Tenants may need proof of their residence when they enroll in school, open a bank account or apply for a loan from a lending institution.
A rental verification letter will show the lender that the applicant has paid his or her rent on time for a specified period of time. A letter may also be required if a person applies to a state or federal assistance program.
It’s important that the letter give just the right amount of information, so it fulfills the tenant’s requirements, but doesn’t violate their privacy.
A landlord may be asked to give a verification letter as soon as possible because the tenant is in a hurry to submit his or her application. It’s an easy letter to write, and may be very short.
Many banks will not accept a letter from a landlord when a person is trying to prove residence, because these are easily forged and may contain false information.
The borrower needs to get a letter from a real estate agent or property manager because these are registered professionals.
However, if the person can prove their rental payments with bank statements, the bank may accept a letter from a landlord.
Here are some tips for landlords to follow when they need to write a verification letter:
• If the request comes from the tenant, there’s no problem. However, if the request comes from an outside agency, the landlord should verify the request to prevent identity theft by someone posing as a bank or other organization in order to get information on a tenant.
It is up to the landlord to make sure the requesting party is legitimate. This may mean looking up the requesting organization online and calling a number on the website or contacting the tenant to make sure the request is legitimate.
• The tenant should authorize the information being given by his or her landlord to the requesting organization.
• Landlords should make sure they have records of the tenant’s rent payments. These records should include the moving-in date, the amount of rent they paid and whether they paid on time. The letter should include the length of time the tenant has lived in the property and when the lease expires.
• If the landlord is a real estate company, the letter should be written on letterhead. It should be addressed to the proper person. The tenant will be able to give that information to the landlord.
It is not recommended to give a generic letter that could be used for any purpose. An unscrupulous tenant could use it to rent another property and skip out on the original lease agreement.
• The first sentence should explain who is writing the letter and why. It should also give the name of the tenant, so the purpose of the letter is clear. The writer may be a property manager or the owner of the property.
• The landlord can include, if applicable, a statement on the character of the tenant. For example, the landlord may say that the tenant was an exemplary tenant and kept the property in excellent condition.
• The letter should also include the landlord’s contact information if it is not in the letterhead. The landlord should invite queries about the tenant if required.
A rental verification letter is intended to prove residence for a person. It is not intended to be used as a complaint platform. If the landlord has any complaints about the tenant, the landlord should directly take that up with the tenant, so the problems can be resolved. If this isn’t possible, the landlord can consult a lawyer and take the tenant to small claims court.
Below are sample rental verification letters. It should be written in formal business style, as it will be used as a legal document providing proof of payments.
The landlord should show the letter to the tenant to make sure they approve of the contents before it is sent. It may be sent by certified mail, and the landlord should keep a copy.
Sample Rental Verification Letters
Address of Landlord
City, State, Zip Code
Name of Person Requesting the Verification Letter
Address of Above Person
City, State, Zip Code
RE: Rental Verification
Dear Name of Requesting Person:
This letter is formal verification that Name of Tenant has lived in my rental house [Address of Rental House] for the past three years. Name of Tenant moved in on DATE and has a lease that expires on DATE.
He pays $1,200 per month and has always paid on the required date. He is a good tenant, and I will be happy to renew the least when the time comes.
I can be reached at [Phone Number] or [Email Address] if you have any questions about the verification of Name of Tenant’s residence.
Signature of Landlord
Printed Name of Landlord
By Andre Bradley