How long do we have to retain a tenant’s record?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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How long do we have to retain a tenant’s record?

We own a storage facility. When a tenant moves in we take a copy of their drivers license, and credit card information, along with personal information that we keep in a file until they move out. When they move out, how long do we need to retain their information listed above for our records and protection?

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Business Law, Colorado


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Most business hold on to records for a certain period either because they are obligated to by statutes or ethical cannons (attorneys and doctors are a good example) but most do so for tax purposes. Another reason that a party would keep the records are fear of litigation.  So after the statute of limitations has expired for such litigation in your area then arguably you can throw the records out (or shred them really if there is personal information contained in them).  But a prudent landlord will keep a history on the rental unit in some form forever either on ledger cards or on a computer disc.  Check what the statute is for suits based upon a rental contract is in your area.  Keep them at least that long. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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