Electronic weekly rent book?Make Text Bigger
As we know, if rent is paid weekly, by law the landlord must provide a rent book and it is in fact a criminal offence not do so.
However, does anybody know if the rent book must be in hard copy format? I am aware that for most legal purposes, electronic documentation is acceptable as written evidence – even text messages. Having said that, it seems reasonable to assume that the requirement for a rent book is to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people (who may not have current accounts and are likely to be digitally excluded) and so I believe it safe to assume that rent books must be hard copy.
Given that, would it be sufficient to print off from an electronic copy of rent paid to date (provided this document also contains the prescribed information – i.e. the premises, rent and name and address of the landlord) and give this to the tenant after they’ve paid their rent each week?
My main reason for asking is because there is a new online rent payment service that has just been launched – WRINQ. This sends a reminder to the tenant, allows the tenant to pay the rent with a credit or debit card (using Paypal) and keeps an account of the rent paid which is accessible to both landlord and tenant. This would be particularly useful for lodgers, where smaller sums are paid and the arrangement is often more informal but I am concerned that landlords might fall foul of the weekly rent book legal requirement if they use it without also providing a rent book which would mean double handling.
Many thanks for your thoughts,
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