landlord, given to the tenant at the time of the rental payment, and signed by the tenant. If there is any dispute over a missed or late rent payment, the landlord can use the rent receipt to prove the amount of rent paid and when it was received.

Peace of mind for both the landlord and tenant

A rent receipt benefits landlords and renters and can deter misunderstandings or disputes. For the landlord, it is a record of the payments made by the tenant and helps to ensure that all rent is paid on time. For the tenant, it is proof of payment and can be used as evidence in case of any disputes.


woman opening letter

Steps for filling out a rent receipt

Here are the key steps for completing a rent receipt:

  1. Enter the date of payment in the top left corner of the receipt. This is important for tracking purposes.
  2. In the Paid by field, enter the name of the tenant making the payment.
  3. In the Received by field, enter your name as the landlord or property manager.
  4. In the Rent amount field, enter the full amount of rent that was paid, including any late fees or other charges.
  5. In the Payment method field, note how the rent was paid (e.g., cash, check, money order, etc.). This is important for tracking purposes and your records.
  6. In the Signature field, have the tenant sign the receipt to confirm that they have made the payment and that the information on the receipt is true and correct.
  7. Make a copy of the receipt for your records and give the original receipt to the tenant.


How to make filling out a rent receipt easier

Here are a few tips to make the process as smooth as possible:

Keep it simple

Don’t try to include too much information on the rent receipt. Stick to the basics so it’s easy to understand and fill out. 

Use a template

There are many rent receipt templates available online to save you time and ensure all the necessary information is included. Some websites where you can download a free rent receipt include LawDepot, eForms, and Zillow.

Automate the process

If you use free rental property management software like Stessa, you can generate rent receipts automatically. This is a great way to save time and avoid mistakes.

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, and more.

The company was launched in 2016 by 2 experienced real estate investors with 30 years of combined experience. Stessa was built to take care of monitoring and analyzing details, so you don’t have to. More than 100,000 investors already use Stessa to track over 250,000 properties with more than $60 billion in asset value.

After signing up for a free Stessa account, landlords can use Stessa online rent collection to set up the balance due and send tenants an email invitation to start paying rent online. Tenants can set up recurring Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, and landlords get notified when a payment is made and when it’s been deposited into an account.


Final thoughts

A rent receipt is a simple but important document that provides peace of mind for landlords and tenants. 

Stessa can automate the process of filling out a rent receipt when tenants pay online, making it easy for both landlords and tenants to get the benefits.


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