All records that are stored on file have sensitive information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, and other information that needs to stay protected. Storing these documents for long periods of time can leave them prone to misplacement and risk the applicant's protection of his/her's information. Timelines are outlined below for the most common documents used in renting your property. This is a suggestion of how to store and when to purge the information and forms you receive throughout the process.
Rental Applications: Must be kept on file for 5 years or the length of tenancy whichever is longer.
Consumer Reports: Once you have looked over the report and have made your rental decision, destroy the report. Keep a record that ordered the report. By destroying the report, you can help keep sensitive information protected.
Lease Agreements: It is recommended that you keep these forms for 3-5 years after the lease has ended in case you need them for reference in a court situation. The statue of limitations is 3 years for small claims court in the state of Washington.