How to Write a Landlord Reference

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A landlord reference is written by a landlord for his tenant, so the tenant can use it when looking to rent out another home or apartment. A landlord reference is important in this regard, as the tenant can use it to prove that s/he is a reliable person, who had a cordial relationship with her/his past landlord. When tenants are preparing to move out of a house or apartment that they had been renting, they ask their landlord for a reference which can serve as proof of good tenancy. If you are a landlord whose tenant has requested a reference, you will need to compose one which focuses on the qualities which make your tenant a trustworthy and responsible individual, e.g. timely payment of rent. However, if you do not feel you can write a favorable reference for your tenant, you might want to request her/him to get it done from someone else.

  • Start by gathering all the facts about your tenant, like her/his legal name, the exact dates when s/he occupied the house and then vacated it, and the details of the house or apartment that s/he rented from you. This way you will be able to make sure that the facts you mention in your reference are accurate.
  • Browse through the tenant’s file, to gain a general idea about the tenant. Did s/he pay the rent on time? Was s/he neighborly and respectful, or did you hear a lot of complaints about her/his rudeness or noisiness. You can also note whether the tenant has pets, and if these pets are well-behaved and quiet, or aggressive and out of control.
  • Inspect the property that you had rented out to the tenant, to gain an idea about its condition. Is the house or apartment neat and orderly, or has the tenant completely trashed it? Have the appliances been kept in order, or are they broken and in desperate need of repair? A clean, and well-maintained house/apartment is bound to drive you to write a favorable reference.
  • Begin the landlord reference in a formal manner – “To whom it may concern” is a good way to start, since you do not have any specifications about who exactly you are writing for.
  • Move on to the introductory paragraph, in which you can outline details like the tenant’s name, the unit s/he rented from you, and the occupancy dates.
  • As you move into the body of the reference, the next paragraph should discuss the tenant’s payment patterns and behavior. Mention whether the tenant paid his rent on time, and if he/she was ever late with payments.
  • In the next paragraph, you may discuss the character and general behavior of the tenant as far as the rented unit is concerned – mention the condition in which s/he maintained the unit.
  • Clarify the reason behind why the tenant is leaving your property, and clearly state that s/he is not being evicted. Comment on the tenant’s overall behavior and assert that you would gladly rent her/him again, if given the chance.
  • Finally, conclude by requesting the reader to contact you should any need arise, provide your contact details, and sign the letter.
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