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How to Write a Job Application Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is essential when applying for jobs. This is the perfect way to express how your specific skills are relevant to the open position. Wow your future employer with this simple cover letter example format.

Write a First Draft

Writing a first draft makes your letter concise and professional, states The Balance Careers. Organize your thoughts by making a list of what you’re trying to convey. Make sure you prioritize certain aspects like your previous job experience and why you would be a good fit for the position. Clearly state what position you’re interested in and why. Think about why you’re applying and what caught your eye about this specific position. Your cover letter will be easier to write after your thoughts are collected and organized.

Customize Your Salutation

When writing a salutation, make sure you know who you are writing to. Is this person the owner of the company or a Human Resources administrator? If you’re not sure, research the company to find out. Addressing your cover letter to a specific person shows initiative and attention to detail. After your salutation, start your letter with a short introduction of yourself. This gives future employers insight into who you are and the purpose of your cover letter.

Write Intentionally

Your cover letter should be no more than one page, so keep your points brief. Clearly state what position you are interested in and why. Explain why you are a good fit for the company because of your past job experience. If you have no similar job experience, let the employer know why you are changing career paths. Expand on your skills and give specific examples of how that skill set helped you at your last position. Name projects you’ve worked on and show results.

Close Your Letter

End your cover letter with a brief sentence and sign off. Thank the employer for their time and express your interest towards the job again. Let them know you’ll follow up with them if you do not hear back within a week and leave your contact information. Sign off with a professional farewell and leave room for a signature if sending a hard copy.

Edit and Proofread

As you finish writing your cover letter, make sure you take time to edit and proofread your document. Make sure it’s structured in a professional format with the company’s information, the salutation and introduction, the body of the letter, a brief closing sentence and farewell. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes to ensure a formal result. Make sure all names are spelled correctly, as well.


how to write rental application cover letter

Rental Cover Letter: Sample Letter to Rent a House

rental cover letter to rent a house

Do you really need a cover letter to rent a house? It might not be technically required, but writing a rental cover letter can be an excellent way to set yourself apart in a highly competitive market.

Consider this: they likely receive many applications when a landlord or property management team accepts new tenants. Millions of people apply to rent a house every year, which means that you could be up against dozens (if not more) of other applicants. But with a rental cover letter, you can make a positive first impression and potentially get a step ahead of other renters.

This guide will cover how to write a cover letter for a rental application and even provide you with a rent letter example to help you get started.

Why Write a Rental Cover Letter

Usually, cover letters are reserved for job applications. You might include a cover letter with your resume to summarize your strengths, past professional experiences, and your best qualities. A cover letter aims to show why you deserve the job and what makes you unique in a pool of applicants.

Essentially, cover letters for rental applications serve the same purpose. However, instead of applying for a job, you’re applying for your future dream home.

Rental application cover letters are not required, but they can be an effective “extra step” that demonstrates that you’re serious about renting the property in question. Also, writing a letter to a landlord to rent the property can highlight exactly why you would be an ideal tenant.

Criteria Landlords Look For

When landlords and property management teams review home rental applications , they are looking for a few key criteria:

These criteria help landlords decide whom to pick to rent the property because they paint a picture of who a tenant is, whether they’re likely to pay rent on time and if they’ll be a considerate tenant and neighbor. With a rental cover letter, you can go one step further and share this information in your own words.

What to Include in a Rental Cover Letter

So, what goes in a rental application cover letter? There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some good guidelines.

Summarize Your Employment History

A landlord is far more likely to rent to someone with steady employment – they need the tenant to be able to pay rent every month.

So, sharing more information about your current employment and past positions can give you a boost. For example, highlighting that you’ve been in your current position for many years shows that you tend to be reliable and responsible.

Share Your Hobbies

It might be surprising to see this one on our list, but your hobbies can turn your application from a piece of paper into a story about an actual person – which is a big plus. It’s always a good thing when the landlord can feel like they’re getting to know you.

Talk about how you’ll plan to spend your off time in the community; for example, maybe you’ll be taking your family to swim at the private neighborhood pool.

Discuss Your Thoughts on What Makes a Good Neighbor

Your potential new neighbors are hoping you’ll be a friendly, conscientious neighbor, but so is your landlord. Landlords don’t want to deal with conflict caused by a troublesome tenant. Instead, they’re aiming for a smooth, drama-free situation.

You can briefly cover what you think it means to be a good neighbor and how you’ll bring those qualities to your new home.

