Landlord Reference Letters: Guide and Examples

Landlord reference letters are essential documents in the rental application process, providing landlords with valuable insights into a tenant’s past behavior and suitability as a renter.

This guide aims to assist landlords in writing effective reference letters, emphasizing the importance of factual information and avoiding personal details related to protected classes.

By following this guide, landlords can ensure they provide accurate and concise references that aid in selecting qualified tenants.

Importance of Rental Application References

Rental application references play a crucial role in assessing a tenant’s payment regularity, treatment of the property, and potential for successful future tenancy. These references provide valuable insight for landlords, allowing them to make informed decisions about potential tenants.

A rental application personal reference is an essential tool for landlords to gauge a tenant’s reliability and financial responsibility. By speaking to past landlords or property managers, landlords can gain valuable information about a tenant’s payment history and any issues that may have arisen during their previous tenancy. This information can help landlords assess the tenant’s suitability for their property.

To streamline the process, landlords can use a statement template to gather necessary information and ensure consistency in evaluating rental application references. This template allows landlords to highlight the tenant’s on-time rental payments, behavior towards neighbors, and maintenance requests, ultimately aiding in their decision-making process for future tenancies.

Tips for Writing a Landlord Reference Letter

When writing a landlord reference letter, it is important to follow these tips to ensure a clear and professional letter that accurately represents the tenant’s suitability as a renter.

Start by introducing yourself as the landlord and stating the duration of the tenancy and the property rented.

Express overall satisfaction with the tenancy and describe the tenant’s regularity with rent payments.

If there were any lease violations or major issues, mention them honestly.

Indicate whether you would rent to the tenant again and include your contact information.

Keep the letter brief, honest, and to the point.

What NOT to Include in a Landlord Reference Letter

To ensure a professional and unbiased landlord reference letter, it is important to exclude any mention of federally protected or state-determined protected classes. This means avoiding any personal details related to race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, religion, age, ancestry, first language, citizenship status, veteran/military status, marital status, sexual preferences or identity, and source of income.

Landlords should focus solely on the tenant’s suitability as a renter and their behavior during the tenancy. Including any information related to these protected classes can lead to accusations of discrimination and potential legal consequences.

It is crucial to use language that is clear, concise, and devoid of personal opinions or judgments when describing lease violations or concerns.

Landlord Statement Template

The landlord statement template provides a structured format for landlords to communicate important details about a tenant’s rental history. It serves as a tool to effectively convey information to other landlords or property managers who may be considering renting to the same tenant in the future.

The template includes sections for the landlord’s name, rental property address, and role, as well as the tenant’s name and rental period. Landlords can highlight the tenant’s on-time rental payments, their behavior towards neighbors and handling of maintenance requests, and whether they would rent to the tenant again.

The template also allows for the inclusion of the landlord’s contact information and signature. By using this template, landlords can provide a concise and informative statement that helps prospective landlords make informed decisions. 

How to Describe Lease Violations or Concerns

To effectively communicate lease violations or concerns, it is important to provide a factual and objective description of any issues that arose during the tenant’s rental period.

When describing less satisfactory tenants, be honest and fair. Address late payment issues and how they were resolved. Mention conflicts with neighbors and how they were resolved.

If there were severe violations or disturbances, clearly communicate them, providing specific instances and any involvement of law enforcement. It is crucial to use factual language without personal opinions or judgments.


In conclusion, writing an effective landlord reference letter is crucial for landlords to make informed decisions about potential tenants. By following a standardized template and focusing on factual information, landlords can provide accurate and concise references that assist in selecting qualified renters.

It is important to avoid including personal details related to protected classes and instead focus on the tenant’s payment regularity, treatment of the property, and interactions with others.

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