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5 Tips For Writing A Rental Reference Letter

rental agreement tips

To get a rental property, tenants usually need to present rental reference letters. Your prior landlord or property manager can provide the reference for your prospective landlord.

Rental reference letters are also helpful for showing your reputation and commitment to adhering to a contract’s rules and legal requirements. For example, for a new job, presenting your rental reference letter will show your future employer your history of reliability.

How do you compose an impactful rental reference letter? Read this property talk article for your 5-step guide.

Writing A Rental Reference Letter

Below we have outlined some general guidelines for drafting a rental reference letter, including:

  • Use only facts and honesty
  • Using reference templates
  • Rental reference letter structure
  • Example rental reference letter

Stick to integrity

Limit the number of facts. The importance of always being honest can’t be overstated. It’s crucial to be prepared to support your statements in numerous reference letters – should you get a message or call asking you to provide further information.

When it concerns a rental reference letter, honesty is essential, if not imperative. The last thing you would like to do is give a prospective landlord a lousy impression by praising a problematic tenant. Having supporting documentation, such as receipts or rent-due warnings, is always preferable to support your claims.

Use reference letter templates.

A pre-existing online template for a landlord reference letter is acceptable, and it will present the structure so the appropriate information is provided within the letter.

Maintain a proper structure.

Usually, rental reference letters are structured as follows:

  • Date
  • Tenant’s name, phone number, email id, or address
  • Name and contact details of the referee
  • The proper addressee
  • Introduction
  • The document’s body
  • Conclusion
  • Signature

We discussed the letter’s format, but let’s now explain its most basic components:


Always provide the date of writing the letter at the beginning of the communication. A document that’s out of date will lack legitimacy.

Contact details

Tenants’ name is usually provided, but occasionally someone will also offer their email id or personal mobile number.

Include your referee’s name and contact details – i.e., previous landlord or property manager.


If you don’t have the prospective landlord’s name, a traditional “to whom it concerns” will suffice.


Here, a short outline of your identity will suffice; additional information will follow.


Tenancy details

This belongs in the document’s body. Provide the tenant’s complete name, the property’s location, and the months the tenant occupied the space.

Mention it if the renter made timely payments. Include any evidence indicating the tenant kept the property in good condition.

If the renter had pets, including details on how the pet was treated while residing on the premises, any nuisance calls, yard accidents, etc.

As we indicated earlier, adhere to the truth and avoid adding your opinion anywhere. Mention particular contract provisions and confirm that the renter complied with the conditions pertinent to local law and lease agreements.

Home maintenance and condition

This is important. Note how well the building was managed. Make a note of any repairs, if any. Note it down if the renters left everything in immaculate shape – by the conditions of the contract.

Remember that your statement must not contravene applicable fair housing regulations, most of which deal with prejudice.

Remember that even while complimenting someone, mentioning their ethnicity, gender identity, or other characteristics can unintentionally breach such legislation.

You might need to consider other protected groups when composing this document based on the local legislation in your area. Always request legal counsel to evaluate your document before distribution.

Tenant’s conduct

If the apartment or home had neighbors or anybody else residing there besides the renter, note whether there had been any conflicts or problems.

Never divulge any personal data about the renter; only state the facts.

Landlord-tenant relation

As was previously stated, keep the ending straightforward. Provide a statement on whether you’d rent to this tenant in the future again. Once the prospective landlord has had an opportunity to consider all the information, s/he can determine whether to rent.


Here, a straightforward sign or writing your initials will do.


Example landlord reference letter

It can be simpler to understand the contents of a rental recommendation letter using an illustration or a customizable starter format.

July 15, 2022,

To whom it may concern,

On behalf of William Myers, who rented my residence at 5182 Hickory Cir, Cypress, California(CA), 90630, from March 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, I was requested to provide this reference letter.

William consistently paid his rent promptly during the rental period, except for one occasion when he informed me beforehand of a personal problem and planned to settle his dues on the 10th of that month with late fines. He carried out his deal.

William maintained the flat in good shape and promptly let me know if there were any repair difficulties. There was only one minimal charge for damage during the move-out assessment. I regarded him as a pleasant and considerate rent. I don’t have any issues concerning him on record from other landlords.

I would rent to William again if the opportunity existed. If you have any inquiries concerning his tenancy, kindly call me at (213) 509-6995.

Mr. Charles Miller
(contact details)

Keep it brief

Nobody is interested in reading a 10-page thesis explaining why an owner should pick a renter. To discover a tenant, to begin with, they had to sift through hundreds of rental requests and perform background checks. You must keep your message brief, friendly, and direct.

Again, in a majority of cases, a written agreement replaces one that’s made verbally. To avoid anything going wrong down the road, it’s crucial to be factual while composing your rental letter of reference.

Be professional

When a letter of recommendation doesn’t seem competent, it’ll be overlooked. Stem to the truth and remain current to reaffirm what was said earlier. Consider you’re the recipient and then, draught the letter.

Inspect the fundamentals, like spelling and grammatical mistakes, as you would with any other writing you send. There’s always the option of having somebody else review it. When using a template, ensure you accurately complete all the fields rather than just the pre-written content.


Summing Up

Rental reference letters can make or break a future tenant’s chances of getting another rental property.  The reference letter can also be used whenever references are required, like for a new job.

The content of the rental reference letter must include the tenant’s details and how the tenancy agreement was met.  Remember that you’re not required to publicize every aspect of your tenant’s information.  Always adhere to your region’s privacy laws.

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