A landlord will usually receive requests from former tenants asking for reference letters to present to their prospective landlords. As a landlord, one will also ask the new tenants to provide reference documents from their previous landlords before leasing out to them. A former tenant may list the contacts of their previous landlord(s) in their rental application forms. A tenant’s new landlord may contact the previous landlord to inquire about the tenant’s rental history. The recommendation letter helps landlords to determine tenant’s financial stability and credit reports. The landlord recommendation letter should state the tenant’s ability to pay rent on time, take care of the property, conserve terms of the lease and observe community policies.
What is a Landlord Recommendation Letter?
A Landlord Recommendation Letter is a formal document written by a tenant’s former landlord to a prospective landlord.
It helps the new landlord in determining the reliability of the new tenant and their ability to abide by the agreed terms of the lease before leasing out to them. It validates that the new tenant is trustworthy, responsible, and financially stable. Landlord recommendation letters are meant to address certain aspects of tenancy and the landlord-tenant relationship. As a result, it is up to the landlord recommending the tenant to ensure that they capture information that is crucial in influencing the screening process of the prospective landlord.
Things to Consider Before Writing the Letter
Below are considerations one should take into account while writing the letter.
Speak the truth
It is crucial, to be honest when writing a landlord recommendation letter for a tenant. In order to give the prospective landlord an accurate depiction of the tenant, present them with truthful statements with proof like rent receipts, if any. Importantly be straightforward and honest.
When writing the landlord recommendation letter, be as specific as possible. State the instances clearly when the tenant broke the policies and describe exactly what happened.
Have the receipts
Any claims made in the landlord recommendation letter should have proof that they happened. If the interaction with the tenant was in written form, include that in the letter. And if it happened in person, clarify that over a written form.
Timelines of the rent payments
The tenant’s ability to pay rent on time or not is important information that helps the new landlord in making a better selection of whom to lease his property to. Frequent lateness in payment is an undesirable trait and signifies a tenant’s inability to pay rent.
Did the Tenant pay on Time?
Whether the tenant paid rent in time or not is important information to the new landlord in the selection of applicants. It will help the new landlord know if the tenant is a reliable source of income.
Condition of the property upon return
How the tenant handled the property leased to them is important to help the new landlord know if he is going to deal with a responsible tenant or not. If the property leased was left in good condition, if not better, or damaged beyond repair, it will help the new landlord know to whom they are entrusting their property.
Previous monthly rent
State it in the letter if the tenant cleared their previous month’s rent arrears or not. Clarify if any funds were agreed to be returned to the tenant at the end of the leasing period. Have it clear if they were refunded or not.
The former landlord needs to check through to see which lease policies were observed or not. If the tenant violated some of the lease policies during the lease period, state the incident in the letter and attach proof; for example, if the violation was documented during that period through a warning letter, attach it.
A tenant is responsible for cleaning all areas of the property leased to them and taking care of it. Include in the landlord recommendation letter the general cleanliness of the tenant report. If a notice to clean the premises rented was ever sent during the period of the lease. It is important to include all incidents the landlord had approached the tenant to clean up if any. Suppose the tenant rented in a shared environment; if there ever was a complaint from the other neighbors concerning the unmaintained environment, indicate it. The information provided in the recommendation letter should be honest.
Outline the tenant’s etiquette
when it comes to noise, parties, politeness, and social behaviors on the premises. If the tenant was disruptive, include it in the landlord recommendation letter. Indicate if he or she constantly caused noise complaints, if he is a social person and the relationship with other tenants. The letter can also state the kind of environment the tenant preferred.
Did the former tenant take care of the property?
How was the property handled during the entire period of the lease? Ensure that the letter captures this information. If the place was always kept tidy and clean, ensure that the letter captures this information truly. Clarify the condition of the property rented at the end of the leasing period.
Keep communications open
Include in the landlord recommendation letter contacts that the prospective landlord can reach you through for inquires if any arise.
How to Write a Landlord Recommendation Letter?
When crafting a landlord recommendation letter, it is important, to be honest about the former tenant and make it professional. The structure of the letter is important when it comes to crafting a professional landlord recommendation letter. A well-crafted landlord recommendation letter ought to have some basic components. Each of the components addresses a specific aspect of tenancy and/or formality. Below is a step-to-step guide on how to write a landlord recommendation letter for a tenant.
