When it comes to applying for your next property, a good rental ledger is extremely beneficial. 

One of the most valuable things you can have at the end of your tenancy is a rental ledger (or tenant ledger) that shows your rent has always been paid on time.

rental ledger
Photo: iStock.com/BraunS.

By RENT.COM.AU

What is a rental ledger, exactly?

A rental ledger is a complete statement (or record) of every rent payment you have made, and the dates that the rent covers. It will also show if your rent has ever fallen behind. A rental ledger is used to keep track of your rents and is a useful form of documentation in the event that a tenancy matter ever needs to go before a court.

Property managers and landlords will typically use rental management software which includes these ledgers, helping them to stay organised. As a tenant, you may keep your own ledgers for your personal reference.

How to read your rental ledger

Take a look at your rental ledger. Every line in the ledger provides some space where your property manager or landlord records pertinent information about a payment you’ve made. This will typically include your name, your address, the amount paid and the date.

You might see that your property manager / landlord has noted the type of payment, or notes where extra comments might be added if the rent was paid late, or if there were other problems with the payment.

If your property is managed by a landlord, they’ll likely record your rent payments in the ledger and provide you with a receipt – this is protection for both parties (you and the landlord). You should keep a copy of this receipt because it proves that your rent has been paid. Your landlord could also use this ledger to disprove a claim that you were double charged.

Why you should keep your rental ledger

Keeping an updated rental ledger can be an advantage as a tenant. This ledger can provide you with records to use if there is ever a dispute about your rent payments. You can also ask to compare your records with the landlord’s records to ensure they match.

At the end of your tenancy, your rental ledger is one of the most valuable things you can have. When you go to apply for a new property, present your rental ledger to your prospective property manager / landlord to show your rent has always been paid on time.

Presenting your ledger with your application

In addition to your rental application itself, it’s important that you have all the requested and necessary supporting documentation.

Be a well-prepared applicant by having a photocopy of your photo identification (such as a passport or driver’s licence), a copy of a recent pay slip, and, if you’ve rented before, your rental ledger.

If you haven’t rented before, find another form of payment history that can demonstrate your ability to pay on time. This could be a car loan statement or a savings account with regular deposits.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Can you give some guidelines re what the law says about landlords allowing some pictur hangers in the rental. We are good tenants and the only things missing in our home are some pictures.
    We have tried the stick on good quality stick on ones but occasionally they fall down causing damage at times to the skirting board. It would be preferable not to have to worry. Many thanks.

    • Hi Bernice, tenant rights differ from state to state. Our best advice is to check before you make any changes to your rental. Generally your safest option is to ask permission from your landlord to hang a few hooks on the walls. Many landlords will be OK with this providing it looks professional. You may need to cover the spot when you vacate the property, but that will depend on your landlord. It’s always worth asking!

  2. I was just wondering if I have been with a real estate for 12yrs should they be able to give me my rental ledger for those 12 yrs?

  3. my landlord sent us our rent statement for this month saying we owed 760, the rent is 960, so we paid the 760 in the office, they took payment entered it in their system, gave me a receipt and put balance due 0. then a hour later called and said the rent is 960 you owe us 200 more dollars, sorry for the inconvenience, we made a mistake. Do we have to pay it even though we have the statement and payment receipt?

    • Hi Sheila, thanks for writing in. Sounds like there’s been a small mistake with the statement if your landlord has requested a lesser amount than is stipulated in your tenancy agreement. If your agreement says the rental is $960/week, that’s the amount that must be paid to avoid you falling into arrears – regardless of what your landlord’s intention was in sending you a statement requesting $200/week less than the usual amount. Best thing to do is to clear up the outstanding balance with your landlord. If you run into any real issues over this matter, get in touch with your state tenancy authority – they’ll be able to offer you some extra advice. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi there. I have 2 questions requested my past real estate agent present me a ledger as there was disagreement about the amount owed at lease finalization the problem they had was during my tenancy they changed Agents same Agent name but a different branch was given my property, so it took time but they did work out they were wrong and had missed a transaction in the hand over, which I also had received a breach for not paying rent at the time , which I challenged and they found I was correct just the previous agent had not forwarded my rent promptly in the handover, so I wasn’t late in fact they were, my 2 questions I seem to only be able to get the part of the rent ledger since the handover how do I get the first part(i want it for reference for any future rentals, ) My second question , will that incorrectly issued Breach notice show anywhere on my rental history even though it was a mistake on their part? I have a perfect 12 years of rental history and paying on time so I am most concerned about their mistakes.

    • Hi Peta, good questions!
      From what we’ve seen, unless that incident was enough to earn you a place on a tenancy database (and you would know – they’d have to contact you before they did), then you shouldn’t run into any trouble with future rental applications. It’s very unlikely that something like that would be cause to do so – especially as it wasn’t your fault. A prospective property manager may run a check across the tenancy databases but won’t access your previous ledgers unless you supply them in your application.

      As you’d said, if the agent admitted fault with the process, then I’d guess you have copies of correspondence during that time? Worst comes the worst, back yourself by being proactive with your applications and explain what took place. You can provide copies of that correspondence if requested – but it really shouldn’t be an issue. I hope this offers you some relief! Good luck with your next rental search!

  5. I am seeking advice on how to get a rental ledger corrected to show my rent is 2 weeks ahead.
    I lease an apartment where the landlord has changed real estate agencies 3 times over the duration of the lease. The first property manager did not cancel my direct debit on time before the handover to the second property managet so an extra fortnight of rent was deducted.
    The second property manager provided me a ledger from the first with the extra deduction omitted so I did not know I was overcharged.
    When I later spotted the overcharge on my bank statement I requested a ledger from the first property manager, and the version they gave me showed the extra deduction. Their accounts manager advised that it had to be resolved by my current (3rd) property manager.
    I provided the 3rd property manager the ledgers with the overcharge highlighted and my bank statement also. This was a few months ago and it still has not been fixed.

    I would like to terminate my lease in the near future and simply want the ‘paid to’ date adjusted so I do not have to pay the final 2 weeks of rent. What would be the best way to resolve this? Thank you.

    • Hi there,

      Good question – we get that this can be pretty frustrating.

      Usually, we’d suggest you go through your statements and accounts for each of the payments you’ve made. Ensure you didn’t miss one by mistake. You can put these payments into Excel. Use the following columns: date of payment, amount, start period, end period. Once you’ve entered the data, put it to your agent and get them to point out the payment they didn’t get. Ask them to have a look at it – your property manager may realise they’re wrong and will look to resolve it on your ledger.

      But if you’ve already reached this step and aren’t getting anywhere with your PM, I’d try to contact the Principal or Senior Property Manager at your agency to see if they will look at your case.

      If things don’t move anywhere, you should get in touch with the tenancy authority in your state, they’ll be able to provide you with the best possible advice for your situation 🙂 Hope this helps Sara!

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