How to Write a Rental Reference Letter

Tenants depend on rental references from landlords to get approved for a new lease. These letters, by themselves or in combination with a credit check, vouch for the tenant's payment record, cleanliness, ability to get along with other neighbours and ability to follow the rules set forth by the landlord or the apartment complex. The rental reference letter also vouches for the tenant's pets and children, which can be a very important factor in the property owner's decision to rent to your former tenants.

Load a piece of apartment or business letterhead, if you have it, into the printer. If not, type the name of the management property and the address on separate lines. Skip a line and type the date.

Create a general salutation by typing "Dear Sir or Madam" followed by a colon. There is no need to personalise the letter unless the tenant asks you to because he will take this letter with him for all future rentals.

Begin the letter by identifying the purpose of the letter. Name the tenants as well as the children and pets, and introduce yourself and your property management company, if you have one.

State how long the tenants have lived at your property and what their monthly rent was, as well as if they have ever been late on the rent. If they were late but they paid without having to be threatened with an eviction, mention this and how many times it occurred.

Provide detail on what sort of tenants they were. For example, were they the subject of any complaints from the neighbours? Did they keep the property clean and well-maintained? Were they demanding or contentious with the property staff? All of this information is important for the next property manager to know as she makes her decision whether or not to rent to your former tenants.

Explain the security deposit amount and whether you will give or gave that back to the tenants. If you did not give it back, provide detail about what was damaged or if the deposit was nonrefundable.

Provide a final evaluation, such as whether you would rent to the tenants again if you were given the chance. Give your telephone number, e-mail or any other contact information not provided in the letterhead.

Create the closing by typing "Sincerely," skipping three line spaces and typing your name and title. Print the letter and sign your name above your typed name.

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About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.

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