Explain Why You Want To Live in This House

A tenant who truly cares about the property and community is bound to be a good tenant, especially compared to one who may be indifferent about the home.

Try to share specific examples of why this house and neighborhood is your ideal home. For example, you might discuss the local preschool where your child will be enrolled, a nearby park you envision spending time at, or any personal reasons.

Sample Letter to Rent a House

Here’s a handy cover letter template for a rental application to make the writing process as easy as possible.

(Your name) (Address) (City, State ZIP Code)

(Landlord or property manager name) (Address) (City, State ZIP Code)

Re: (Your name) Rental Application Cover Letter for (Address or property name)

Dear (Landlord name),

My name is (Your name), and I’m writing to you to express my interest in the home at (address or property name). I would love to live in this place because (reasons you want to rent the property).

I currently am a tenant at (current address) but am ready to move because (reason for moving).

My hope in writing this letter was that it would help you get to know me a little better and show you why I’m an ideal tenant for this rental home.

I’m committed to being a respectful, reliable tenant and a good neighbor, who will pay my rent on time, care for the property and communicate with you whenever needed.

Please feel free to contact my references or me personally with any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

(Signature) (Printed name) (Email address) (Phone number)

Look into Build-to-Rent Homes by Wan Bridge

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Contact our team today for more information about our communities and how to apply to become a resident.

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Sample Letter: Renter Cover Letter

A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson

April 25, 2019

Looking to rent in a tight, competitive market or even a specific apartment community? A renter cover letter may not be required, but it could set you apart from the other potential candidates, increasing the odds that you'll be the one signing that coveted lease.

Approaching the rental process as though you were vying for a coveted job — with a renter cover letter and resume — will leave a lasting positive impression.

What to include

Much like the cover letter you'd send to a potential employer, a renter cover letter should showcase your best attributes for the landlord or property management company and let the decision makers know you're the best choice among those presented, showcasing your professionalism and responsibility, two qualities landlords prize among tenants.

Property managers have a vested interest in choosing the most qualified applicants for their rental units, increasing the odds that the community rules will be adhered to, that the apartments will be well taken care of and that rent will be paid on time.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against potential tenants on the basis of things such as race, religion, gender, disability, national origin and sexual orientation. However, they will pore over other criteria, including credit and employment history and the references they furnish, to make their decisions.

If you have great credit and have been steadily employed, include it in your cover letter, along with things such as positive rental history. Tell them who you are, but also who you aren't. For example, if you're applying with two other college students, you might be seen as irresponsible, inconsiderate or loud. Let them know — if it's true — that you're study-centric, not the type of people who would throw wild parties or play loud music. Showcasing hobbies that lend themselves to such traits like reading, gardening or volunteering for a local organization won't hurt, either.

See Apartments Near You

Renter cover letter template.

Check out the below template as a baseline for your own renter cover letter, a foundation on which you can build. Simply fill in the information for sections in parentheses ( ), while the section in brackets [ ] is for your information, not to be included in the letter.

Download a Word document of the rent cover letter template

(Your Name) (Address) (City, State Zip)

(Landlord or Property Manager Name) (Address) (City, State Zip)

Dear (Name of landlord or property manager),

My name is (Your name) and I have a keen interest in renting the apartment you have available at (Property name or address).

I currently live at (Your current address) and have lived there for (XX) years. I am looking for a new place to live because (reason for moving: closer to home, closer to family, downsizing, etc.). I find your (apartment community/available unit/rental home) particularly appealing because (list specifically why you want to live in this property).

While my current monthly income is $(X,XXX), I have been approved for rental assistance through the (name of your program). This program is funded by and administered by (organization funding the program). A brief fact sheet about the program is attached to this letter.

Per the plan, I will pay (XX percent) of my monthly adjusted income toward rent, enabling me to make rent, in full, each month with no problem. (Program name) pays the remainder of my rent each month.

I believe I'd be a wonderful addition to your rental community — and here's why. I am employed at (Your employer) and have been working there for (XX) years. In my free time, I (list some interests here and other things about yourself. For instance: play on the company softball team, coach your daughter's soccer team, volunteer at specific organizations and enjoy hiking and baking. My current neighbors will miss my banana bread when I make the move to your community!)

I am quiet and friendly, a good neighbor who always pays bills on time. Attached you will find my renter resume , along with several references from neighbors and co-workers, as well as staffers from my current rental community.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or e-mail me at (Your phone number) or (Email address).

Thank you very much for considering my rental application. I look forward to hearing from you.


