key retrieval receipt

Working as a landlord often means a lot of document management. From rental agreements to pet addendums, there are many different forms that you need to be sure are filled out accurately and completely to protect you and your property from the basic risks of property management work.

One form that a lot of landlords forget to use with their tenants is the key retrieval receipt. This form serves as a legal acknowledgment and having it on file can be a great way to ensure that all communication is clear and legally documented.

If you don’t have the proper documentation in certain situations, it would be possible for a bad tenant to try to take you to court for something that you didn’t do. While unlikely, it’s always best to have more documentation than you need rather than less, and that is just one of the reasons you need to try our key receipt template form.

A Table Of Contents For Key Return Forms

What Is A Key Retrieval Receipt?

Are you familiar with what a tenant key return form is? This receipt, while very useful, is not as commonly used by landlords as we think it should be. Really, this can be a very strong tool in your arsenal of legal documents.

When dealing with a moving tenant, receipt of keys is an important part of the step. By handing the keys back to you, the property’s owner, they are signifying that they no longer have a right to enter or live at the property.

The moment you receive the keys is when the key retrieval receipt should be filled out, signed by both parties, and kept for later reference. This form is a legal, documented way to confirm that the keys have been handed over and that the tenant understands they are no longer permitted to come and go to the property as they please.

When Should You Use A Key Receipt Form?

The simple answer is that you should always use a tenant key return form.

Even if the tenant was very nice and leaves with no obvious intention to return to the property, you never know when someone’s situation will change or they will become desperate and decide to return.

If they made a copy of the key, they could try to argue that they still had a right to be there. If they sneak into the property, they could try to argue that the lease agreement never truly ended.

Without legal documentation that they agreed to the terms of returning their keys and revoking their access to the property, it can be a complicated case to deal with.

By simply using a key receipt form every single time you receive keys back from a tenant, you are lowering the amount of risk you face during your property management work.

Preventing Future Fights

Using a key retrieval form like this one is not the only way to prevent future issues with tenants who just won’t leave your property.

In addition to documenting everything with the correct legal forms, you can also protect yourself by choosing the best tenants possible.

Great tenants are less likely to cause you problems with these types of issues, and you can find those great tenants by using the best screening techniques around.

Sample Key Receipt Form Template & Explanation

Now that you know more about how this receipt might be useful to you, let’s take a closer look at our key receipt template. Use this template as a basic structure for your own key return form. You can make simple modifications to fit the specific scenarios that you are dealing with.

Here is the form:

Key Retrieval Receipt

Let’s break down each section of the form so you can get a clear understanding of what needs to go into this receipt before you use it and why each of those things are so important.

Identifying Information

As with most forms, the first thing you need to do is to start with the most basic identifying details. While including things like the date and property address may seem obvious, these are key parts of any legal document and should be included in this one as well.

Start with the following:

  • Current Date
  • Property Address(es)
  • Tenant Name(s)

Declaration of Understanding

Next, you want to set up a declaration of understanding. The statement in our example template includes the following information:

  • The keys have been returned
  • The tenant no longer has the right to the property
  • Property possession has reverted to the property owner

All of this information needs to be clearly stated in this document so that there is no question about whether or not every person who is involved and signs this document understands what the document represents.


Finally, everyone needs to print their name and sign the document – and that includes you! By having each individual tenant and you sign, it will be clear to anyone who sees the document that the current situation was clearly communicated to everyone involved.

The Retrieval Form Can Save You

Don’t feel silly having yourself and your tenants sign off on something as seemingly trivial as receiving the keys back to your property.

Your property was being legally possessed by someone else; it makes sense to ensure that there is documentation of that legal possession period being over. By documenting each and every step of the rental process completely, you can be more confident in what you are doing without as much worry about the risks of the rental world.