Looking to rent in a tight, competitive market or even a specific apartment community? A renter cover letter may not be required, but it could set you apart from the other potential candidates, increasing the odds that you'll be the one signing that coveted lease.
Approaching the rental process as though you were vying for a coveted job — with a renter cover letter and resume — will leave a lasting positive impression.
Much like the cover letter you'd send to a potential employer, a renter cover letter should showcase your best attributes for the landlord or property management company and let the decision makers know you're the best choice among those presented, showcasing your professionalism and responsibility, two qualities landlords prize among tenants.
Property managers have a vested interest in choosing the most qualified applicants for their rental units, increasing the odds that the community rules will be adhered to, that the apartments will be well taken care of and that rent will be paid on time.
The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of things such as race, religion, gender, disability, national origin and sexual orientation. However, they will pore over other criteria, including credit and employment history and the references they furnish, to make their decisions.
If you have great credit and have been steadily employed, include it in your cover letter, along with things such as positive rental history. Tell them who you are, but also who you aren't. For example, if you're applying with two other college students, you might be seen as irresponsible, inconsiderate or loud. Let them know — if it's true — that you're study-centric, not the type of people who would throw wild parties or play loud music. Showcasing hobbies that lend themselves to such traits like reading, gardening or volunteering for a local organization won't hurt, either.
Check out the below template as a baseline for your own renter cover letter, a foundation on which you can build. Simply fill in the information for sections in parentheses ( ), while the section in brackets [ ] is for your information, not to be included in the letter.
(City, State Zip)
(Landlord or Property Manager Name)
(City, State Zip)
Dear (Name of landlord or property manager),
My name is (Your name) and I have a keen interest in renting the apartment you have available at (Property name or address).
I currently live at (Your current address) and have lived there for (XX) years. I am looking for a new place to live because (reason for moving: closer to home, closer to family, downsizing, etc.). I find your (apartment community/available unit/rental home) particularly appealing because (list specifically why you want to live in this property).[The next two paragraphs apply only for potential tenants who will be utilizing an assistance program; omit if not applicable.]
While my current monthly income is $(X,XXX), I have been approved for rental assistance through the (name of your program). This program is funded by and administered by (organization funding the program). A brief fact sheet about the program is attached to this letter.
Per the plan, I will pay (XX percent) of my monthly adjusted income toward rent, enabling me to make rent, in full, each month with no problem. (Program name) pays the remainder of my rent each month.
I believe I'd be a wonderful addition to your rental community — and here's why. I am employed at (Your employer) and have been working there for (XX) years. In my free time, I (list some interests here and other things about yourself. For instance: play on the company softball team, coach your daughter's soccer team, volunteer at specific organizations and enjoy hiking and baking. My current neighbors will miss my banana bread when I make the move to your community!)
I am quiet and friendly, a good neighbor who always pays bills on time. Attached you will find my renter resume, along with several references from neighbors and co-workers, as well as staffers from my current rental community.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me at (Your phone number) or (Email address).
Thank you very much for considering my rental application. I look forward to hearing from you.
In addition to having all your paperwork in order, be sure to show up to view the rental property and furnish these documents on time and dressed appropriately. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or answer them. First impressions count! Good luck!