Rent Receipt

QUICK LINKS

For landlords, rent receipts can be helpful for many reasons:

  • They help the landlord keep a record of all of the rent payments a tenant has paid in addition to when they made their payments and how much was paid.
  • They act as a sales receipt, providing proof that a transaction took place.
  • For vacation properties, they record dates, amounts, and renter information.
  • They fulfill a state requirement (for some).

For tenants, rent receipts are important because:

  • They provide a “proof of purchase” or payment which protects them in case the landlord claims the rent payment was not made (especially when dealing with cash).
  • They record when the tenant paid rent which protects them in case the landlord wants to charge a fee for late payment.

When to use a Rent Receipt?

A rent receipt should be used by the landlord of a residential property occupied by tenants who make rent payments. A common example would be if you are the landlord of an apartment building where the tenants pay rent on a monthly basis. These receipts are a way for the landlord to keep track of all rent payments. They are especially important when a renter pays cash, to provide proof of receipt for tracking purposes.

A landlord who writes a rent receipt for a tenant can either photocopy or scan the receipt for their own records, or enter the receipt details in whatever rent payment tracking system they use. They can also be emailed, however, it would be better to have a written signature on them.

Rent receipts can also be used to document a one-time rental fee, like when someone who is on holiday rents a vacation property owned by a private citizen.

Information to Include in Rent Receipts

Rent receipts can help a landlord keep track of which tenant(s) have fully paid rent, when each payment was made, and if needed when late payments or other fees are paid. The more you include on a rent receipt, the easier it is for you to keep track of everything.

You can keep printed or digital copies of the receipts for as long as needed for your financial or personal records. These receipts typically contain the following information:

  • Tenant name and telephone number
  • Landlord or property manager name and property address
  • Amount of the rent payment
  • How the payment was made (personal check, cash, etc.)
  • Rental period covered by the payment

State Requirements for Providing Rent Receipts

As mentioned above, some states require landlords to provide their tenants with a rent receipt each time a payment is made towards their rent. Contact your state’s housing bureau to see if your state has such a law. If it does, and your landlord is not following it, ask for a copy of the statute and forward it to your landlord. If your state doesn’t mandate rent receipts, create a receipt yourself and ask your landlord to sign it when you submit payment.

Here’s our easy to use rent receipt template.

Some cities require rent receipts even if the state doesn’t, so check with your city’s local housing board. If you’re the tenant, it’s better to pay by check, money order or electronically than by cash so you have an additional record of payment.

StateRental receipt requirements

California

California Civil Code Section 1499 provides that if a tenant requests a rent receipt, the landlord is required to provide a signed and dated receipt. Tenants should keep a file with all of their rental receipts and/or canceled checks in the event a dispute later arises.

Colorado

Landlord to provide copies to the tenant upon request. The act requires a residential landlord to provide a tenant with a copy of any written rental agreement signed by the parties and to give the tenant a contemporaneous receipt for any payment made in person with cash or money order. For payments not made in person with cash or money order, the landlord must provide a receipt if the tenant requests it. The landlord may provide the tenant with an electronic copy of the agreement or the receipt unless the tenant requests a paper copy.

Connecticut

CGS § 47a-3a The law requires landlords to provide receipts only for cash payments. These receipts must be provided to the tenant or person making a payment on his or her behalf and must include the payment’s date, amount, and purpose.

Delaware

If a landlord accepts cash payment for rent, the landlord must give the tenant a receipt for that payment within 15 days. The landlord shall, for a period of 3 years, maintain a record of all cash receipts for rent. (§ 5501 (e))

Hawaii

The landlord shall furnish to the tenant a written receipt for rents paid at the time of payment. Canceled checks shall also constitute and fulfill the requirement of a written receipt. If rent is paid by check, the landlord shall furnish a receipt therefor, provided a receipt is requested by the tenant. 521-43

