Key Receipt

Last Updated: January 23, 2023 by Robert Bailey

A Key Receipt is an acknowledgment used by landlords to confirm that a tenant has received a set of keys in exchange for a monetary deposit. This receipt will provide information on the amount of the deposit, the date the keys must be returned, and the consequences for not returning the keys.

Note:  This is different from a key retrieval receipt which a landlord provides when a tenant is returning their keys.

When to Use a Key Receipt Form

A key receipt is useful in a variety of situations, whether that be a traditional Lease Agreement or a  short-term Vacation Rental Agreement. The key receipt helps keep a landlord organized by documenting all keys given to a tenant. A landlord will want to use a key receipt in the following situations:

  • New Lease – At the beginning of a new lease, the landlord should make sure that they provide a key receipt with the initial set of keys provided to the tenant.
  • A New Tenant Moves In – During the course of a lease, a landlord may agree to allow an additional tenant to become part of an existing lease agreement (e.g., a tenant gets married). In situations like these, the new tenant may request their own set of keys. If the landlord provides an additional set of keys this should come with an additional key receipt.
  • Lost Keys – If a tenant loses their keys they must notify the landlord immediately. While a landlord may charge the tenant for the cost of an additional set of keys they still must provide them to the tenant under these circumstances A key receipt should be provided with the new set of keys along with important information a landlord may want to document regarding the previous set of keys.

Providing a key receipt is very beneficial for landlords. This receipt is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Organization – A key receipt helps keep the landlord organized. This is especially important for landlords with multiple units and various types of keys that are needed for each unit.
  • Documentation – A key receipt provides documentation in case there is a later legal dispute over the keys provided to the tenant. The key receipt provides a paper trail and proof of exactly what keys the tenant received.

What to Include in a Key Receipt

When preparing this receipt, a landlord should include the following information:

  1. Key Receipt date
  2. Tenant’s name
  3. Landlord’s name
  4. Address of the leased premises
  5. Amount of key deposit paid by the tenant
  6. Method of payment (e.g., check, credit card, etc.)
  7. Key Acknowledgment – In this section, the tenant acknowledges the receipt of the keys. Since there may be more than one type of key needed (e.g., front door, back door, mailbox), this section allows you to individually specify what the key is for and how many keys were provided for that specific room or location.
  8. Prohibitions – In this section, the tenant will acknowledge that they are not allowed to change the locks or make additional copies of the keys provided without the landlord’s written consent.
  9. Lost Keys – The tenant has the responsibility to immediately report any lost keys to the landlord.
  10. Key Return – This section provides the date upon which the tenant must return their keys. It also provides the consequences for failing to timely return the keys.
  11. Closing Acknowledgment – Before the tenant’s signature, a landlord should include a brief statement that confirms that the tenant has received all the keys listed in the Key Receipt and will follow all of its terms and conditions.
  12. Tenant’s signature
  13. The date the tenant signed the receipt

A signed copy of this receipt should be provided to the tenant. The landlord should keep a copy of this receipt with their files and update any documentation with the information provided by this receipt.

Key Retrieval Receipt

In addition to a key receipt, landlords should also consider providing tenants with a key retrieval receipt. This receipt is a legal acknowledgment provided to tenants when they return their keys to the landlord. A key retrieval receipt may be helpful in the following ways:

  • Organization – Similar to the Key Receipt, a Key Retrieval Receipt helps keep a landlord organized.
  • Provides Tenant Confirmation – A Key Retrieval Receipt gives the tenant written confirmation that they properly returned all keys that were provided to them.
  • Legal Disputes – While a tenancy may end on good terms, there still may be a later dispute. A tenant could have made an additional copy of their keys and decided to return to the rental property. They may even dispute that the tenancy ended. This receipt will help the landlord if there is any dispute as to the tenancy ending and the tenant’s right to be on the property.