A Proof of Residency Letter from Landlord is a sworn statement that formally confirms a tenant’s residency at a particular location. This letter may also confirm additional information about the tenant such as other individuals living at the home and monthly rent payments.
Note: This letter is also referred to as an affidavit of residence.
Reasons for a Proof of Residency Letter from Landlord
Usually, a tenant requests proof of residency from their landlord. In some instances, the request will come from a third party. There are several reasons a tenant or third party may request proof of residency from a landlord. Those include:
- Driver’s License – Typically, when an individual seeks a driver’s license in a new state they must prove they reside in that state. Or, proof may be necessary if an individual simply wants to change the address on their license. Often a letter from the landlord is one acceptable way of proving one’s residency.
- School – Most elementary, middle, and high schools will require proof that you live in the district and state in which one is planning to send their children to school. Colleges and universities will also make this request when a student applies for in-state tuition.
- Employment – Often an employer will want proof of where a new employee lives and how long they have lived there before hiring them.
- Voter Registration – Political offices are organized by district, so new voters need to provide a way to verify they live in the area in which they will cast their vote.
- Utilities – Proof of residency may be necessary to set up and open a new utility account.
There are several other reasons why landlords may receive this type of request. These requests can come from a variety of organizations, including:
- Financial institutions
- Government assistance programs
- Insurance programs
When preparing this letter, you must also consider:
- Supporting Documentation – While a landlord can simply just provide the requested letter, it will be helpful if they can provide additional supporting documentation. A landlord should be able to provide a copy of the signed lease agreement which will further prove that the tenant resides at the location provided in the letter.
- Consent – If the request comes from a third party it is important to get consent from your tenant before responding. It is the landlord’s responsibility to protect a tenant’s personal information so it is necessary to get permission, even if the request is for the tenant’s benefit. Consent should be in writing. You can even have a release form prepared to streamline this process. Here is a sample:
I, Jane Doe, authorize the release of my rental information from my landlord, John Smith, to be provided to ABC Company. The Landlord is specifically authorized to release the following information: (1) address of rental property; (2) lease term; (3) persons who live at the property; and (4) monthly rent amount.
Keep a copy of the release for your records and attach a copy to your proof of residency letter.
- Letter Content – Do not confuse a proof of residency letter with a landlord reference letter. This letter should be straightforward, brief, and limited to the specific information being requested. This letter is to provide basic facts, not discuss matters of opinion such as the behavior or character of the tenant.
- Notarization – While not a requirement, since this is a sworn statement, it is recommended that you sign the letter in the presence of a notary. The notary’s, and any witnesses’, acknowledgment will be especially helpful if you do not have any supporting documentation to provide as additional proof.
- Timeliness – Ask the tenant when they need the letter by and make sure that you are timely in providing the requested information. Requests for proof of residency may be for important and time-sensitive issues. A timely response will go a long way in further strengthening the landlord-tenant relationship.
- Professional – Make sure that the letter is professional. This includes things such as using company letterhead. This is not the type of request that should be handled with an email or other more informal means.
What to Include in a Proof of Residency Letter from Landlord
When preparing this letter it is important to know what specific information is being requested. Make sure to ask the tenant or third party if there is any question as to what information they need. A Proof of Residency Letter from Landlord should include the following:
- Name and address of party requesting proof of residency
- Professional greeting
- Introduction of yourself
- Reference to the specific property you manage that is the subject of the request
- The tenant’s name and confirmation that they live at your rental property
- Dates for the lease term
- Any additional information that requires verification. This may include:
- Additional individuals that live at the property
- The monthly rental amount and the due date
- A formal affirmation that the representations made in the letter are true and accurate
- Reference to any additional documentation attached to prove the tenant’s residency (e.g. lease agreement).
- Your contact information if the requesting party wants to speak directly to you
- Your signature
- Your name
- Witness acknowledgment
- Notary acknowledgment
As a landlord, it is good practice to provide this letter if requested, regardless of the quality of the tenant. Avoid letting your feelings interfere with your professional duties as a landlord. At the same time, do not provide this letter as a favor to an individual that does not reside at your rental property. Doing so is unethical and can result in legal trouble for the landlord.
How to Send the Proof of Residency Letter
Ideally, you want to send the letter in a way that requires signature confirmation to document its receipt. This can be accomplished by certified mail. Even better, send it by restricted certified mail which requires the addressee to be the only person that can sign for the letter. You can also provide a copy of the letter in person or leave it at their rental property as well.
You should keep a copy of this letter filed with a notation of how the letter was delivered and any other relevant information.