Sample Landlord Reference Letters for a Tenant

A landlord reference letter is a formal document that verifies a current or ex-tenant tenancy history and information.

Potential landlords request the letter to confirm whether the tenant lived within the premises at a specified time and if they fulfilled the lease accordingly. This may include verifying the tenant’s ability to meet financial obligations and abide by leasing guidelines. Ordinarily, the letter’s components include the lease period, payment history, landlord-tenant relationship, tenant’s respect for lease terms, etc. The letter is alternatively referred to as a recommendation letter from a landlord.

The letter involves different parties, including the following:

  • The current or former landlord/property manager who writes the letter
  • The tenant being recommended
  • The party that requests the letter who can be a potential landlord or property manager  

The letter verifies the accuracy of the information on the tenant’s application. An honest recommendation also certifies the landlord’s professionalism and credibility and strengthens the relationship with former renters, thus creating opportunities for future referrals and business. 

Free Templates

Free Landlord Reference Letter Template Example
Printable Landlord Reference Letter Format Sample
Editable Landlord Reference Letter Template in Word
Sample Landlord Reference Letter Format
Landlord Reference Letter Template for Free
Printable Landlord Reference Letter Example
Editable Landlord Reference Letter in Word Format
Free Landlord Recommendation Letter Sample
Landlord Reference Letter Template Layout
Word Format Landlord Reference Letter Example

    What is a Landlord Reference Letter Template?

    A template for writing a reference letter from a landlord is a fillable document designed with sections for you to record all the information needed to validate tenancy. Such information includes the tenant’s identification details, premises’ address, tenancy period, rental amount, and payment history. The blank sections of the template are organized in a way to make the information comprehensive. 

    A template is meant to reduce the time needed to create professional and complete reference letters for your tenants. It is fillable and predesigned with the right format and structure to ensure you do not unintentionally omit key information which could negatively impact the tenant’s application. You can then fill it out and create a comprehensive and professional letter within a short time, especially when you have to write letters for multiple tenants. 

    This article educates you on how to utilize templates to write professional and quality reference letters for your tenants. Also, it highlights all the key sections of a suitable document to help you understand what information to include. It also discusses how such templates can be personalized via tools such as MS Word to incorporate any specific information requested by different prospective landlords. Free downloadable templates have also been provided for readers to utilize. 

    What Should You Do When Your Tenant Requests a Landlord Reference Letter 

    Tenants may request you to write a recommendation for different reasons, such as lease applications. So, it is important to understand the steps to take once a renter asks you to craft a reference letter on their behalf.

    These steps include the following:

    Step 1: Verify the tenant’s request

    First, get clarification of why the recommendation is needed. You can do so by outlining your questions regarding the request and contacting the tenant to get answers. This way, you can verify the legitimacy of the request before proceeding with the reference letter. 

    Step 2: Review your records

    Secondly, review your records and identify information that would be important to the requestor. This may include the lease agreement, notices, receipts, emails, and other correspondence shared with the tenant during their tenancy. These documents should be your reference materials for writing an informative letter.

    Step 3: Collect the necessary information 

    Then, gather information from your records and experiences with the tenant. This may include the tenant’s payment history, lease dates, condition in which they left the property, complaints from other tenants, any violations they made, experiences with the renter, etc.

    Also, review their /characteristic features//qualities, such as friendliness, cleanliness, and commitment to honoring the lease. This information forms the basis of the reference letter. Then, confirm the tenant’s current contact information should the requestor want to follow up.

    Step 4: Draft the reference letter

    Next, share the collected information through the letter. Prioritize any specific information requested by the recipient. Use a professional tone and format throughout the letter. Also, focus on the positive experiences for worthy tenants. If there were major issues with the tenant during the lease period, you could highlight them without using an accusatory tone or demeaning the renter. A good reference letter from a landlord should be accurate and truthful. 

    Step 5: Provide a copy of the letter to the tenant

    After writing the letter, you should issue a copy to the tenant for review to let them determine the information you have included and confirm whether it is accurate. This way, they can request a revision if they contest any misrepresented details. 

    Key Elements of a Landlord Reference Letter Template

    The letter should be brief and to the point. Therefore, you should be selective of the information you include. Templates will typically guide you on the key elements of a standard reference letter from a landlord. However, the information included may vary depending on the case at hand and the request from the prospective landlord.


    The first section of a template for a reference letter from a landlord is meant to introduce you and the tenant in question. In the introduction, you are required to indicate your name, the tenant’s name, and the property address. This information clarifies the author of the letter and the tenant being recommended. 


    I am James Soyer, the landlord of Hillview Apartments at 55 Green Park Avenue, Milwaukee County, AL. I am writing this recommendation on behalf of Richard Craig. 

    Rental history

    The rental section should document the renter’s dates of tenancy, rent amount, and type of premises. This information is needed to confirm details regarding the lease or rental agreement.


    Mr. Craig rented a 2 Bedroom Villa at Hillview Apartments from May 20, 2020, to Dec 31, 2021. He occupied the premises for a rent amount of $2300 per month. 

    pro tip

    Ensure not to include confidential or irrelevant information in the letter that may not align with the request for reference. If any sensitive information is to be disclosed, you should seek consent from the tenant. 

    Payment history

    The next section of the template should include the tenant’s rent payment habits. This section should discuss whether they paid their rent on time, any late payment cases, and payment issues that may have occurred during their tenancy. This information assesses the tenant’s ability to meet their financial obligations. 