The letter should have a formal salutation to the prospective landlord. The name of the intended reader/recipient should be included. If the name is known, it should be used. However, if the name of the recipient was not provided, it can simply be addressed “To Whom It May Concern.”
Next, there should be an introduction to the recommendation letter. The introduction should present the following information; the tenant’s name, former landlord’s name, length of lease, monthly rent amount, and any late payments.
Afterward, the letter should go further and describe the experience the previous landlord had with the tenant. This is inclusive of information such as the tenant’s character and notable events. The former landlord will list down any examples that consist of relevant tenancy information. The information in the body will help the new landlord make a decision whether to assign a slot to the tenant. The body of the recommendation letter may consist of any number of paragraphs, one or more.
Lastly, the conclusion of the letter should be included. It contains a brief closing statement that outlines the recommender’s opinion on the tenant’s suitability.
Signing off is the last item on the letter. A formal complimentary close should be provided, followed by the date and contact information of the former landlord in case the new landlord needs to call to make inquiries.
Different Methods to Provide a Reference
Landlords will often request that recommendation letters be delivered in a way that is best convenient for them and their screening process. As a former landlord, there are different options to choose from. They include;
Tenants might include the contact information of their former landlords in their application forms. The former landlords might opt to contact the prospective landlord over the phone to ask for a verbal statement. Though a phone call is a less formal method, it is just as effective. It is easy and fast as all that is required is a phone number.
A former landlord might prefer a written statement and choose to send the reference letter through email. A written statement provides evidence to new landlords in case tenants want to contest it. It is proof of exactly what was said and can reduce misunderstanding compared to a phone call.
There are online platforms where landlords can submit and look up references for tenants. These platforms are databases where landlords can input recommendations for tenants and search recommendations for potential tenants. If a former landlord has uploaded a recommendation on these platforms, they can just request the potential landlord to get it from there if they came around seeking to find one. Recommendations submitted to these platforms have to be verified; it makes it fast for landlords.
Landlord Recommendation Letter Template
Name of the previous landlord]
To whom it may concern,
[Tenant Name] was a reliable tenant who paid his rent in time. No complaints were received from other tenants. During the rental period, [Tenant Name] always complied with all rules and terms outlined in the lease agreement; they always kept the property clean and tidy and his unit in good condition.
I am delighted to convey my recommendation for [Tenant Name] as a tenant and would gladly rent to them again. He/she was a friendly neighbor to other tenants, and his/her adherence to house policies was nothing short of remarkable.
In conclusion, I believe with the above information in mind; you will be able to select him/her in your selection process.
Kindly don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Following are some more free downloadable templates.
Landlord Recommendation Letter Sample
April 18th, 2018
To whom it may concern,
I’m providing this reference letter on behalf of Jonathan Ell at Apache Cozy from January 2nd, 2014, to December 25th, 2017.
Jonathan Ell was a reliable tenant who paid his rent in time I received no complaints against him from other tenants. During the rental period, Jonathan always complied with all rules and terms outlined in the lease agreement. He always kept the property clean and tidy and his unit in good condition. We refunded their security deposit in full.
I am pleased to recommend Jonathan Ell as a tenant and would gladly rent to them again. He was always friendly, conscious of other tenants, and continuously demonstrated responsibility and trustworthiness.
In conclusion, I believe that the above facts qualify her as a good tenant and neighbor.
Kindly don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which former property owner to select for getting a reference?
A landlord recommendation letter should come from a former landlord, but sometimes not just from any former landlord. A tenant should prioritize the landlord from which they have rented property for a longer time. This shows consistency which is desirable when a landlord is vetting new tenants.
What do landlords look for in prospective tenants?
Sometimes it is hard for a landlord to know what to look for when their property is ready for occupation. There are no specific qualities that a new landlord will look for from a prospective tenant, but there are some that may be prioritized. New landlords looking to lease out their property need to be sure that a tenant they are leasing to has a stable income source. This part is not a comfortable job to be carried out by a property owner. Landlord recommendation letters, in addition to background checks, are supplementary considerations when screening potential tenants. Tenants use the recommendation letters to strengthen their applications.