I’m a Renter, Do I Need a Rental Ledger?

December 21, 2021
sydney rental apartment exterior

If you’re a renter, like many of us, you might have come across a rental ledger, also known as a tenant ledger. Now, we know renting involves a lot of paperwork. Cover letters, bank statements, references… There are quite a few things to stay on top of! 

And while we touched on rental ledgers in our 2022 Renter’s Guide, today we’re going to go through what a tenant ledger is exactly and why a renter has to have it. 

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What’s a rental ledger?

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Soho rental @ 168 Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW, 2011

Also known as a leaser ledger, a rental ledger is a document that records all rental transactions and other payments a renter has made to the landlord or property manager for the rental property.

By the way, we say document, but nowadays it is commonly in electronic form rather than a physical document.

Depending on whether you’re renting directly from your landlord or going through an agency or property manager, the rental ledger will look different.

In general, these are the records you’ll find on it:

  • Date of rent payment
  • Amount of rent paid
  • Date range that the rent payment covers
  • Date the rent was received by the landlord or agency
  • Receipt number
  • What specific payments are for (e.g. water, rent)
  • Any other payments that are owed (if applicable)

If you’re a property owner or at one of the standard property management agencies, you’ll most probably have used a rental management software to take care of these ledgers.

Why is it important to have a rental ledger?

sydney rental apartment terrace

You definitely want to use the rental ledger to make sure all rent payments are accounted for.

Sometimes, days pass and you or your landlord can lose track of payments. This record is a great way for you and your property manager or landlord to stay on track. 

On the other hand, if you’ve fallen behind on rent payments, the tenant ledger will demonstrate this too. And your landlord or property manager can use this in court if ever it escalates. 

A good practice is not only to pay rent on time, but also to have a look at your rental ledger on a monthly basis and cross-reference it with whatever payments you made. That way, if ever there’s an error you can bring it up immediately and avoid disputes. 

You can also use your tenant ledger when you rent your next property. This can help during your applications, especially if you’ve been making monthly rent payments in a timely manner. Have it printed out and submit it in your application alongside your other documents. 

An added benefit of punctual payments is for your credit applications. It will show how you’re a responsible tenant, and probably a responsible borrower. 

Rental ledgers are also very important for the property owner or current property manager. If any point a case is made against you, the ledger would be required at the Tribunal to show your rental income during the rent period.

How do I get my rental ledger?

sydney rental apartment bedroom

If your property manager or landlord hasn’t already shared it with you, you can ask them for it. They should be able to furnish you with one within a week. 

What if I don’t have a rental ledger?

sydney rental apartment bathroom white

No worries, whether you’re a first-time tenant or prefer not to show your rental ledger, there are other ways you can prove your financial security.

What they’re looking for is a person’s ability to be responsible and make other payments on time.

  • Your bank statement: attach this to your application and highlight where you’ve made rental payments previously. And of course, some savings in there doesn’t hurt! You can also use your savings account to show you’re receiving regular payments.
  • Payslips: if you demonstrate regular income that will cover your rent, you’ll up your chances.
  • References: ask your ex-landlord or property manager to write you a reference letter or to put their number down in case your new landlord wants to give them a call. This will show how you’ve maintained a good relationship with them.

What to look out for on a rental ledger

Generally speaking, if you see the words late rent notice, it will indicate that a rental payment was settled past the due date and as such, might even incur a late fee or penalty.

Rental ledger templates

There are many sites online that help you, as a new tenant, as well as property managers or landlords, use a rental ledger to keep track of all the rent payment history.

Check out this site or others that offer tenant ledger templates in different formats.

Looking for your next rental?

If you’re still looking for your next rental, we can also help you out in that department. Browse our search page to check out some amazing listings available right now. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get the full Soho experience.

Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

Join Soho for free, the new way to discover and swipe your dream home, connect to experts in the real estate community and stay updated with market trends when you are buying, renting or selling property.
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