7 Tips for Writing a Rental Reference Letter
RSSS

letter writingA tenant may ask you to write a rental reference letter in order to help them rent another place down the road. Writing a rental reference letter doesn’t take much time, but some landlords may get confused about what to say.

As a Chico landlord, you appreciate an honest and thorough rental reference on prospective tenants, but are you extending the same professional courtesy to your former tenant’s new landlord? When a tenant requests a rental reference letter, deliver the information honestly and succinctly.

Writing a rental reference letter doesn’t have to take a long time, especially if you have your tenant’s file in front of you for reference. Keep the file by your computer, and follow these 7 steps to writing a rental reference letter:

1. Put the date at the top of the letter, and then address the letter “To whom it may concern.”

2. Provide the tenancy information by including the tenant’s full name, the address of the rental property and the dates of occupancy.

3. Share whether or not the tenant paid rent on time, and if there were any instances of late rent, you can note how the issue was resolved.

4. Reveal the care and condition of the property while the tenant lived there and use several accurate descriptive words.

5. Give information about the tenant’s behavior and interactions with you and with other tenants.

6. Summarize the landlord/tenant relationship by stating whether you would rent to the tenant again, if given the opportunity.

7. Provide your contact information and invite the reader to contact you with any questions.

 

A rental reference letter should only relate the facts as they relate to the tenancy—never about personal feelings. You should never go overboard in revealing any personal information about the tenant either, such as gossip or stereotypes. The reference letter should be factual and end with a simple endorsement. When the future landlord has the chance to evaluate all the facts, he or she can make the call on whether to rent to the tenant or not.

 

Rental Reference Letter Sample

Sometimes it’s easiest to see what a rental reference letter should include by an example:

 

July 15, 2011

To whom it may concern,

I have been asked to write a rental reference letter on behalf of John Doe, who rented an apartment from me at 2202 Orange Street from June 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

During the 1-year lease, John always paid the rent on time except for once, when he contacted me in advance about a family emergency and made arrangements to pay in full by the 15th of the month plus late fees. He fulfilled that agreement.

John kept the apartment in good condition and always alerted me to any maintenance issues in a timely manner. At the move-out inspection, there were only 2 very minor charges for damages. I have no complaints about him on file from other residents and found him to be a quiet and respectful tenant.

If given the opportunity, I would definitely rent to John again. Please contact me with any questions about his tenancy at 777-8888.

Sincerely,

Ms. Landlord

 

Remember that it is not your responsibility to share every detail of your tenant’s file with the world. Instead, let the facts speak for themselves and do your duty as a landlord in creating a simple, informational letter for your tenant to use.