Susan Friedman
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If you're ready to rent an apartment but you have a bad credit history, no credit history at all or have gaps in employment due to any number of reasons, we have a proactive way to improve your chances of signing a lease.

A viable and workable solution is a letter of recommendation or reference. The same concept applies as if you'd be vying for a job and hope to better your chances by including references that can vouch for you. In this case, being honest about your current financial situation and offering recommendation or reference letters to the leasing office is a sign of good faith.

Writing a reference letter for a new apartment won't take much time. Ask that the individuals providing a reference for you deliver the information both honestly and succinctly. Target exactly who should provide a letter on your behalf.

Your previous apartment manager

It's best to turn to a previous landlord or leasing office where you lived and successfully paid your rent over the course of the lease. They may even have a form letter already in their files that they can use for situations just like this. If not, here is a sample letter they can use. Fill in the information for sections in parentheses ( ).

Download Word doc of sample letter from previous apartment manager

Download PDF of sample letter from previous apartment manager


(Name of Individual Providing the Recommendation)
(Their Street Address)
(Their City, State, Zip Code)

(Date)

(Potential Landlord Or Apartment Company's Name)
(Street Address)
(City, State, Zip Code)

Re: Tenant Recommendation Letter for (Your Name)

Dear (Name of landlord or leasing office manager),

I am writing to let you know that (Your Name) lived at (your previous place of residence) from (Date to date). (He or she) was an excellent tenant who was dependable and trustworthy. (He or she) paid her rent on time without fail for the entire length of (his or her) lease. We highly recommend (him or her) as a tenant in your complex.

If you have any questions regarding (Your Name) reliability as a potential tenant, I am available by (phone or email).

Sincerely,

(Name and Signature)
(Phone Number or Email Address)


Your employer

Ask your current employer or manager at your workplace if they would be willing to vouch for the fact that you have a job at a certain salary. This will communicate to the leasing office that you have the financial safety net of a job that provides you with the income and ability required to pay on a timely basis. Show proof of pay stubs to drive the point home.

Here is a sample letter they can use. Fill in the information for sections in parentheses ( ).

Download Word doc of sample letter from your employer

Download PDF of sample letter from your employer


(Name of Individual Providing the Recommendation)
(Their Street Address)
(Their City, State, Zip Code)

(Date)

(Potential Landlord Or Apartment Company's Name)
(Street Address)
(City, State, Zip Code)

Re: Tenant Recommendation Letter for (Your Name)

Dear (Name of landlord or leasing office manager),

I am writing to let you know that I have worked with (Your Name) for (length of time) at (Company name). (He or She) is a reliable individual who can be counted on for paying (his or her) monthly rent on time. (Your Name) will prove to be a great tenant for your complex.

As (his or her) manager, I can assure you of this fact because of (his or her) work ethic and can-do attitude throughout (his or her) employment.

If you have any questions regarding (Your Name) reliability as a potential tenant, I am available by (phone or email).

Sincerely,

(Name and Signature)
(Phone Number or Email Address)


Your friends or family

Request a written statement from friends and relatives who can act as character witnesses to provide supporting evidence of your ability to pay your rent and be dependable. If required, ask your closest friends or family member if they would co-sign the lease with you as an added assurance to the leasing office.

Here is a sample letter they can use. Fill in the information for sections in parentheses ( ), while the section in brackets [ ] is for your information, not to be included in the letter.

Download Word doc of sample letter from friends or family

Download PDF of sample letter from friends or family


(Name of Individual Providing the Recommendation)
(Their Street Address)
(Their City, State, Zip Code)

(Date)

(Potential Landlord Or Apartment Company's Name)
(Street Address)
(City, State, Zip Code)

Re: Tenant Recommendation Letter for (Your Name)

Dear (Name of landlord or leasing office manager),

I am writing to let you know that (Your Name) has been my friend for the last (number of years). [Alternative statement: (Your Name) is my sister, cousin, daughter, etc.] (He or she) is a person of integrity and character who you can depend on. (He or she) will make an excellent tenant and will pay (his or her) rent on time as agreed upon by the rental lease. [IF REQUIRED, add: I believe in her, and I will co-sign the lease on her behalf.]

If you have any questions regarding (Your Name) reliability as a potential tenant, I am available by (phone or email).

Sincerely,

(Name and Signature)
(Phone Number or Email Address)


By having these references, you're exhibiting people who trust you based on longevity of previous rental experience, friendship, family ties or work-related connections. It just might be what the leasing office needs to confirm and accept you as a new resident.

Now you're all set to get the letters written and hand them over to the leasing office manager at the new apartment complex. If sending by U.S. Mail, be sure to send the letter certified to ensure it gets to its destination and you have proof. If you're sending by email, be sure to get a receipt that indicates that the recipient has read the email.

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About The Author

Susan Friedman

Susan Friedman is a lifestyle journalist with a background that includes real estate, interior design, architecture and kitchen and bath design. The former senior editor of Florida Travel + Life magazine, Susan resides in sunny south Florida and loves exploring the next great place to live, local culture and neighborhoods with cool vibes. Whether it’s in her own backyard or beyond, she has the pulse on what’s trending now in apartment dwelling and more.

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