(Printed name)

Have everything ready to go

In addition to having all your paperwork in order, be sure to show up to view the rental property and furnish these documents on time and dressed appropriately. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or answer them. First impressions count! Good luck!

About The Author

A.D. Thompson spent the first half of her 25-year career behind the editor’s desk, including time at Playgirl Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Orlando Sentinel and a host of other publications, print and online. Now a full-time freelancer, she is the Orlando expert for USA Today’s and writes about everything from Mickey Mouse to marijuana-based tourism with equal levels of enthusiasm – and occasional bouts of the munchies.

Rental Cover Letter: Sample Letter to Rent an Apartment

how to write rental application cover letter

In 2020, there were 43 million renters . With a high demand for apartments and houses and limited supply, it is difficult to secure the exact place you want to rent. In a highly competitive rental market , how do you stand out from other renters and snag the perfect place? Write a rental cover letter.

Yes, you read that right! We suggest including a rental cover letter with your rental application to help your application shine compared to other potential tenants. We'll explain why you should write a rental cover letter and we'll even include a sample letter that you can use.

Why write a rental cover letter

Typically, you'd include a cover letter with a job application to summarize your past experiences, highlight your best qualities and advocate for why you deserve the job. Well, the same is true for the housing market. Including a rental cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and leave a lasting impression with the landlord, especially in cities or neighborhoods where there are fewer rental vacancies.

While it's not required to include a rental cover letter with your rental application, it's an extra step you can take to show the landlord that you're serious about wanting to rent from them and provide additional context about who you are and why you'd be a stellar tenant.

Criteria landlords look for

When landlords are sifting through rental applications, there are a few things they look for to help them decide who they should pick. Landlords look at:

Remember — landlords want to rent apartments or houses to someone who will pay the rent on time, keep the property in tip-top condition and be a polite neighbor. All of these things usually go into the rental application itself, but a rental cover letter is an extra opportunity for you to showcase that you'll be an ideal tenant.

It's especially important when renting because you'll likely have your own yard to maintain and be living next to other renters or homeowners that you'll want to impress.

Things to include in your rental cover letter

So, what exactly should you include in your rental cover letter? Here are a few things to consider including and how they may help you out in your hunt for the perfect place to rent.

Highlight your employment history

Because landlords want to rent to people who have a steady income and will pay the rent on time each month, providing more information about your employment history can help you out. For example, you could share how many years you've worked at the same place which will show that you're a reliable, steadily-employed person.

Woman reading a book and drinking coffee.

Share your hobbies

To show a bit of your personality and humanize your application, you could include your hobbies and share what you like to do on the weekends and in your free time in your rental cover letter. This is appealing to landlords who rent houses and apartments because they'll care about how you'll interact with the other people in the neighborhood.

Discuss your philosophy on what makes a good neighbor

Everyone wants to live next to good neighbors. In your sample letter, you could include a story about how you've connected with neighbors in the past to showcase that you're the ideal neighbor.


Explain why you want to live in this home and neighborhood

If this is the perfect home for you, share that in the rental cover letter. Share specific examples of why you chose this apartment or house and neighborhood. Those details will show that you truly care.

All of this is optional, but sharing these details will highlight who you are and help personalize your application. It's also important to remember that under the Fair Housing Act , landlords cannot discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. You do not need to include any of this information in your rental cover letter.

Typing a letter on a laptop.

Sample letter to rent a house or apartment

This sample letter is an easy-to-use template that you can use when drafting your own rental cover letter. Simply fill in the blanks and customize as needed.

Download a PDF of the cover letter template Download a Word Doc of the cover letter template

(Your name) (Address) (City, State ZIP Code)

(Landlord or property manager name) (Address) (City, State ZIP Code)

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

Dear (Landlord name),

My name is (Your name) and I'm writing to you because I'm very interested in renting the home that's available at (Address or property name). I was particularly interested in this place because (Reasons you want to rent there).

I currently am a renter at (Current address) but am eager to move because (Reason for wanting to move).

I'm sure you receive several rental applications each day, so I wanted to take some time to help you get to know me a little better and show you why I'm the best applicant for this vacancy.

Based on these facts listed above, I think you'll find that I'm a reliable, good neighbor and tenant who will pay my rent on time, keep the apartment in mint condition and communicate easily with you about any and all needs.

Please feel free to reach out to my references or to me personally with any questions or concerns you may have. I'm eager to rent from you and look forward to your decision.

