Rental Application Approval Letter

Last Updated: December 23, 2023 by Robert Bailey

A Rental Application Approval Letter is a formal letter from a landlord to an applicant that approves their application to rent a particular unit. The letter should provide specific details on any deadline to respond, signing the lease agreement, and any other immediate requirements for the applicant.

How to Tell an Applicant They are Approved

Upon the completion of the application process and decision, it is time to let the applicant know that they are approved. Most landlords will send an Approval Letter once they have accepted an application to rent one of their units. Here are some tips on how to let a tenant know they are approved:

  • Tell Them in Writing – While a landlord can tell them on the phone or in person, it is best to provide a written approval letter to the applicant. Not only is it easier to document, but it will also make it easier for the tenant to know what they need to do next as the approval letter will often provide additional information on the next steps.
  • Be Friendly – While an applicant’s approval is positive news, a landlord can make an even better impression by being friendly and letting them know how excited they are to have them as a tenant. A landlord should also let them know that they are available to answer any questions. A landlord should avoid using a demanding tone when making any requests from the applicant.
  • Professional – In addition to being friendly, a landlord should also be professional. This includes the use of official letterhead, if available, and making sure to avoid typos and any slang or informal language.
  • Provide All Necessary Information – Beyond their approval, a landlord should provide the applicant any important information such as the deadline to respond and the next steps in the rental process.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Details – While there is discretion in what a landlord can include, it is best to avoid unnecessary details that are not related to the actual approval. Including important information about the lease agreement is fine but avoid including excessive information such as details about late fees or a landlord’s right to withhold a security deposit. 

What to Include in a Rental Application Approval Letter

When preparing this letter, it is important to know what specific information to include. This letter should include the following:

  1. Date
  2. Applicant’s name
  3. Applicant’s address
  4. Rental property address
  5. Specific terms: monthly rent amount, security deposit, and the lease term for the property the applicant will rent
  6. A professional greeting
  7. A friendly introduction in which the landlord thanks the applicant for applying
  8. Confirmation that their rental application has been approved
  9. Details on scheduling a time for the applicant to come to the landlord’s office to sign the lease agreement
  10. A landlord should also inform the tenant of any other tasks that need to be accomplished during this time (e.g., payment of security deposit) and provide any necessary instructions such as acceptable payment methods
  11. A deadline for responding before the landlord moves on to the next qualified applicant
  12. Offer for the applicant to contact the landlord with any questions or concerns
  13. Landlord’s contact information
  14. Landlord’s signature
  15. Landlord’s name

There are other items a landlord may want to include in their letter, especially if they determine not to send a separate tenant welcome letter.

  1. Move-In Inspection – Before the tenant moves in, the landlord should conduct a move-in inspection with them. If a landlord is not sending a welcome letter they can include some general information about this inspection in the approval letter.
  2. Terms and Conditions – A landlord might also include certain essential terms and conditions of the lease agreement they want to highlight. This could be anything from a “no pet” policy to a tenant’s obligation to set up certain utilities.

Make sure the letter has everything the applicant needs to make a decision and take the next steps in becoming a tenant.

Reasons to Approve an Applicant

Several factors will likely go into approving an applicant. Some of the typical factors include:

  • High Credit Score – A high credit score shows a landlord that the applicant has been responsible with paying their bills over a significant period of time. This information provides a landlord with confidence that they will also pay their rent consistently.
  • Little or No Debt – In addition to having a high credit score, another positive indicator from consumer reports is if the applicant has little or no debt. This can show that the applicant is financially responsible and that they do not have obligations that might hinder their ability to pay their rent.
  • Positive Employment History – Positive employment history is another factor that can convince a landlord to approve an applicant. Whether it’s their length of employment or employer references, employment history can show that the applicant has a stable employment situation and is less likely to lose their job and be unable to pay their rent.
  • Sufficient Income – A landlord must ensure that a tenant has enough income to pay their rent each month. Most landlords are satisfied if an applicant’s income is three times or greater than the monthly rent due.
  • Positive Rental History – A strong rental history of on-time payments and positive references is great confirmation that the applicant will continue that behavior at a new rental unit. A landlord can obtain basic information from a consumer report. It’s even better if a landlord can receive a landlord reference letter from a previous landlord.
  • In-Person Interview – Sometimes the best impressions are made in person. If a landlord has the time available, it can be beneficial to schedule a time to meet with the applicant. This could help answer questions a landlord may have about their application and to better get to know the applicant.

There are other things to consider after the screening process is complete and a landlord moves forward with approving an applicant. For instance, there will likely be unsuccessful applicants as well. It is good practice for a landlord to send them a Rental Application Rejection Letter. In some instances, it’s even required by law.

How to Send the Rental Application Approval Letter

The landlord will likely want to fill their vacancy as quickly as possible. For this reason, a landlord might want to send the letter by email. That being said, they can also send the letter by certified mail to have documented confirmation that the letter has been received.

The landlord should keep a copy of this letter filed with a notation of the letter’s delivery method and any other relevant information.

What’s Next?

Once the applicant has responded to a landlord’s approval letter here are some of the next steps that will follow:

  • Lease Agreement – At this time the landlord will want to schedule a time for the tenant to come to their office and sign the lease agreement.
  • Initial Payments – When the tenant signs the lease agreement the landlord may also request any initial payments. This might include any of the following: (1) a security deposit, (2) first and last month’s rent, or (3) a pet deposit.
  • Tenant Welcome Letter – Usually after the tenant signs the lease agreement the landlord will send a tenant welcome letter. This letter will formally welcome the new tenant and provide them with information to help them make a smooth transition to their new home. Typically this will include resources, contact information, important rules, and responsibilities.