How to Write a Landlord Reference Letter: Templates and Advice

Your reference for referencing.

Tenant referencing is important. But it can be time-consuming. That’s where a landlord’s reference letter template comes in handy. 

If you’re a landlord, you want a tenant that’s dependable, responsible and looks after your property —  and landlord reference letters play a big part in this process.

If your tenant asks for a landlord reference letter, you’ll be helping them and other landlords by providing an honest and appropriate account of their tenancy. A positive letter will strengthen your tenant’s property application and give their potential landlord much-needed confidence.

In this guide, we share key tips on what (and what not) to include, as well as a helpful landlord reference letter template that you can use to write your own letter.

What is a reference letter for renting?

A reference letter from landlord to tenant is an important part of tenant referencing.

As a landlord, you might give this letter directly to the tenant (so they can pass it on themselves), or you might send this to their new landlord or estate agents directly. 

Whether you go landlord to tenant, or landlord to landlord, this letter should give an account of your tenant’s character and behaviour while living in your property.

Reference letters for renting are very similar to professional recommendation letters (for instance, from a previous employer or educational establishment).

Landlord reference letters should remain professional at all times and stick to information strictly related to the tenancy. It’s important to keep things clear, concise and to the point.

A good letter will give a clear indication of whether your tenant was responsible, paid their rent on time and kept the property in good condition. It should leave the new landlord in no doubt whether you’d recommend this individual as a potential tenant.

What is a reference letter from landlord to landlord?

A tenant will normally ask their landlord for a landlord reference letter before, or shortly after moving out of the property. While it’s normally the tenant that asks for this, it’s common practice to send this directly to a new landlord or estate agent.

So, a landlord-to-landlord reference letter is no different from a landlord-to-tenant letter. The only change is who you’re sending the letter to. Both should contain the same information.

Chances are, your tenant will only ask for a letter if you enjoyed a positive working relationship. If you experienced any problems though, you might feel more comfortable sending the letter directly to their new landlord or estate agents. This allows for complete honesty, without any fears about the tenant’s reaction.

How do I write a letter of recommendation for a tenant from a landlord?

Writing a letter of recommendation shouldn’t be time-consuming. Just think about what you’d like to know about prospective tenants.

For example, are they likely to pay their rent on time? Do they leave previous properties in good condition? Are they friendly and respectful neighbours? 

You get the picture…

What to include in a landlord reference letter

To write a landlord reference letter, here are some questions to consider:

  • Did your tenant always pay their rent on time?
  • Was the tenant clean and tidy? Did they look after your property (and garden)?
  • Did you receive any noise complaints about your tenant?
  • Was your tenant respectful and easy to deal with?
  • Did you have to make any insurance claims or take any legal action against your tenant?
  • Does your tenant have pets? If so, were there any issues?

As well as information related to your tenant’s character and behaviour, you should also include some basic factual information. 

State when and for how long your tenant rented from you, as well as your contact information. This contact information is vital, as it helps new landlords follow up on the reference letter and check you’re a real landlord (as opposed to a fake reference).

What not to include in a landlord reference letter

As well as things to include, it’s equally important to know what you shouldn’t discuss in a landlord reference letter. Discrimination in housing is a serious issue, so avoid mentioning any personal facts about the tenant that could violate housing laws and the 2010 Equality Act.

It’s against the law to treat a tenant differently because of personal characteristics (for instance, race, disability or gender). For this reason, it’s best to stick to details purely related to their behaviour in your property.

As a rule, avoid any discussion related to:

  • Disability: including both physical and mental health.
  • Gender reassignment: avoid mentioning if someone has transitioned gender or is planning to transition.
  • Pregnancy: for instance, if someone is currently pregnant or has recently given birth.
  • Race: including colour, nationality, ethnic origin and family heritage.
  • Religion or belief: for example, belonging to an organised religion, having no religion, or religious practices such as praying at a certain time.
  • Sex and sexual orientation: whether someone is a man, woman or non-binary, as well as their sexual orientation (for instance, homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual).

What do you write in a landlord reference?

With a good idea of what to include (and what not to include in your letter), here’s an example landlord reference letter you can use as a template.

Of course, you’ll need to tailor this landlord reference letter template to your individual tenant’s character and situation. So we’ll take a look at a blank template as well as what a completed version could look like.

Blank Landlord Reference Letter Template 
[Landlord’s Full Name]
[Landlord’s Company or Business Name, if relevant]
[Landlord’s Address] 

[The New Landlord’s or Estate Agent’s Address, if known]


To whom it may concern, 

R.E.: [Tenant Name]: Landlord Reference Letter 

[Full Tenant Name] was my tenant from [Start Date of Tenancy] to [End Date of Tenancy], renting the following property: 

[Full Property Address]

I offer this reference letter in good faith, believing this to be a true account of my experiences with this tenancy. My relationship with the tenant is purely in a professional capacity, as their landlord. 

[Expand if you are linked to the tenant in any other way, for instance, via employment or family relationships.] 

During this time… 

Choose all that apply. 

Rental payments were [always paid on time, occasionally late, missed, or seriously in arrears].

During their tenancy, the tenant [responded promptly, failed to respond, responded late] to communications and requests for inspections. They were proactive [or otherwise] in informing me of any urgent maintenance issues.

The tenant’s care of the property was [excellent, characterised by minor problems, poor, causing serious damage to (specify as appropriate) or cleaning issues].

The tenant’s relationship with their neighbours was [positive or poor, specifying any complaints, as appropriate].

As a result, the tenant’s deposit [has been, or is due to be, returned in full, in part, or not at all].

On leaving the property, the tenant left on [good or poor] terms. I would [definitely let, or not let] to this tenant again. 

[Insert any additional comments you feel are relevant.] 

Yours sincerely, 
[Landlord’s Name]
[Business Name and Website, if relevant]
[Email Address and Phone Number]
An Example Landlord Reference Letter 
Using the template above, here’s an example landlord reference letter: 

Mr John Andrew Smith
First Class City Rentals
1 West Road
BirminghamB1 1AA 

FAO: Sandra Owen
Estate Agents
55 Baker Street

1 April 2023 

To whom it may concern, 

R.E.: Felicity Jones: Landlord Reference Letter 

Felicity Sophie Jones was my tenant from 10 January 2022 to 10 March 2023, renting the following property:

82 Kingfield Street
W5 2RB 

I offer this reference letter in good faith, believing this to be a true account of my experiences with this tenancy. My relationship with the tenant is purely in a professional capacity, as their landlord. 

During this time, rental payments were always paid on time. During their tenancy, the tenant always responded promptly and courteously to all communications and requests for inspections. In addition, they were proactive in informing me of any urgent maintenance issues. 

The tenant’s care of the property was excellent. They always kept the property (and garden) in good condition and cleanliness. The tenant’s relationship with their neighbours was also positive, and I received no complaints about noise or other problematic behaviour. The tenant’s deposit has already been returned in full. On leaving the property, the tenant left on very good terms, and I would have no hesitation renting to this tenant again. 

If you have any questions regarding this reference, please contact me via the details provided below. 

Yours sincerely, 
John Smith 
T: 07777 666 555

Are you a landlord looking to protect your property? With swift and efficient claims support and our best prices, discover Landlord’s Buildings and Contents Insurance with A-Plan. 

As well as buildings and contents, we can also arrange Legal Expenses Insurance and Rental Income Protection. So try us out and get a quote today.

Also read:
How Does Tenant Referencing Work? A Landlord’s Guide
What is a Landlord Insurance Policy? 
Explained: DSS Meaning in Housing