Protect Yourself As a Landlord. As with most jobs, a landlord’s job is not complete until the paperwork is done. A landlord needs to protect himself with all sorts of documents. The days of renting a home on just a handshake are long gone. Instead, in today’s tenant-friendly states, you need proof of everything. That being said, great tenants do not need any documentation, nor do great landlords. Both sides know what is expected, and both sides perform as you would expect them to – with or without paperwork. The documentation is to protect us (and them) from the unruly behaviors that the ‘other’ guys might have.