Landlords are often asked to write solid reference letters for their ex-tenants whenever the tenant needs to relocate to a different residential property. The reference letter from the landlord serves to strengthen their rental applications and help them to secure a new residential property with another landlord. This request is usually made when the tenant has been living in the property for some time and their tenancy agreement has ended on good terms or naturally.
In the reference letter, the landlord should provide a detailed description of their experience with the specific tenant, highlight the tenant’s valuable attributes and character traits, provide the new landlord with valuable insights into how they were able to maintain an excellent renting relationship with the former tenant and vouch for the tenant’s candidacy.
This article provides a practical guide for writing landlord reference letters, including the components of the letter, things to avoid while writing it, and the essential tips to keep in mind, ensuring that you write a strong recommendation letter for your tenant.
What is a Landlord Reference Letter?
A landlord reference letter is a formal document written to provide information regarding a particular tenant’s rental history and behavior. You can write this letter for your former tenant. Reference letters from landlords are essential because they give the new landlord a first-hand account of the tenant’s character and how well they maintained their previous tenancy agreement. This is relevant for the new landlord as it will enable them to determine whether or not the tenant is safe, reliable, and trustworthy.
Who Can Ask for a Reference Letter from the Landlord?
Tenant’s seeking to rent new residential property with another landlord can request the previous landlord write them a reference letter. However, this is usually the case when they have lived within the property for some time and have established a good relationship with the specific landlord. On the other hand, renters who frequently move from one residential property to another may also ask for landlord reference letters. Still, in this case, they should seek references from previous landlords who know them well enough to provide them with solid recommendations.
What to Include?
Landlords writing reference letters should provide adequate factual information in their letters to help new landlords ascertain whether a given applicant is suitable for the property or not.
Here are the essential details that you should incorporate in your landlord reference letter:
Your name, address, and email or phone number
The first essential item of an effective reference letter from a previous landlord is the sender/writer’s identifying information and contact details. The details to write in this section include your name, mailing address, and contact information.
The sample below gives you a better idea of how to itemize this information in your landlord reference letter:
2211 Shady Ave.
Prospect, AK 99801
After providing the information given above, leave a single blank line and provide the date on which you are writing the letter, as shown below in our landlord reference letter sample:
April 14, 2022
The landlord reference letter should also include the recipient’s name and address. Include the recipient’s correct title, such as Mr./Mrs./ Ms. depending on their gender, preceded by their name and address.
The sample below further elaborates on how to format this section of your landlord reference letter:
Mr. James Smith,
1342 Shady Avenue,
Prospect, AK 99801
At the beginning of your reference letter from the landlord, write a formal salutation using their correct title and last name. Including a formal and personalized salutation in the reference letter establishes a cordial tone necessary for building rapport with the letter’s recipient.
Sample landlord reference letter greeting/salutation:
Dear Mr. Smith,
The next step requires you to provide an introductory paragraph that immediately communicates the letter’s purpose and grabs the reader’s attention. Then, as is custom with any reference/recommendation letter, you should introduce the tenant and describe all their pertinent rental information. This entails providing the tenant’s name, the physical address of the property the tenant rented, the exact dates of tenancy, monthly rent amounts, and the type of tenancy agreement (e.g., lease or month-to-month) that the tenant signed.
If possible, include any specific terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement that the tenant did not adhere to, such as late payment violations, to enable the landlord to decide on the specific applicant.
For further elaboration on how to write this section of the landlord reference letter, see the sample provided below:
This reference letter is to recommend Kylie Hopkins, who was my former tenant at the Twinkle Apartments in Prospect, AK 99801, between November 2018 and May 2022. Ms. Hopkins rented an apartment in building A, unit number 7, On the complex’s first floor. She signed a lease agreement on December 1, 2018, with a monthly rent of $1,480, payable in full each month. Ms. Hopkins was one of the most reliable tenants I have ever had. She always paid all her rent on time and did not violate any terms of our lease agreement.
The body of the landlord reference letter should describe your knowledge of the tenant. The section can be written using either a single body paragraph or more paragraphs. Generally, this section of your landlord reference letter should delve into the tenant’s behavior that demonstrates their reliability as a resident.
To help prospective landlords make an informed decision about whether or not to rent out to this particular tenant, you should provide all the pertinent information about the tenant’s conduct within your rental property, including whether or not the tenant maintained your rental property, any positive pet experiences, or pet violations (if applicable).
Review the sample body paragraph provided below and use it as a reference point when writing your landlord reference letter’s body:
Ms. Hopkins was an exemplary tenant. She never bothered her neighbors and maintained absolute respect for the property she rented. I have never received complaints from my other tenants about her or her visitors. She always kept the apartment clean, tidy, and in proper condition. For the entire period that Ms. Hopkins has been my tenant, her conduct has always been exceptional, and I must commend her for that.
The last section of your reference letter from the landlord should reiterate why you feel your former tenant is the ideal candidate for renting the specific property. Express your confidence in the tenant’s ability to maintain a clean and safe living environment for themselves and their neighbors, a quality that most landlords often look for when selecting prospective tenants. Afterward, provide your contact information in the form of a reliable email address or mobile phone number.
