Landlords sometimes require potential tenants to provide a character reference as part of the background check and approval process before handing over the keys to a new rental home. They use these references to confirm that the potential tenant possess certain low-risk qualities that are ideal in a renter, such as stable employment and financial responsibility. If you've been asked to write a character reference letter for a friend, relax and follow a few simple guidelines to ensure you've included the information the landlord is looking for.
Begin the letter with a formal greeting and state the purpose in the opening line. For example, you may use a greeting such as "To Whom It May Concern" followed by verbiage such as "This letter confirms that I would highly recommend Jane Doe as a potential tenant for your property."
State the nature and length of your relationship with the potential tenant. For example, you may state, "I have worked with Jane in the financial services industry for 10 years and have gotten to know her very well during this tenure." It is critical that the landlord knows that you have had a long enough relationship with the potential tenant to be able to provide an accurate and credible reference.
Think about the qualities the potential tenant possesses that demonstrate she is reliable, stable and financially responsible and incorporate those traits into the letter. You could mention items such as job stability, a history of timely payments made to previous landlords or any volunteer efforts that may have been made within the community. These items give the potential landlord valid reasons to believe the potential tenant will not have any conflicts during his residency or, more importantly, a hard time collecting rent when it is due.
Reiterate the fact that you would personally recommend the potential tenant to the landlord in the closing sentence of the letter. This can be done simply by stating "In closing, I feel that Jane Doe would be a trustworthy and reliable tenant and am confident in making this recommendation to you. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide any additional information that may be helpful during this process."
Close the letter by legibly printing and signing your name. Include your personal contact information in the event that the landlord requires any further information.
Based in Virginia, Amanda Banach has been a writer since 2009. Her professional work experience includes roles in media advertising, financial services and human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in human resources management and is PHR-certified.