Thanks for your consideration,

(Signature) (Printed name) (Email address) (Phone number)

Stand out from the competition

Finding and securing a place to rent is difficult, so you want all the tips and tricks you can get. By writing a rental cover letter, you'll be one step ahead of other potential renters and will be one step closer to moving into your new home.

how to write rental application cover letter

Sage Singleton Sage Singleton is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She enjoys writing articles that will inspire, educate and influence readers. She loves that words have the power to create change and make a positive impact in the world. Some of her work has been featured on LendingTree, Venture Beat, Architectural Digest, and In her free time, she loves traveling, reading and learning French.

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how to write rental application cover letter

How to write a cover letter for a rental application

Erin Delahunty, Property Journalist

13 Feb 2023, 5:21pm

In many of parts of Australia, there’s stiff competition for great rental properties. The cover letter that goes with the application is a way for prospective tenants to explain why they should get the rental above other applicants.

Essentially, a cover letter is a summary of all the key information and data provided in the application, showing why someone would be a good tenant – similar to the cover letter that accompanies an application for a job.

If an online portal like Ignite is used, there may not be a specific spot for a cover letter, but the advice for writing a good one applies equally to how tenants answer the all-important question: “Why is this property right for you?”.

What should a cover letter include?

Sofia Ligeros , leasing consultant with ACT-based Independent Property Group, said a cover letter should be addressed to the person who is handling the tenancy and include:

A cover letter for a home is similar to a cover letter for a job. Picture:

“You also need to show you have an understanding of your obligations as a tenant and why you believe you would make a great fit for their home,’ she said.

Ms Ligeros said photographs can be a great personal touch, too, helping the property manager put a face to a name.

Michelle Wilde , the principal of Queensland-based Stella Property, uses Ignite to handle applications, so doesn’t require cover letters. However, she said applications need to make it clear the would-be tenant can pay on time, are responsible and will look after the property. The biggest red flag for Ms Wilde is if a tenant has had an issue or dispute with a previous property manager.

Why is this property right for you?

Many application forms ask tenants to answer a simple question: Why is this property right for you? Whether it’s answered directly in a field online, as it is with Ignite , or through a cover letter, the vital response is vital.

Trish Mewett , a Jim’s Real Estate franchisor, said it’s a way for applicants to speak openly and honestly about why they want the property.

A photo of the applicant can be a great personal touch. Picture:

She said prospective tenants should explain how the property suits their life and speak with passion. “Home is where the heart is, so speak from the heart, but don’t overdo it so that it sounds unbelievable, as this may put managing agents off your application.”

It’s also smart to add some additional background details, such as your work, education and hobbies, to help flesh out the full picture of who an applicant is.

Example of a cover letter for a rental

Here’s an example of a good cover letter.

(Applicant current address)

(City, postcode)

(Phone number)

  (Agent name)

(Agent address)

Subject; Application cover letter for (address of property)  

Dear (name of property manager or landlord)

My name is (applicant name) and along with (applicant name), we would like to formally apply for the rental property at (address) as advertised at (URL).

We previously lived at (address) for (amount of time) and paid (amount of weekly) rent. Prior to that, from (start date) to (end date), we lived at (address). Both were rental properties and we have included our previous property managers (or landlords) as references in our attached application.

We both work (full-time/part-time) and earn a combined (amount) weekly, so we feel we are more than able to cover the (amount) weekly rent and bond. We have both been employed for (time period) and consider our employment status as secure.

We are particularly interested in this property because of the nearby amenities, proximity to public transport and easy commute to both of our workplaces.

We are quiet and respectful of others’ privacy and have always had good relationships with our previous landlords and they’re happy to speak to that.

Although we enjoy socialising, we like our home to be a peaceful place.

Along with my cover letter, we have included the rental application and all relevant identification documents.

We’re looking for a stable tenancy and hope you will consider our application favourably. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

(Applicant signature)

(Applicant name, typed)

(Applicant phone number)

(Applicant email address)

This article was originally published on 15 Jul 2021 at 11:48am but has been regularly updated to keep the information current.

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Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell

2 months ago - 1 minute read

By following these guidelines and using our template, you will be well on your way to securing the next flat or home of your choice. So let's get started!

Are you looking to rent a new apartment or house in the UK, but feeling overwhelmed by the competitive rental market? Finding a new home can be stressful, especially in the current market. That's why it's important to make a strong impression with your rental application. One way to do this is by writing a compelling rental application cover letter.

A cover letter for trying to secure a rental is a formal letter that introduces you to the landlord or property manager, and explains why you are the best candidate for the rental unit.

