I am an Ontario-licensed lawyer. The following is a general information about the law and not specific legal advice. You are not my client and I have not given you advice related to your circumstances.
First, even when you ask a generic question, define the jurisdiction of interest. For the purpose of your question, Canada is a collection of different jurisdictions with different rules. My answer relates to Ontario, Canada. Other Canadian jurisdictions have different rules.
The applicable Section 109 of Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act
http://canlii.ca/t/33p is reproduced below for your convenience. EMPHASES MINE.
Receipt for payment
109 (1) A landlord shall provide FREE OF CHARGE to a tenant or former
tenant, on request, a receipt for the payment of any rent, rent deposit,
arrears of rent or any other amount paid to the landlord. 2006, c. 17,
s. 109 (1).
(2) Subsection (1) applies to a request by a FORMER TENANT only if the
request is made within 12 months after the tenancy terminated. 2006, c.
17, s. 109 (2).
Ontario Regulation 516/06 http://canlii.ca/t/sjx dictates minimal form:
- A document constitutes a receipt for the purposes of section 109 of
the Act if it includes, at a minimum,
(a) the address of the rental unit to which the receipt applies;
(b) the name of the tenants to whom the receipt applies;
(c) the amount and date for each payment received for any rent, rent
deposit, arrears of rent, or any other amount paid to the landlord and
shall specify what the payment was for;
(d) the name of the landlord of the rental unit; and
(e) the signature of the landlord or the landlord’s authorized agent.
O. Reg. 516/06, s. 9.
- A good landlord will provide receipts immediately upon payment, and keep a copy.
- An very good landlord will provide additionally a summary of payments for the year, in tabulated form, and keep a copy of the yearly receipt instead of the multiple receipts for each payment.
- An excellent landlord will keep the tabulated information in a computer system and will issue a receipt for the whole tenancy period on termination. Keep a copy.