    Mr. Craig was a reliable tenant who paid his monthly rent on time. However, there were two instances where payments were delayed in 2020. The issue was resolved in time, as it was established that the reasons were not of their own doing. 

    Tenancy dates

    A suitable template will prompt you to specify the duration of your tenant’s tenancy. This can be given in days, months, or years as applicable. You can indicate the start and end dates to offer further clarity. Potential landlords use this information to evaluate the tenant’s commitment to long-term leases or their preferred type of lease. 


    He resided at the mentioned premises for a combined duration of 18 months, from May 7, 2020, to August 10, 2021. He was committed to renting the house longer but had to move for work-related reasons. 

    Lease violation

    The lease violation space is used to document whether the tenant violated any lease terms or house policies, such as pet or noise policies. In this section of the template, you should be as honest as possible to avoid recommending unsuitable tenants, which can damage your credibility and reputation.  


    On June 2020, Craig had a noise violation for hosting a loud late-night party without informing management and disturbing other tenants. Other than that, he has been a compliant tenant.  

    Tenant’s conduct and behavior

    In a template for a reference letter, you should also highlight the tenant’s behavior and interactions with neighbors. This is because most landlords aim to protect their tenant’s peace before accepting new tenants. You can discuss the tenant’s cleanliness, friendliness, sense of community, adherence to house laws, and other qualities in this section of the template.


    He was a friendly neighbor and was praised by other tenants for his adherence to and enforcement of house regulations. Additionally, he was a trustworthy and reliable tenant throughout his tenancy. 


    It is advisable to include a disclaimer in the recommendation letter that exempts you from liability should any damage or losses be incurred from using the letter. Also, include an indemnification clause that obliges the tenant to protect you against any claims resulting from using the letter. 


    The conclusion section of the template is meant to summarize the key information discussed in the recommendation. Use this space to give final remarks and a statement of recommendation as their former landlord. Also, include your contact information to facilitate any communication with the requestor should they have any concerns or queries. 


    Richard Craig can be trusted to comply with lease terms and house guidelines. He met his contractual obligations, and I recommend him as a suitable tenant. If you would like clarification on any other queries, please get in touch with me via (222) 5555-008 or   


    You should not discuss certain things in the reference letter based on federal or state laws. Fundamentally, do not include any information that violates the Fair Housing Act. Also, you should not include false information, confidential personal information, and discriminatory statements in regard to ethnicity, race, gender, or disability. Also, omit any claims made by the tenant in regard to the habitability of the rented premises.    

    You can use tools like MS Word to customize a template to incorporate any additional information requested. Word has a wide range of formatting tools you can utilize to make the template more professional-looking. Free templates are available online for your convenience. Also, you can review samples to understand how to structure the reference letter to make it more effective. 

    This infographic is about components of landlord reference letter.
    This infographic is about components of landlord reference letter.

    Sample Landlord Reference Letter

    John Doe

    1234 Main Street

    Anytown, USA 12345

    May 3, 2023

    Jane Smith

    5678 Elm Street

    Anytown, USA 12345

    Dear Jane,

    I am writing to recommend my former tenant, Sarah Johnson, to you as a potential tenant. Sarah lived at my rental property located at 4321 Maple Avenue in Anytown from January 2019 to March 2023.

    During Sarah’s tenancy, she consistently paid her rent on time and took good care of the property. She was always respectful of the property and its rules and regulations. Sarah reported any maintenance issues promptly and took good care of the property. She left the property in great condition at the end of her lease.

    I recommend Sarah to you as a trustworthy, reliable tenant who will take care of your property. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.


    John Doe

    How to Use a Template for Landlord Reference Letter

    A good template is helpful when writing a recommendation letter; however, you must also understand how to use it appropriately. You can adopt the following tips to ensure you maximize the benefits of using a template:

    • Go through multiple templates, and identify the difference in format and layout before settling on one for the recommendation letter. Select a template that meets your specific design and writing needs, is customizable, easy to use, and compliant. 
    • After selecting a template, modify the content to suit the specific information requested by the recipient. Templates are made to suit generic letters. Customization aligns the template to each case.
    • Be honest throughout the letter. Incorrect or inaccurate information may harm the tenant’s application and your credibility. 
    • Use a formal tone and language throughout the reference letter to convey information. Avoid using informal phrases or wording and fonts. Additionally, the letter should be free of any grammatical or spelling errors.  

    Final Words 

    A landlord reference letter can be a valuable asset for a tenant seeking to secure new tenancy, provided it is written appropriately. The letter is meant to inform the potential landlord of a tenant’s tenancy history, rent payment habits and conduct as a renter. It is a formal correspondence that must also comply with the Fair Housing Act. 

    Using a template can help you create a well-structured and organized letter with blank spaces to include the relevant information. However, it is crucial to customize the template to suit the specific tenant and application and to provide accurate and honest information. In conclusion, a well-written landlord reference letter can greatly benefit a tenant, and using a template can simplify the process while ensuring compliance with legal requirements.

    About This Article

    Justin W. Heeg
    Authored by:
    Contract Specialist, Business & Real Estate Attorney
    Justin W. Heeg, Esq., founder of Heeg Law PLLC, brings extensive expertise in legal contract writing, with a special focus on real estate, complemented by a strong foundation in trusts and wills. Previously a prominent figure at Dwight Capital, a premier U.S. commercial real estate lender, Justin played a pivotal role in shaping their mortgage REIT strategy and overseeing legal compliance. His tenure at the esteemed law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP saw him facilitating significant real estate transactions, advising top-tier lenders, and equity firms. With his rich legal background, Justin stands as a trusted expert in both business and real estate law.

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