Maine

Rent receipts required.  A landlord or his agent shall provide a written receipt, as required in subsection 2, for each rental payment and each security deposit payment received partially or fully in cash from any tenant. This receipt shall be delivered to the tenant at the time the cash payment is accepted. If either the rent or security deposit is accepted in more than one installment instead of a single payment, a separate receipt shall be provided for each payment. If the payment for rent and security deposit is received at the same time, a separate receipt, properly identified in accordance with subsection 2, shall be issued each for the rental payment and for the security deposit. §6022

Minnesota

A landlord receiving rent or other payments from a tenant in cash must provide a written receipt for payment immediately upon receipt of the payment if made in person, or within three business days of payment in cash if not made in person. Sec. 504B.118 MN Statutes

New York

Landlords must provide a written receipt for rent paid in the form of cash or any instrument other than a personal check of a tenant (unless receipt of the check is requested) (N.Y. RPL §§ 235-e).

Texas

Landlords are required to provide tenants with a rent receipt for cash payments only.

Washington

A landlord shall provide a receipt for any payment made by a tenant in the form of cash and upon the request of a tenant, a written receipt for any payments made in a form other than cash. (RCW §§ 59.18.063)

Wisconsin

A landlord is required to issue a rent receipt if the tenant has paid in cash according to Wisconsin Administrative Code §§ 134.03(2b).

Rent Receipts for Tax Purposes

For tenants, some states offer tax credits. These benefits vary and you will want to check with your state’s guidelines to see if you qualify. Some states only offer tax benefits to seniors and those with disabilities. While other states provide tax credits to tenants with low-incomes.

If you live in one of the states that offer a tax credit you will want a rent receipt from your landlord each time you pay. If your landlord will not provide one, you can prepare an online receipt to present to your landlord to sign. To make this process easier, use our online rent receipt form. Also, keep in mind, some states require a landlord to provide rent receipts in certain situations.

For renters who do not live in a state that provides them with a tax credit, they could still qualify if they run a home-based business. In these situations, a rent receipt is a must. Typically only the portion of the rental you use solely for business qualifies for deductions which would require proof of rent. If 15% of your home is used for business purposes, then 15% of your rent payments are likely to qualify. Keep in mind, you should discuss business-related tax deductions with an accountant before filing to make sure you qualify.

These states offer tax benefits to renters based on specific requirements:

StateRental tax benefits for renters for seniors and disabledRental tax benefits for state residents

Arizona

Yes

California

NoRenters who make less than currently $41,641 for single filers and $83,282 for married filers may be eligible for a tax credit of $60 or $120.

Colorado

Yes

Connecticut

Yes

Hawaii

NoRenters who make less than $30,000 per year and who paid more than $1,000 in rent for their principal residence may be able to take a tax credit.

Indiana

NoMay be eligible to deduct $3,000 in rent paid on their principal residence to reduce taxable income rather than receive a credit that directly reduces tax liability.

Iowa

Yes

Maine

NoMay be eligible for a tax credit equal to 15 percent of the rent they paid during the year, based on income and household size.

Maryland

NoMay be eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,000 based on certain income limits, age, and household requirements.

Massachusetts

No

May be eligible for a deduction of 50 percent of the rent you paid during the year, up to a maximum of $3,000.

Michigan

NoMay qualify for the Homestead Property Tax Credit based on the difference between the property taxes you pay (or are deemed to pay as a renter) and your “total household resources.”

Minnesota

NoEligible for a credit equal to a percentage of rent paid (17 percent in 2018). A Certificate of Rent Paid from your landlord is required.

Missouri

Yes

Montana

Yes

New Jersey

NoEither a deduction of 18 percent of rent paid or a credit of $50 on their tax return.

New York

NoIn Manhattan, New York State offers a potential $75 credit to renters if their average monthly rent is $450 or less. Total household income must be $18,000 or less.

North Dakota

Yes

Oregon

Yes

Pennsylvania

Yes

Rhode Island

Yes

Utah

Yes

Vermont

NoRebate to renters making $47,000 or less per year.

Washington, D.C.

NoA credit of up to $750 for renters with a household income of $20,000 or less.

Wisconsin

NoA credit to renters with less than $24,680 in household income.  A Certificate of Rent Paid from your landlord is required.