Writing a rental application cover letter can seem intimidating, especially in a market as competitive as the UK's. But don't worry! In this blog post, we provide a free template cover letter that will help you stand out from the competition and land your dream rental.

The template

Dear [Landlord/Property Manager],

I am writing to express my interest in your property at [Address]. After viewing the listing, I am confident that it would be the perfect fit for me.

I am a responsible and reliable individual, currently working as a [Your Job] at [Your Company] with a steady income to support the monthly rent payments. In addition, I have no pets and do not smoke, so you can trust that your property will be well taken care of.

I am also very clean and organised, and would be happy to provide references from previous landlords to attest to my excellent rental history.

I am very excited about the prospect of living in your property and would be happy to schedule a time for a viewing and discuss the rental details further.

Thank you for considering me as a potential tenant. I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your Name]

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Tips for a successful rental application

Learn what to write on a rental application and how to present yourself so you can stand apart from the crowd..


In this guide

7 tips to improve your rental application chances

1. be on time, 2. make a good first impression, 3. have rental references, 4. write a great cover letter for rental applications, 5. complete the rental application, 6. be honest, 7. follow up.

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Applying for a rental property in a competitive market can be tough. Landlords and property managers will take a close look at prospective tenants and ask for a lot of personal information. You can boost your chances of success by making a strong rental application and making a good impression.

If you’re looking for a rental property in a popular suburb, odds are there will be a queue before the real estate agent even arrives. It can’t hurt to be near the front of that queue.

Most importantly, though, don’t arrive late. The real estate agent conducting the inspection is likely to have back-to-back inspections booked throughout the day. Don't be the latecomer that throws off their entire day’s schedule.

The real estate agent or landlord wants to find a tenant they can trust. And first impressions matter.

Introduce yourself to the real estate agent. Dozens of people will likely be filing through the property through the course of the inspection, and you don’t want to melt into the crowd.

Dressing the part can also help. You don't need to wear a suit and tie but dressing respectably can't hurt.

Finally, ask a question about the property. Be courteous and polite, of course, but engage the real estate agent with a question or two to stand apart from the masses and to show your interest in the property. This signals you're a serious applicant.

The importance of good references from prior landlords can’t be overstated. Real estate agents, property managers and landlords want to know you’ll be a reliable tenant, that you’ll pay your rent on time and that you’ll treat the property as if it were your own. Potential tenants who can’t prove this with a strong track record of rental history are at a significant disadvantage.

It should be noted that references from real estate agents or property managers carry far more weight than references from landlords. A landlord is not seen as a qualified professional, and could be a friend or family member.

Though not essential, it also can’t hurt to have references from co-workers, employers or former neighbours. Some agents will ask for this, especially if it's your first rental property.

What should you write on a rental application letter? It's quite simple: Write a few short paragraphs about who you are, what you do for a living and perhaps the reason for your move. If you’re applying as a group for a property you intend to share, briefly introduce each housemate. Be professional, but not so overly formal that your personality doesn’t shine through.

Give a brief rundown of your rental history, and make sure to mention any special circumstances such as pets. Even if you’re applying for a number of properties, it’s a good idea to specifically tailor each cover letter to mention features of the property that appealed to you.

Rental application cover letter samples

Having trouble coming up with a cover letter? Try using this sample letter as a template:

Dear Graeme,

how to write rental application cover letter

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It should go without saying, but filling in all the details on the rental application is essential. The more details you can provide, the better. This includes copies of all your identification documents, proof of income, pay history and proof of employment. Rental reference letters and contact information for your employer are a good idea too.

Most property managers will have standardised application forms on their websites, or they may require you to use 1Form, a free online rental application platform. 1Form is handy if you’re applying for a lot of properties, as it will pre-fill your details on subsequent applications. The 1Form application is very lengthy and detailed, but you only need to complete it once. also has a "renter resume" which is similar to 1Form. It allows you to create a personalised profile to use for rental applications.

Another way to make sure you’re prepared is to have money for the bond and a holding fee on-hand on the day of the inspection. A real estate agent is highly unlikely to accept your application on the spot, but knowing that you can pay the bond immediately upon acceptance is a big tick in your favour.

Don’t hide anything on your application or in your discussions with the real estate agent. Start off on the front foot by raising any issues that could be potential stumbling blocks.

Do you have pets? Put it in your cover letter, put it in your application and discuss it with the agent at the inspection (it’s also helpful to get references for your pets from previous property managers). Do you have a rough patch in your credit history? Be upfront about it and explain it to the agent.