I am happy that Ms. Hopkins chose to rent from me for all these years, and I have no uncertainties about recommending her as a responsible, reliable tenant to any prospective landlord looking for someone to rent out their residential property. If you need further clarifications or you have any questions for me regarding Ms. Hopkins’ suitability as a tenant, kindly contact me at (234)555-5555.
Lastly, include a formal sign-off or complimentary close such as sincerely, yours honestly, regards, etc., then write your name and provide your signature.
Landlord Reference Letter Template
[Sender’s contact information]
Dear [recipient’s title and last name]
I am writing to recommend [Applicant’s name] as a tenant for your property. [Applicant’s name] has been a tenant of mine since [date].
I have known [Applicant’s name] for over three years, and during that time, I have observed him to be an excellent tenant. [Applicant’s name] has always paid his monthly rent in full and on time and is generally responsible for the house. He takes great pride in his rental home and regularly takes good care of it, mowing the lawn, weeding the garden, and keeping the house clean. Besides, [Applicant’s name] is a quiet person and doesn’t make any unnecessary noise within the rental premises.
I would highly recommend [Applicant’s name] as a tenant, and I hope that this recommendation will help you make your decision in his favor. Kindly feel free to contact me at [provide your contact information] if you have any questions or need further information. Thank you for your time, and I wish you all the best.
Landlord Reference Letter Sample
1682 Shady Avenue, Prospect, AK 99801
April 14, 2022
To Whom It May Concern,
I’m writing this landlord reference letter to recommend my former tenant, Mr. George Brown. Mr. Brown rented an apartment from me between January 1, 2020, and January 1, 2022, for a monthly rent of $1,500. My residential property is 1682 Shady Avenue, Prospect, AK 99801.
Mr. Brown is an excellent tenant. For the two years that Mr. Brown was living in my apartment, he always paid his rent in full and on time, and he kept the apartment clean and tidy at all times. In addition, he broke no lease terms and never violated any provisions of my property’s tenancy agreement, including the strictest “No pets allowed” policy. Mr. Brown also behaved well within the property, respecting all his neighbors and the property itself. Finally, I must add that there were no reported complaints of conduct that was unlawful or inappropriate during Mr. Brown’s time as a tenant on my property.
I highly recommend Mr. Brown as a responsible and reliable tenant to any prospective landlord looking to rent out their rental units for these many reasons. If you need more information regarding Mr. Brown’s qualifications as a tenant, don’t hesitate to contact me via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org or my mobile phone number at 9780023456.
Given below are landlord reference letter templates:
What Should Be Avoided in a Landlord Reference Letter?
While writing a reference letter from a landlord, there are certain things that you should avoid mentioning or including in the letter. This includes mentioning any personal facts about the renter that could violate any Fair Housing Laws established within your local state.
For example, it is recommended that you do not include any information related to the tenant’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, familial status, disability, nationality, or any other protected categories. Another thing to avoid while writing such a letter is any information that may be deemed as confidential information, such as the renter’s income and tax status or previous eviction history.
Finally, it would be best if you don’t make any false statements about the tenant in your landlord reference letter. To ensure you comply with the Local and National Housing Laws, consider having an attorney review your reference letter from the landlord before sending it out.
To ensure your landlord reference letter is effective and able to add value to your former tenant’s rental application process, consider the following essential reference letter writing tips:
Honesty is the most important thing when writing a letter of recommendation or landlord reference letter. You should not deliberately hide any information or present false information knowing that it may lead to the denial of your former tenant’s application. Instead, you should provide a reference letter that is honest and truthful, outlining all the positive and negative aspects of your former tenant’s tenure so that you can help the property owner make a more informed decision.
Check for typos
Before sending out your landlord reference letter, you should always go over it for any spelling or structural errors and ensure it is error-free. After proofreading your letter, ask someone else to check it for typos. This will help you to identify any mistakes that can prevent your former tenant’s rental application process from being successful.
Only add relevant information
One of the main reasons for writing a landlord reference letter is to provide the prospective landlord with information about your former tenant, including their qualifications and character as a tenant. Avoid including irrelevant information that might look extra to the property owner and focus only on information related to the applicant’s rental history and reliability.
- A landlord reference letter is an important document that plays a significant role in helping your former tenant secure the rental unit they are looking for.
- The reference letter provides a first-hand account of your former tenant’s character and their relationship with you as their landlord. It also covers the tenant’s pertinent rental information, including the building they rented, the property’s address, length of lease, monthly rent payments, etc.
- A good reference letter from a landlord should be factual and provide the prospective property owner with valuable information about the tenant that can help them decide on the applicant’s rental application.
- All landlord reference letters should be written following the standard business letter format, include only the most essential information, and be free of grammatical or spelling mistakes. Most importantly, you should make sure that the letter does not include personal facts about the tenant that could be deemed violating any of the rules established in the Fair Housing Act.