As a landlord, there’s a lot you need to keep track of.
Communications, maintenance visits, rent collection, you name it. There’s just too much to manage effectively without a little help.
As a landlord, documents of all kinds are essential in that effort to properly manage your properties.
Whether it's a rental application, lease agreement, security deposit, or eviction notice, at every stage there’s likely a form that corresponds with that event or part of the rental process.
Below, we’ve gathered a list of downloadable forms and templates for a variety of situations.
While not necessarily an exhaustive list, this is an extensive starting place that should set you up for success, or help you refine an already established process.
To jump straight into our massive repository of landlord documents and forms, check out our rental form and template resources at: Real Estate Rental Form Templates for Landlords & Prop Managers.
Important Landlord Forms
There are many different forms and documents a landlord should keep on hand and/or store for future use.
Fortunately, you can use a template for many of these documents.
Here are some of the most important or most commonly used forms to keep on hand along with a link to downloadable templates of each:
1. Lease agreement
The most basic and important of all rental agreements, a lease agreement is the formal agreement binding tenant and landlord.
That can be a month-to-month lease or a lease term, typically of 12 months.
Your lease agreement is more than just a place for a signature, though.
It’s important to make sure to disclose all important information related to your policies within your lease agreement.
Not only so that your tenant is aware of them, but so that if your tenant breaks one of those policies later you can reference their signed lease agreement agreeing to follow said policies.
- Download the Residential Lease Agreement Template.
- Download the Commercial Lease Agreement Template.
- Download the Month-to-Month Lease Agreement Template.
2. Rental application
The second most important document, a rental application is much less complex than the lease agreement.
This is pretty standard and doesn’t typically differ much, as most rental application templates have the same basic information.
Having said that, it’s important to use this format and to collect the applicant’s signature before screening.
- Download the Rental Application Template.
3. Lead disclosure form
Almost always paired along with the lease agreement, providing a lead disclosure form to new tenants is required by law.
The point is to disclose information related to the potential health hazards of lead-based paint in older properties.
4. Security deposit receipt
A security deposit receipt is used as official recognition that you have collected a security deposit along with the date, amount, and importantly the location where the funds are being stored.
In most states you’re required by law to disclose to the tenant where you’re keeping the security deposit funds, as they’re still technically their funds, not yours.
- Download the Security Deposit Receipt.
5. Security deposit return letter
And at the end of the lease, you’ll also provide a security deposit refund document.
This is important to provide in case the tenant attempts to dispute that you never returned their security deposit.
The page should detail any deductions and what those deductions were used to pay for.
- Download the Security Deposit Return Letter.
6. Eviction notice
An eviction notice is one of those things you wish you’ll never need…
… but you’re glad you have it when you do.
In most states, some kind of eviction notice must be delivered to the tenant before you’re allowed to evict them.
As a companion to our eviction notice template below, make sure to check your state and local laws regarding evictions.
Not only do you not want to misstep, but virtually every state– and even city or county– is different.
- Download the Eviction Notice Template.
7. Lease termination form
A lease termination form is typically used in situations where you need to terminate a month-to-month lease.
Similar to what we mentioned above about eviction notices, it’s important to check with your state and local laws as the amount of notice you must given tenants will vary depending on your area.
- Download the Lease Termination Template.
9. Maintenance checklist
A maintenance checklist is vital for keeping track of and documenting the condition of your units.
This can be used as a move-in checklist to get the tenant to sign-off on the condition of the property on move-in as well as during the lease during routine inspections.
10. Turnover checklist
On the flip side of this, you’ll also want a checklist for when a tenant is moving out.
That’s where the turnover checklist comes in.
You’ll preferably schedule an appointment to inspect the unit or property with the previous tenant present while marking up the checklist so that they can sign off on the assessment (and there isn’t any funny business).
- Download our Make Ready Apartment Turnover Checklist
Importance of Forms And Documents
Why is it so important to have the right forms as a landlord?
If you’re new to property management, you might be trying to get a leg-up and prepare yourself with everything you need to be a successful landlord.
The right forms and documents are important for a number of reasons.
Save time when you need to future reference
There will be times, whether good or bad, when you’ll need to reference something that should have been documented.
If you’re unorganized or don’t document important aspects of your tenant relationship, you could find yourself regretting it in the form of wasted time.
But that’s not all…
Protect yourself and your property investment from legal woes
Even if you do a stellar job screening tenants, you’ll occasionally have issues, one that could result in a lawsuit.
In this case, the right documentation could save your hide big time.
For example, a tenant could claim that you violated one of their rights.
However, if the lease agreement they signed clearly states your policy on said matter– and they signed it– that could be all the protection you need.
Or, if you need documentation of unpaid to take a tenant to court yourself, having that would be essential to winning your case.
Make tax time easier
Having your financial documents in order can also make-or-break you at tax time.
You’ll want data on any purchases, sales, exchanges, rental income, and expenses to make things as easy as possible when it comes time to report as this is all information you’ll need to dig up eventually anyway.
Looking for more great resources?
Whether you’re a landlord or property manager, the DoorLoop blog is filled with resources to help you save time and optimize your process.
Make sure to check out these additional resources:
- Property Management Resources
- Real Estate Rental Form Templates for Landlords & Prop Managers
- Property Management Blog | Sales, Marketing, & Business Tips