If there will be a number of people living in the property, make sure they’re all at the inspection. Any details about your tenancy you try to hide are sure to come out eventually, and can lead to some pretty severe consequences if you’ve signed a lease under false pretences.

After you’ve attended the inspection and submitted your rental application, follow up with the real estate agent with a brief thank you email. Be pleasant and avoid coming across as impatient or pushy, but make it clear that you’re interested in the property. A courteous thank you note along with reiterating your interest in the property can help keep you top of mind as they consider applications.

how to write rental application cover letter

Richard Whitten

Richard Whitten is a money editor at Finder, and has been covering home loans, property and personal finance for the last 5 years. He has written for Yahoo Finance, Money Magazine and Homely, and has appeared on various radio shows nationwide.

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How to get a rental when coming out of a long term domestic violence situation


You can contact Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). They can help and provide information for renters and rental providers. You can also visit this guide about renters’ rights and responsibilities in a family violence situation .

I hope this helps you.

Kind regards, Richard

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how to write rental application cover letter

Writing to landlords: An example application letter 

A rental application letter

Finding accommodation in the Netherlands can be quite a challenge, especially in major cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht. One essential step in the process of acquiring a room or apartment is to write an outstanding rental application letter to landlords. Therefore, we gathered a few tips which will help you present yourself as an ideal potential tenant and optimise your chances of receiving a response from landlords.

1. Be genuine

Do not write, "Hey, is this room still available?" as this is probably the most common message landlords receive. Instead, try to write a letter where you show genuine interest by reading the housing add carefully and customising your letter for each room, studio or apartment you apply to.

2. Introduce yourself

You only get  to make a first impression once. So if you really want that room, studio or apartment, you have to make it count. It’s best to start your rental application letter by introducing yourself properly by mentioning:

3. Tailor your letter to the landlord

Remember that not all landlords and roommates are looking for the same type of person. Some landlords may look for a quiet tenant to rent his home to at least a year, whereas roommates may look for someone tidy who likes to socialise. Therefore, it is important to tailor your letter to the person you are writing to, you can tailor your letter by:

4. Keep it short

After  you made sure your message includes all the necessary information, it’s time to look at the length of your message. No one has the time or the patience to read an entire essay, so try to keep it short. By word count, the optimal length of a message would be about 150 words.

Not quite sure where to begin? Check out the example below for some inspiration:

“Dear Mr. Smith,

My name is John Doe, and I have a keen interest in renting the room located on the Streetlane in Amsterdam. I am 19 years old and am currently living in Berlin, Germany. From the first of September, I will be studying Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, which is why I am looking for a new home in Amsterdam.

I am particularly interested in the room you are renting out because of the nearby amenities, and the relatively short commute to the university of Amsterdam. I believe I would be the perfect tenant because, even though I enjoy socialising, I like my home to be a peaceful place.

Thank you very much for considering my rental application. I would like to arrange a meeting to view the home in person and meet the other tenants. I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Ready to find your new home in the Netherlands? Start browsing all rooms and apartments on Kamernet , tailor your rental application letter and find a home in the Netherlands!

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The Renter Cover Letter Toolkit

April 7, 2022

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The affordable rental housing crisis in Ontario has forced many people to compete for the few places they can afford. Renters shouldn’t be forced into such situations, but many wonder how to make their rental application stand out. One way to do this is by including a renter cover letter with your application.

Before writing your renter cover letter, it’s important to understand how some information that you provide could be used to discriminate against you, potentially leading to a rejection of your rental application.

To help avoid discriminatory outcomes, the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) has developed this toolkit, including two cover letter templates, to help you put your best foot forward, while avoiding some of the pitfalls that can impact your rental application.

1. What a renter cover letter is and why it can help

A renter cover letter is a way to introduce yourself to a landlord, and to tell them what makes you the tenant they should consider.

Our sample letters outline the types of information that landlords often request from prospective tenants, as well as some helpful information that you may want to provide to help your application stand out:

Contact information

Rental history and references

Credit history

Proof of income

Unfortunately, there are very few affordable rental homes in Ontario for those living on lower incomes. Many renters are forced to compete with one another for the few places they can afford. Renters should not be forced into such situations, and the long-term solution is for our governments to solve the housing crisis and provide more deeply affordable housing options.

In addition to a lack of affordable housing, discrimination in housing is also unfortunately still present in Ontario. Sometimes, landlords’ or property managers’ prejudices can lead them to deny an apartment to a household inappropriately.

It is important to note that a cover letter will not change discriminatory behaviours or systemic discrimination. Ending discrimination on a systemic level requires cultural shifts in attitudes and better legal protections.

