Once a tenant moves out and you rent the property to a new tenant, how long do you keep your file on the former tenant? By file, I mean the former tenant's application, correspondence, payment history, and disposition of deposit. Is one year long enough?
I'm in AZ if the state matters.
The laws vary from state to state as to how long you need to keep them. There is much debate over whether you should ever get rid of the documentation should you be sued for anything.
The solution we have started using is to scan everything and just keep an electronic copy. With as cheap as storage is these days, either locally on an external hard drive or even better in the cloud, there's not a big reason you can't keep the records for years. Once we have scanned the documents and confirmed they look good then we shred the paper copy so we don't have piles of paperwork to store.
Better safe than sorry.
Best of luck
@Eric Black , Thanks for the reply. You're right, digital copies will save file space. I guess my concern is storing their PII (personally identifiable information) like SSN and DoB for long periods of time after they've moved. In my day job, working for Uncle Sam, we are very careful about handling PII and very leery of storing it longer than needed.
But, I think I'm of the same mindset as you - better to keep it.
I think I'll scan them in and then encrypt the files.
You could always "white-out" the personal information, maybe leaving just the last 4 digits of SS, etc before scanning.
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