25 March 2022

The Importance of a Rental Ledger and why you need one

Emma McLaren
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The business of renting involves the meticulous recording of the whole bunch of details involved, and for this, a lot of paperwork is involved. They go hand in hand.

Rental processes should be pretty straightforward. The lessor provides a service, property or commodity and the lessee pays for temporary use, and everybody goes home satisfied. In reality, however, the renting process is a bit more complicated.

There is usually a lot of paperwork regardless of the rental's nature, and we all at some point have encountered some of these; lease renewals, rental applications, etc. There also exist less popular types of rental paperwork, and rental ledgers are one of these.

Rental ledgers are specifically designed to allow landlords and their agents and property managers to keep records of all remittances paid by tenants. Many people often overlook that tenants are ideally supposed to be aware of this document and allowed access to it too. Shocking? Well, now you know.

A rental ledger is an official document that a property manager or landlord keeps to record and track all payments made by tenants, including rent, maintenance fees, electricity and water bills, etc., over time.

Here's some information about a rental ledger, how to prepare yours and how to get a copy from your property manager.

What are rental ledgers?

Also known as a tenant or a lease ledger, a rental ledger is simply an official record of all rent and all other payments made by a tenant to the property owner, or a property manager if the landlord uses one, with relation to a rental property paid for and occupied by the renter.

A rental ledger is just like a traditional ledger and is used to record all the ins and out of finances and actions by a tent. It has transitioned from a physical ledger to a digital document in modern times. While the look of a rental ledger differs depending on the rental agency or landlord, there are a few key components across all variations. They are;

  • The rent payment date;

  • The date of acknowledgement and recording of receipt by the manager or agency;

  • The rent receipt number;

  • The total amount paid;

  • The type of payment, whether for rent or utility bills;

  • When the payment is for rent, the duration the rent covers is recorded in two columns designated "paid from" and "paid to";

  • The amount of arrears, if applicable.

Why should I get my rental ledger?

As mentioned earlier, tenants should get a copy of their rental ledger. Jo Natoli, an experienced voice and managing director of Sydney-based property management and investment firm, The Rent Specialists, agrees.

She says it's good for tenants to get a copy of their rental ledger to compare the records and make sure it tallies with their records and is up to date.

The rental ledger can also become very valuable in several scenarios. For example, during rental applications, they may make with other property managers or landlords in the future, or it can also be brought up in cases of conflict.

Ms Natoli adds that "Tenants may even be allowed to use their rental ledger to support a credit application since it illustrates a person's capacity to make regular payments toward anything if rent payments are regularly made on time, in advance, and in full."

So, how do I get a copy of my rental ledger?

Getting a copy of your rental ledger is not complicated and is much easier than you might think; it just takes a simple request.

Ms Natoli emphatically states that all a renter has to do is ask their existing property management or landlord for it, and they should ideally get it within seven days.

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