In the meantime, as we work to bring about systemic change, CCHR has designed this renter cover letter toolkit to help you put your best foot forward, while potentially avoiding some of the pitfalls that can impact your application to rent. You should consider our templates as rough guides which should be personalized with the information you are comfortable providing.

2. Types of information that landlords are allowed to request from prospective tenants

The Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination on many grounds, and it also provides rules on what a landlord is allowed to ask a renter about, with the aim of reducing discrimination.

The Code makes it illegal for landlords and property managers to discriminate against renters on the grounds of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability and the receipt of public assistance. It is unlawful to discriminate against people in these groups even when they are applying for a place to rent.

In CCHR’s 2009 report, Sorry, it’s Rented , we found that discrimination in housing was widespread, affecting 14% to 34% of renters looking for a home to rent. Our study also found that where renters are members of more than one minority group, they face greater discrimination.

At the same time, the Code protects tenants by stating that, according to law, landlords are only allowed to ask potential renters for :

A credit reference is often a credit check but could also be a letter from a lender or acquaintance who can speak to a tenant’s credibility. Landlords are also allowed to ask about income information – but only after asking about the first three pieces of information. Income information can include information about the amount, source and steadiness of a potential tenant’s income .

3. Types of information that could lead to a discriminatory outcome

Sometimes, even the information that landlords are explicitly allowed to request can be used in a discriminatory way. For example:

So, while landlords may use this information in deciding who to rent to, they must take care to not apply the information in a way that tends to systematically exclude particular groups. This can be especially true in places with a shortage of housing options, where landlords can choose who to rent to within a large pool of applicants.

4. What to do if you are asked discriminatory questions

A landlord is not permitted to use information about a protected characteristic (like gender, disability, sexuality, race or whether an applicant receives public assistance) to deny someone a place to rent. They also should not ask questions that give them information about those traits. If a landlord does ask a question that suggests they may illegally discriminate, you can use several potential responses.

Since landlords should not ask discriminatory questions, some advocates say those landlords are not owed a truthful answer. The decision of whether to be deceitful during the tenancy application process is a matter of individual conscience; however, there are risks to lying during a tenancy application and CERA does not condone being deceitful. Tenants thinking about being dishonest during a tenancy application should get legal advice about the risks of doing so.

In any of the above situations, it is prudent to take notes about the questions that you are asked so that you have evidence if you later want to complain about discriminatory conduct.

5. Types of information you may want to include or exclude from your letter

Since it is difficult to find an affordable place to live, renters should consider what type of housing search will work best for them. A renter who provides only the basic information that landlords are allowed to request under the Human Rights Code may be protected against discrimination, but they may have a harder time convincing non-discriminatory landlords to rent to them. In these instances, you may want to opt to provide more information, but this may lead to rejection of your application for discriminatory reasons, which is often hard to prove. Deciding what information to share is a very personal decision.

To account for this, we have produced two cover letter templates that can be adapted for many situations.

The following are key types of information that we have included in our templates.

Make sure to include your own email address and phone number, and any other contact information you are comfortable sharing.

Rental objective

This should be a brief 2-3 sentence statement about your goals in looking for a new rental. Talk about what you’re looking for, what your long-term goals are and why you are a good fit to live in this rental unit.

This section is where you can introduce yourself. You can talk about your background and why you are moving, and if you have any pets or roommates. Try to include flattering information that makes you stand out, like being someone who is quiet, tidy and responsible. You may also include any accessibility accommodations you may need; however, this information could be used in a discriminatory way, and so you may choose to leave out this information.

Include details about your rental history, including address, relevant dates, rent, and reasons for moving. Make sure you include your current / previous landlord’s contact information unless you do not want your new landlord contacting them. Include the names and contact information of 2-3 positive references. Former landlord references are best, but if those are not available, consider asking trusted employers, teachers or co-workers. You may also consider attaching a separate sheet with your rental history. Such a sheet may look like this:

My rental history:

Landlords are allowed to ask for credit references and credit checks. You can order your credit report and score for free from one of Canada’s two credit reporting agencies. Credit references can include letters from business partners, or others who have made loans to you, or any other information that shows the landlord that you will pay your rent and other costs regularly. If you get a credit report, you can include it with your resume.

