All You Need To Know About Rental Reference Letters (plus a downloadable template!)

Published 14th August 2022Updated 4th April 2023

Tenants writing rental reference letters

Getting the house of your dreams requires as much work as applying for a job – you need to be prepared to impress the landowner or the property manager. One of the best ways to make a solid impression and help secure a property is to have a great rental reference letter. 

Think of this as your CV, a character reference, or a letter of recommendation.

Remember, property owners and property managers will likely have a checklist of what qualities they would like in a tenant. This is where a reference letter comes in handy.

Who can write a reference letter for a rental?

There are a few people you can reach out to for a reference letter for rental, with the most reliable ones being your previous landlord, property manager or your employer.

Rental reference letter from your previous landlord

Who knows a tenant better than their landlords right? A rental reference for a tenant from a landlord or your previous property manager is ideal; especially as they can give specific feedback on how you treated their property, and how timely you were with payments.

Rental reference letter from an employer

The best thing about your employer or supervisor is that they know how reliable you are, and what your personality is. They’re solid for character references, and can put a landlord’s mind at ease by giving you the green light. 

A rental reference letter from them will also help your potential landlord assess whether you are trustworthy, and can be counted on to look after the property well, and pay your rent on time.

Rental reference letter from a friend

Honestly, having a personal reference isn’t the greatest idea; but that said, if you're new to the country and this is your only choice, it's your best bet. 

A rental reference from a friend in Australia can help reassure a landlord that you have contacts here who they can follow up with. Furthermore, the friend can also vouch for your character, and stand in for you.

How to write a rental reference letter

It's important to remember that your rental reference letter should show that you are financially stable enough to pay rent, and are reliable enough to be trusted with the property

Rental references follow a standard template and include details like: 

  • If you paid your rent on time
  • If payments were made on a monthly or weekly basis
  • Your relationship with the neighbours
  • Any complaints about you
  • Details on how you maintained the property

Rental Reference Letter Template

Here’s an example of what a rental reference letter template from your landlord could be like. Make sure to adjust it according to your specifications!

Download the template here

How can a first-time tenant get a rental property?

Considering how important rental references are, first time tenants can find themselves with a conundrum – how do I get a rental property with no rental history? It’s like applying for jobs when you’re straight out of school, except that the job requires work experience! 

A strong starting point is to have a guarantor, which can help you get on your feet. 

Another way to prove that you can indeed pay your rent on time is to highlight your income, and show proof of steady employment. This is necessary because your weekly salary should be at least over 30% of what your rent is

Overall, you just need to establish a sense of trust with your potential landlord or property manager. Pay slips, bank statements, and even other bills that work as proof of payments will help your case.

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for general informational purposes only. All information is provided in good faith; however, we do not account for specific situations, facts or circumstances. As such, we make no representation or warranty of any kind whatsoever, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information presented.

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