Keeping Records and Journaling with Google Drive

March 29, 2020

Keeping a journal with Google DriveOne of the things which landlords need to do at all times is to keep proper records.  Otherwise how can you prove that you have complied with the myriad of government regulations which apply to rented property?

However in this coronavirus emergency when many requirements are having to go to the wall due to the lockdown and other emergency measures, it is even more important that you record what you do – and also why you did it.

So you should record

  • All telephone calls – setting out what was discussed, what was agreed and why – and follow up and confirm oral agreements in writing (eg by email)
  • All meetings (although in the current lockdown there should be very few)
  • All decisions made – along with your reasons for making those decisions.

Keeping a diary or journal

The best way to do this is to keep a diary of events or ‘journal’ setting out what has happened and (in particular) why you acted as you did.

For example you may be challenged at a later date on something you did nor did not do during this period.  If you can clearly show your reasoning – this could make the difference.

For example your reasons could include:

  • Government guidance
  • Medical advice
  • The availability of tradespersons to carry out works
  • Your assessment of the risk involved – for example, the risk to your tenants resulting from not carrying out certain works as opposed to the risk of spreading Covid 19.

But, you may be asking, what is the best way to keep this advice?

  • Should you keep a handwritten record, maybe in an exercise book? Or
  • Should you use an online system?

The method you choose should be the method you feel most comfortable with and which you are likely to continue to use.

However I (Tessa Shepperson) have some guidance for you:

Guidance on using Google Drive

I have used Google documents for many years and have found them an enormously useful.  For example I use them to draft up articles, prepare plans, and also to keep online diaries and records of events.

To help Landlord Law members I have created a short video where I demonstrate the methods I use and make suggestions for keeping your property records using the Google Drive system.

Business Level members will find the video and some links here.
All members will also find the video on our Coronavirus Help Page during the emergency period

But do make sure you keep proper records.  It could make a big difference to you one day.

Guidance from #landlordlaw on how to keep an online diary or journal using Google Docs

Not a Landlord Law member?  Find out more here.
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