Once landlords have asked for rental and credit references, they are also allowed to ask for income information. The Human Rights Tribunal has held that landlords can ask for information like the amount, source and steadiness of a potential tenant’s income . Including this information in your renter’s cover letter allows you to frame that information in a way that works best for you. At a minimum, you should provide the current income your household receives, anything beyond that is your choice to disclose. You can also provide proof of income or make it available upon request. Proof of income could include pay slips/stubs, or an employment letter; but it can also include three months of bank statements. Sensitive information like the account number or your expenses can be blacked out by for instance photocopying a version that you have crossed out with a permanent marker.

In your conclusion you can summarize your objective again: that you are a tenant looking for a good apartment and are best suited to live in this home.

6. Two Renter Cover Letter Templates

We have produced two cover letter templates that can be adapted for many situations. Check out our two templates and pick the one that is right for you:

Detailed template

This template includes lots of information that a landlord may request or be concerned with.

Basic template

This template includes the minimum information that landlords are allowed to request under the Human Rights Code.

Get the latest updates about the right to housing in Canada

3.6 RESOURCE: Cover Letter Template

Consider including a cover letter as part of your rental application, even though most landlords will not expect one. This template will help you write a cover letter that will hopefully increase your chances of being chosen as the successful applicant.

cover letter template

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How to Write a Cover Letter for a Rental Application

how to write rental application cover letter

Personalise your rental application cover letter

In other words, it would be to your advantage over other rental applicants if you go beyond the standard details in your rental application cover letter. 

Including your photo in your cover letter for rental application, for instance, will enable the landlord or property manager to put a face on your wish to live in the property.

Adding group pictures of the other members of your household may also help in this regard.

Just like in a job application cover letter, it may be useful to add web links to your rental cover letter application. You will have to limit those links to not more than two or three.

The links that you may add should be those that will help the landlord or property manager decide that you’re a good fit for the property.

Consider, for instance, adding the web link of the company you’re working for. Providing access to your LinkedIn profile can also project how stable your current employment or career is. 

Be extra helpful to the landlord or rental agency

Besides injecting personality to your rental cover application letter, you can go the extra mile too in being helpful to the landlord by indicating how long you expect to stay in the property.

In your rental cover letter application, make sure to indicate if your stay is short-term or long-term, and if possible, cite a specific time frame .

Providing this information in your rental cover letter might give you an edge over the other rent applicants. The specific time frame you provide will enable a landlord to better plan or manage tenancy in the property .

Harmonise the letter with the application form 

In writing the rental cover letter, be sure that its contents match those in the rental application form you filed with the landlord or rental agency. You have to be very careful as well in filling up the application form at the outset.

Accomplish a winning rental application form just as you would in writing a cover rental application letter.

Be careful with your spelling, as misspelled words could lead to confusion in your cover letter rental application.

Consistency is the key here, especially if you have manually filled up a hard-copy rental form. Make sure your handwriting is readable.

Filling up the rental form quickly and submitting it promptly can also be an advantage over other prospective tenants. Submit the rental application form at once even if you are considering other rental properties or unsure of the rental property approval.

What’s important is you’ve thrown your hat into the ring and let the rental agency or landlord know you’re interested.

how to write rental application cover letter

Documentation requirement assurance

In the rental cover letter, you can likewise reiterate your compliance with the submission of documents required in the rental application . Inform the landlord of a document that you may be lacking. Assure that its paperwork is in process and give the date when you expect to submit it.

Generally, these required rental application documents would include the following:

• Identification . This typically requires submitting a copy of government-issued IDs, such as a driver’s license or passport. The rental application form’s instructions will specify which ID or IDs are required. 

• Rental history. This can be a copy of a previous rental agreement or proof of rental payments you’ve made previously.

• Previous bills. Copies of your past utility bills paid.

• Payslips or bank statements. These documents are needed as your proof of income. 

• References . Usually, these are professional references, and the stronger ones you should get are the real estate agents or property managers whom you’ve worked with in your previous rentals.

Be honest and upfront in your cover letter

how to write rental application cover letter

Speak from the heart and be forthright in your rental cover letter application. Indicate that you are willing to discuss and resolve any potential stumbling block that the landlord or property manager may cite.

Ensure that you’re laying your cards on the table and not hiding anything.

Express your willingness, for example, to bring along your housemates during the rental property inspection. If you have initially made contact with the property manager or landlord, thank them for accepting your rental application and follow it up without sounding pushy or impatient .

Just reiterate your interest and emphasise why this property is right for you.

Need help finding a home?

If you haven’t found a rental home yet, let’s help you with that. Browse our search page to check out some amazing listings available right now. Go even further, and download our app to get the full Soho experience.

Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.


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