Are tenants entitled to a rent receipt?

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Question:

I'm in the middle of an argument with a tenant of mine who is demanding I issue her receipts for rent when she presents me with a check. I'm telling her that's not possible -- I travel a lot and am also worried about the occasional bounced check -- but she insists. What should I do?

Answer:

Many states require landlords to give tenants a receipt for the rent. This protects tenants who pay in cash, who would have no other way to prove that they did indeed pay the rent if they are challenged by the landlord. Although most tenants now pay by check or credit card, landlords in these states must still issue receipts if asked. And if the check bounces, the fact that you gave the tenant a receipt for that rubber check will not hinder you in your attempts to get the tenant to pay.

Many states give tenants a "renters' tax credit," which they can take when they file their income taxes, and tenants who pay in cash will need that receipt to back up their deduction.

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