A rent receipt is an essential record of payment for both the tenant and the landlord of a property – whether it is residential or commercial. This acknowledgement slip is given to the tenant by the landlord of the property.
It is a receipt acknowledging that rent has been received by the landlord, from the tenant, according to the terms and conditions that were stated and agreed upon in the rental agreement.
In this article we dive deep into the importance of rent receipts for the landlords and tenants, what the receipts need to include and how to fill in these rent receipts.
What is the importance of a rent receipt?
The rent receipt is extremely important as this is proof that the monthly rent of a property has been paid to the landlord of that property. Obviously, rent receipts are crucial in settling legal disputes that could occur between landlords and tenants.
In the tenants’ case, having the rent receipts is proof that they have made the payment toward the monthly rent. This is especially important for transactions where there are no other digital or hardcopy records – for example, payments made with cash.
Once the rent receipt has been given to the tenant, the landlord has acknowledged that monthly rent has been paid and can’t ask for that month’s rent again. The landlord benefits from the rent receipts too as it is a log of rent that has been paid to them. In case the landlord disputes whether the rent was paid for a particular month, they can demand a copy of the rent receipt from the tenant to settle the issue.
Rent receipts ensure that the transactions for rent are documented and give legal sanctity to the relationship between the landlord and the tenant.
Rent receipts are also used by tenants to claim tax benefits under the Income Tax Act.
What are the benefits of rent receipts?
- Proof of payment for the tenant and landlord
- Keeps payment records for monthly rent
- Tenant can claim tax benefit under the Income Tax Act
- Settle disputes regard rent payment
- Can be used as proof in legal issues
In order for the tenant or the landlord to benefit from the points mentioned above, the rent receipt needs to contain certain information. In the next section, this required information is outlined.
How to fill a rent receipt: Information that needs to be included
There is specific information that needs to be included in a rent receipt for it to be legally valid or to claim House Rent Allowance (HRA) tax exemption. Listed below are all the details that the rent receipt should include for it to be useful as proof in a legal dispute and for it to help you claim a tax benefit.
- Date the payment is received by the landlord
- The rent period
- The amount of rent
- Tenant name
- Landlord name
- Address of the rented property
- Signature of landlord
- PAN details of the landlord when the rent amount in a financial year exceeds Rs 1 lakh
- If rent is paid exceeds Rs 5,000 and is paid in cash, a revenue stamp should be affixed on the rent receipt
- Mode of payment should be mentioned. This can be cheque, cash, or online. Details such as cheque number also should be included
- If the rent is only partially paid, then information of what balance is due needs to be mentioned
- If the payment is greater than monthly rent, then information for excess payment needs to be mentioned. For example, late payment, repairs or penalty.
How do you get a rent receipt?
The landlord usually gives the tenant rent receipts. In case the landlord isn’t able to provide the tenant with the receipt, the tenant can format a rent receipt, along with all the needed information, get it printed on paper and ask the landlord to sign this receipt as proof of rent paid.
There are several rent receipt generators available online which landlords and tenants can use for their own cause. Once downloaded, you can fill in the details, get it printed and have it signed by the landlord along with the date of payment.
Important considerations when it comes to filling a rent receipt
- Rent receipts need to have a valid rental agreement with it when using it to claim HRA tax exemption.
- It is better to pay the monthly rent via a mode that has a record such as online bank transfer or by cheque. This keeps an additional record of rent payment in addition to the rent receipts.
- When the rent is being paid online, the online rent receipt needs to have a revenue stamp and have the landlord’s signature.
- If the rent amount is over Rs. 1 lakh in a year, and if the landlord does not have a PAN number, there needs to be a declaration and Form 60 given by the landlord.
- It is important to have the rent receipt in the correct format and the information in it written correctly in order to limit problems when claiming the HRA.