When you own rental properties, there are several documents to draft, sign, store, and manage. That said, when you’re dealing with sensitive or legal documents, it’s crucial to store them securely and efficiently. After all, the privacy and safety of your tenants are top priorities So, what’s the best way for landlords and property managers to manage legal documents? Here’s a list of important documents and how you can store them using rental management software.
Contents of This Article:
- What Types of Legal Documents Do Property Managers Handle?
- How to Manage Legal Documents Securely
- Benefits of Software to Manage Legal Documents
- Rental Document Preparation and Storage Software
- Hire Professionals to Manage Your Rental Business
What Types of Documents Do Property Managers Handle?
Property managers handle several types of documents, including lease agreements, inspection reports, security deposits, and more. Many of these documents contain sensitive information and must be handled with care. With access to a tenant’s personal information comes a major responsibility to protect their data.
Before we go over how to manage legal documents securely, here are some of the most important files that property managers handle.
- Property Files
- Tenant Files
- Contractor Files
- Financial Statements
One of the most important documents that property managers handle is property files. Generally, property files include insurance policies, inspection reports, work orders, invoices, receipts, and more. As a property owner, it’s important to have copies of all these documents.
Another important job for property management in Washington, DC is handling tenant files. Tenant files include rental applications and records retrieved during the tenant screening process. Additional paperwork includes lease agreements, security deposits, pet policy agreements, eviction paperwork, move-in/move-out reports, and more.
Another type of document that property managers or landlords manage is contractor or vendor files. Hiring plumbers, electricians, or independent contractors to perform work at your property is inevitable. That said, keeping vendor contracts, invoices, receipts, and payment records is crucial to protect your investment.
Finally, managing financial records is crucial when you own rentals to help file your taxes accurately and efficiently. Financial statements may include bank receipts, incoming and outgoing invoices, bank deposit slips, and more. That said, you’ll want to document financial statements monthly and annually to keep records as accurate as possible.
How to Manage Legal Documents Securely
Leaking sensitive data is a massive mistake in property management. That said, it’s crucial to manage legal documents safely and efficiently. Here are several tips for keeping rental business documents secure.
- Use Property Management Software- One of the simplest ways to manage legal documents and keep your data safe is by using property management software. There are several programs available today to help store and manage property information.
- Create Strong Passwords- You and your property management staff should use unique, strong passwords for all work-related matters. It’s best to use a variety of capitalized or lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Limit Access to Sensitive Data- It’s best to limit access to sensitive data and documents unless absolutely necessary.
- Dispose of Documents Properly- Whether you’re working with physical or virtual documents, it’s crucial to dispose of them properly. So, if paperwork contains personal or legal information, shred it before throwing it away.
- Install Antivirus Software- Unfortunately, cyber threats can happen to even more secure systems. As such, installing antivirus software and updating it to eliminate threats is important.
Benefits of Software to Manage Legal Documents
As stated above, property management software is a great way to store and manage legal documents. That said, there are several benefits to using software to manage your rental business. Here are some of the top reasons to use rental management software to store business documents.
- More Security
- Less Storage Space
- File Backup and Recovery
When you think of traditional security methods, you may think of locks, safes, and other devices. However, there are easier ways to manage your rental documents. For instance, online document storage or rental management software.
Reputable software programs give you peace of mind that your documents are safe and secure. Commonly, many organizations restrict access to sensitive documents to a set of individuals. So, you’ll need permission or a special password to view certain information.
Less Storage Space
Storing physical documents can come in handy. However, it takes up a ton of space and can be hard to organize. After all, you have to set up a filing system, either in alphabetical or numerical order. Then, whenever you need to access property information, you must dig through potentially hundreds of files to find it.
However, with online property management software, you can find information about any property within seconds. You can also create digital files to make storing and managing documents easy.
File Backup and Recovery
Losing important files can be detrimental to the rental business. Furthermore, it can be extremely difficult or impossible to retrieve copies of lost documents. As such, rental management software allows you to store documents on a cloud-based platform.
Another benefit of storing information digitally is long-term document history. That way, you can look back at the history of a specific tenant or rental property at any time. Next, let’s go over some of the top document preparation and storage software.
Rental Document Preparation and Storage Software
If you’re looking to handle sensitive rental information efficiently, it’s best to find document management software. Luckily, there are several applications available to help landlords and property managers keep documents safe. Some of the top rental software with document storage include:
- Buildium- Buildium helps landlords manage tenant screening, marketing, financial reports, and more. Additionally, it’s a cloud-based software that works across all devices, allowing landlords to keep tabs on their business at all times.
- Appfolio- One of the most popular apps, Appfolio, is great for any rental portfolio. Similarly to Buildium, Appfolio offers cloud-based property management, including accounting, marketing, and reporting.
- Rentec Direct- Another popular and easy-to-use management app is Rentec Direct. This popular tool allows landlords to screen tenants, collect rent, online document storage, and more.
- TenantCloud- A more affordable property management software for landlords is TenantCloud. This software allows landlords to manage listings, collect rent payments, and screen potential tenants.
- Stessa- Another affordable, free property management option for rental property accounting is Stessa. They offer several services, including income and expense tracking, rent collection, and property performance monitoring.
Hire Professionals to Manage Your Rental Business
Storing and managing sensitive information is a huge part of owning rental properties. As such, it’s best to look into all available methods to keep your rental documents safe.
So, consider comprehensive property management if you’re looking for the best way to manage legal documents for your rental business. Full-service management companies, like Bay Property Management Group, can help you keep all your rental documents safe.
BMG offers services like tenant screening, maintenance, rental registration, rent collection, and more. If you need help managing your tenants and rental properties, contact BMG today. We manage rental properties near Baltimore, Philadelphia, Northern Virginia, and Washington, DC.