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According to a report published by IPropertyManagement, 44.1 million or 35.9% of US households rent their homes. That whopping number isn’t mentioned to scare you but to just make you realize how seriously you need to take your rental application. Finding a house on rent that suits your budget, needs, and preferences can be a little tough, especially if you’re looking for a house in an area that has very few rental vacancies.

If your eyes are on a good property, chances are that there might also be a couple of other people who are trying their luck for it. In this scenario, something that could make the process a little easier for you is a rental application letter. If you’re confused as to what exactly this letter is for or how to write a rental application letter, your confusion ends here. Just keep reading to know all about this letter, the tips and tricks to ace it, and a sample letter to guide you along the way.


Why Do You Need To Write A Rental Application Letter

Don’t confuse your rental application with your rental application letter (also referred to as rental cover letter). In simple terms, a rental application is a form that provides all the necessary information for a landlord or property owner to determine a potential tenant’s creditworthiness and the ability to pay their rent reliably.

A cover letter or your rental application letter is like an additional document to help you stand out from other potential applicants. While it isn’t mandatory to include a rental cover letter with your application, it’s surely an extra step you can take to show the landlord your keen interest in the property.

It may also leave a lasting impression with the landlord which becomes important in cities or neighborhoods that have fewer rental vacancies. Your rental application letter gives them additional context about who you are and why you’d be a suitable tenant.

What Criteria Do Landlords Look Out For

Your rental cover letter is one of the first ways through which a landlord gets to know about you in detail. A house is dear to all and so landlords will be on the lookout for trustworthy tenants that are financially stable and responsible. When landlords are sifting through a dozen applications, there are certain things they look for that help them decide who they should pick. These criteria can be listed as:

Rental History – They might want to have a look at where you have been staying previously and what your relationships were like with your previous landlords.

Credit History – Landlords ideally prefer people with a good credit score because it’s usually indicative of financial responsibility.

Income And Employment History – Getting rent on time is always among the top priorities for all landlords. So they would have a look at your past and current employment status as well as your current income to gauge your capability of paying the rent on time.

References And Background Check – It’s always better to add a reference letter from your previous landlord, if applicable, to assure your next potential landlord of how you’re a good and responsible tenant. Landlords might also be keen on conducting a background check, so including information about your employer would also make sense for your rental application letter.

Things To Include In Your Rental Application Letter

There are multiple people writing a rental application letter probably for the same property. If you want your letter to stand out and grab attention, you have to make sure to include all the important details. Just mentioning your name and showing interest in the property isn’t enough; there are also other essential things that you need to include information about. Here’s what you should definitely include in your rental application letter:

Introduce Yourself, Your Hobbies And Passions

A good introduction in your rental application letter will go a long way in determining the impression you form of yourself on the landlord’s mind.  Share a bit about your personality and humanize your letter. You can talk about your attractive qualities as a person and a tenant. Mention your hobbies in brief, things you’re passionate about, and how you like to spend your free time. This could be appealing to landlords as it gives a peek into how you’re as a person and how you’re likely to interact with other people in the neighborhood.

Talk About Your Employment History

Providing more information on your employment history is likely to help you show your landlord the financial stability and responsibility that you have. Because landlords are mainly on the lookout for people who have a steady income and can pay their rent on time each month, the information you provide about your employment can help gain their trust.

Mention Why You’re Moving To The Property

You have to show why you’re truly interested in renting that particular property through your rental application letter. If that’s the perfect home for you, let the landlord know why you think so. If you’re moving because of studies, job, family, or any other reason, you can briefly specify that too in your letter.

Showcase An Understanding Of A Good Tenant And Neighbor

The first preference of any landlord would ideally be a tenant who is not just a responsible person who pays their rent on time but also a good neighbor who can maintain cordial relations in the neighborhood. Your cover letter should reflect that you have an understanding of your obligations as a tenant and why you believe you would make a great fit for their property.

Attach Your Photo For A Personalized Touch

Though not necessary, adding your photo along with your rental application letter will make it more personalized. It will give the landlord a face to put to the name and might even make it easier for them to remember your application.

Sample Rental Application Letter

To give you a better idea of how to write a rental application letter, here’s an example of a sample letter. It would help you understand the format as well as all the things that you should ideally mention in your rental cover letter. You can use it as a guide for drafting your own letter.

(Your name)


(City, State ZIP Code)


Subject: (Your name) Renter Cover Letter for (Address or property name)

Dear (Landlord or property manager’s name),

My name is (Your name) and I am writing to you because I would formally like to apply for the rental property at (address). I am particularly interested in this place because (Reasons you want to rent there; for instance, it’s a bigger house, has a lot of nearby amenities, etc.).

I am currently living on rent at (current address) and I have been living here since (amount of time). But now I am eager to move because (Reason to move; for instance, proximity to workplace, school or college, easy commute, etc.).

I want to take some time to help you get to know me a little better and to show you why I am the best applicant for this vacancy.

  • (Talk in brief about your rental and employment history).
  • (A little about your hobbies, passion, interests, and who you are).
  • (Mention who all will be living with you).
  • (Note about how you’re a good neighbor and tenant). For instance, I am respectful of others’ privacy and have always had good relationships with my previous landlords. Although I enjoy socializing, I like my home to be a peaceful place.

Based on these facts listed above, I think you will find that I am a reliable and good tenant who will pay my rent on time and keep the apartment in mint condition.

Please feel free to reach out to my references or to me personally with any questions or concerns you may have. I am looking for a stable tenancy and hope you will consider my application favorably.

Thanks for your consideration,

(Your signature)

(Your name, typed)

(Your phone number)

(Your email address)


The real estate market isn’t so predictable at all times but one thing that’s always in demand is finding and securing a place to rent. With so many people always on the lookout for the best places to rent, it could be difficult for you to find the perfect place. But a rental application letter can definitely help you move a step closer to your new home.

A well-written letter should stand out from the competition and focus on getting the likes and attention of the potential landlord. Now that you know the tips and tricks of how to write a rental application letter, just put your focus on the right information and be a step ahead of other potential renters.



What To Say When Applying To Rent?

You should ideally include information about who you are and who you aren’t, as well as mention facts that describe your financial and rental responsibility. You should try putting yourself in the landlord’s shoes and think about the qualities that you would look out for in a potential tenant. Keep the application personalized but short and let it reflect genuine interest.

How Do You Convince Your Landlord To Rent?

The most important aspect for a landlord is to find a tenant that is able to pay their rent on time. For you to be able to convince your landlord to rent, you should have a good credit history, have enough cash in the bank that should reflect your financial stability. You have to let the landlord know in advance who would be living with you in the house including your pets, if there are any. Once you’re able to build a rapport with the landlord and convince them of your financial and rental responsibility, then it would be easier to convince them to rent.

What Makes A Great Tenant Letter?

Along with showcasing your financial independence and responsibility, you also have to be respectful in your tenant letter. Let your landlord know that you’ll be paying your bills on time, won’t cause any distress to your neighbors, and have had good relationships with your previous landlords as well. A great tenant letter would also include what you like about the property and why you want it on rent.

How Can I Convince My Landlord To Let Me Rent With Bad Credit?

Most landlords do run a credit check while leasing out their properties. If you have bad credit then you should start with a shorter lease so that you can prove to your landlord that you can pay your rent on time. You can also take help from a co-signer who has a good credit history and is ready to go on lease with you. Even if you have bad credit, if you have a history of being a responsible tenant and paying your bills on time, you can ask your previous landlords or your employer to write a letter of reference for you. Following these tips might help you convince your landlord to rent.

See also: What is the Best Time of the Year to Rent an Apartment