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How to Write a Rental Reference Letter from a Roommate (sample)

By: Sania Tran
March 23, 2019

If your current or former roommate asked you to write a rental reference letter for them and you aren’t sure where to start, worry not! We have you covered! Since you are a renter yourself, you likely know how important a rental reference letter from a roommate is for a successful apartment application. If you haven’t written one before, follow our tips and you’ll be done in no time!

What is a rental reference letter from a roommate

A rental reference letter from a roommate is a document written to a future landlord by a previous or current roommate of a prospective tenant. Its purpose is to confirm that an apartment applicant tenant is responsible, reliable, trustworthy and has a habit of paying rent on time.

How to write a rental reference letter for a roommate

  1. Stick to facts. As a current or former roommate of a potential tenant, you are in a position to provide valuable information about their rental history. It’s highly recommended to include information about dates of their tenancy, timeliness of rental payments, responsibility around household chores assigned to them etc.
  2. Keep concise and structured. No need to write an essay about your relationship as roommates. Keep your letter of recommendation short and use the following structure: your name and contact information, prospective landlord’s name and contact information, or “to whom it may concern”; greeting, introduction, body of the letter, conclusion, sign off, signature.
  3. Make it sound personal but not emotional. You want to sound unbiased, therefore, it would be a good idea to keep emotions out of your character reference. If they are the coolest person in the world, there is no need to mention it. Instead, speak to their personal qualities that make them a good tenant. And in case you are still annoyed that they didn’t take trash and recycling bins out that one time, but were otherwise very responsible and reliable, you might want to skip that part.
  4. Never lie.  Even if you are tempted to lie to help your friend out, don’t. One seemingly insignificant lie can destroy their chances of securing that apartment. Talk about things you know first-hand and are sure of. Additionally, be ready to elaborate or provide evidence to support your claims. If you aren’t sure about their outstanding obligations to their previous landlord, don’t mention them.
  5. Make sure to respond to emails and phone calls from potential landlords. This one is pretty straight-forward. If you mentioned your email address in your reference letter, make sure to check your emails. In fact, a prospective landlord might want to reach out to you to verify certain facts stated in your letter of recommendation.
  6. Use a template. To avoid spending too much time on your letter, use a template we created for previous and current roommates.

Rental reference letter from a roommate sample

Stephen Lee
(000) 000-0000
1 Cherry Blossom Ct
San Francisco CA

John Smith
2 Blueberry Ave
San Francisco, CA 94103

Re: Rental reference letter for Emily Tran

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to you with regards to Emily Tran and her credibility as a potential tenant at your rental property. I am Emily’s current roommate and have known her for the past three years.

This letter is written with the intention to confirm that Emily Tran is in good standing with her roommates and is a great tenant. Emily always makes her rental payments on time, performs household chores assigned to her, follows household rules and keeps our rental unit clean and tidy.

It is without hesitation that I write this recommendation letter for Emily. She continuously demonstrates responsibility and accountability. Additionally, she is trustworthy and honest, and possesses high levels of integrity and emotional intelligence. In fact, if any conflicts arise among other roommates, she always acts as a peacemakers. Emily easygoing and friendly.

Finally, I believe that the aforementioned qualities make Emily a responsible tenant, a good roommate and neighbor.

If you have any questions regarding my recommendation, please feel free to contact me via email provided above.

Stephen Lee

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