Posted in Blog  
  on Aug 18, 2014

How to Write a Reference Letter for a Tenant

When a tenant decides to move out of your rental property and they are applying to another landlord or rental agency, they'll likely need to provide your information during the application process. You can make that process a lot easier for your tenant and yourself by providing them with a letter that states their history, what kind of tenant they were, and other vital pieces of information that a future landlord would want to know. This way you can either have the tenant present this letter during the application process or have it ready to print when you get a phone call requesting a reference.



What Should Be Included On a Reference Letter?


Future landlords want to know about the experiences you had while the tenant in question was renting a home or apartment from you. Some of the informational basics are pretty common, such as the size of the family, the amount of pets that were living on the property, and how reliable they were in paying rent. If a tenant was always on time with their rent, then this would be something to include in the reference letter, especially if this was over an extended period of time.

The inclusion of pets and children may be necessary because some homes have HOA laws that must be followed which would forbid inclusion of one or the other. Although it sounds odd, almost all anti-discrimination laws do not apply to children. A landlord can prevent a tenant from living on their property if the family has children, although if accepted, this acceptance cannot be changed just because children live there.

Information about any damages or letters that you had to write, including a notice to pay or quit, would also be beneficial on this reference letter. Although the tenant reference letter is generally seen as a good thing, future landlords want the whole picture to make an informed decision. If your tenant struggled to maintain a healthy environment or had numerous noise complaints that should probably be noted.



What Else Should Be Included In the Reference Letter?


One of the most commonly overlooked items in the tenant reference letter is your own contact information. Future landlords might have questions for you that they'd like to have answered and they need to contact you in order to do so. Relying on the tenant to provide this information may make the application process go longer for the other agency and making life easier for everyone is a mutually beneficial process.

Any awards, commendations, or upgrades that a tenant may have earned or been willing to install on their own should also be included with the tenant reference letter. This will show a future landlord how much work a potential tenant is willing to put into the property to maintain it, improve it, and/or return it to its previous condition when they have completed renting it.

With a good tenant reference letter, everyone will save time during the application process for a new place to live and saved time means saved money. Use these tips to craft your own letters and you'll see for yourself how easy it is... and how much you can increase your reputation just by providing one.

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