Purchasing a single-family rental home with a tenant already in place can be a good way to start generating rental income the day that escrow closes.
However, when a tenant learns that their home has been sold, they may become anxious or even upset. In order to get off to a good start with the tenant, many new owners send the tenant a new landlord letter to give a tenant peace of mind and make a positive, lasting impression.
- The main reasons for sending a new landlord letter include establishing a good landlord-tenant relationship, and making sure the rent continues to be paid on time.
- The general outlines of a new landlord tenant letter includes sections for landlord introduction and contact information, verifying tenant and lease information, and instructions for paying the rent.
- Many landlords follow-up by scheduling an in-person tenant visit and property inspection after the new landlord letter has been delivered.
Why property owners send a new landlord letter
There are four main reasons for sending a letter introducing the new landlord to the current tenant:
- Establish a good beginning relationship with the tenant by letting the tenant know the property has been sold.
- Provide new contact information and mailing address to ensure the rent continues to be paid on time and any needed repairs can be taken care of promptly.
- Advise the tenant that the terms and conditions of the lease will remain unchanged, including rent payment due date, expiration date of the existing lease, and transfer of the security deposit to the new landlord.
- Lay the groundwork for open lines of communication and a positive rapport with the tenant with the goal of renewing the lease with the tenant as the expiration date comes near.
Sometimes tenants become upset when a property changes hands. Even if the previous landlord notified the tenant that the property was being sold, a new landlord letter helps to reassure the tenant that there is no cause for concern.
Outline for a new landlord letter
A new landlord letter provides the opportunity to make a lasting first impression on the tenant. The general outline for a landlord letter may include:
In this section a new landlord can let the tenant know when the property sold, and how the new landlord is looking forward to having the tenant rent the home.
If a landlord also owns other rental property, the beginning part of the letter can also be used to describe the landlord’s business to the tenant, in part to let the tenant know that the landlord is an experienced real estate investor.
Verify tenant & lease agreement information
The second part of a new landlord letter should review the tenant contact information and general terms and conditions of the lease. Include information currently on file such as:
- Names of all tenants occupying the new property
- Places of employment
- Make/model and license plate numbers of vehicles driven by the tenant
- Contact information for each tenant
Key points of the current tenant lease should also be reviewed in this section:
- Monthly rent amount and due date
- Additional rent such as pet or appliance rent
- When a late fee will be assessed and in what amount
- Expiration date of the lease
- Amount of the tenant security deposit transferred to the new landlord when the home was sold
Instructions for paying rent
Thank the tenant in advance for paying the rent by the due date, and verify the amount of rent due and any late fees that may be assessed. Provide the tenant with a new mailing address for the monthly rent, along with information to sign up for any online rent payment system the new landlord is using.
Most rent payment services collect a small service fee from the tenant, then process the tenant rent payment and forward funds to the landlord’s business account within one or two business days.
Describe to the tenant some of the advantages of paying the rent online, such as multiple payment options including debit from a checking account or using a credit card, and how on-time rent payments are reported to the credit bureaus to help improve the tenant’s credit score.
New landlord contact information
Share contact information with the tenant, including business name (if applicable) and mailing address, daytime and evening phone numbers, business email address, and website domain name if the real estate business has one.
Maintenance request procedures
Explain to the tenant how to make a request for maintenance or repairs, being sure to let the tenant know that it’s important to catch small issues before they become big and costly.
Reiterate the tenant’s role in helping to keep the property in good condition, and remind the tenant about the schedule for routine interior and exterior inspections of the home so that they are not surprised when they receive notice of an upcoming property inspection.
Update tenant information
A new landlord letter can also include a form for the tenant to complete to update their most recent information. Information to ask for may include:
- Full names of all tenants
- Cell phone, work, and home phone numbers
- Place of employment
- Email addresses
- Names and ages of all occupants
- List of all vehicles including make/model, color and license plate number
- Pets including gender, age, and breed
- Mailing address if other than the property address
- Name, address, and phone number of an emergency contact for someone not living at the property
Schedule a property inspection
Sending a new landlord letter to a tenant can also provide the perfect opportunity to schedule an inspection of the inside and outside of the home (if not already completed while the property was in escrow).
A property inspection allows the landlord to meet the tenant in person, to identify items in need of repair, and to remind the tenant of their responsibility to help maintain the property and keep the home clean.
Many landlords also bring a copy of the move-in checklist completed when the tenant first moved into the home, to help identify normal wear and tear items versus any unusual damage caused by the tenant.
Example of a new landlord letter
If you’re interested in a customizable new landlord letter, download one here. The new landlord letter that follows was adapted from a blog post by Rentec Direct, a company that offers property management software, online tenant payments, and tenant screening services:
LANDLORD NAME AND ADDRESS
TENANT NAME AND ADDRESS
I would like to take the time to introduce myself as the new Landlord of [PROPERTY ADDRESS].
Your current lease and payment terms will remain in effect [INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING]:
- MONTHLY RENT AMOUNT
- DUE DATE
- ADDITIONAL RENT
- LATE FEE AND WHEN ASSESSED
- EXPIRATION DATE OF EXISTING LEASE
- AMOUNT OF TENANT SECURITY DEPOSIT HELD BY LANDLORD
However, all payments, maintenance requests and correspondence need to be sent to the address listed at the top of this letter.
If you currently use an automatic draft, cash deposits or electronic payment for your lease payment, please contact your financial institution immediately and take the necessary steps to transfer the automated payments.
I have included a Tenant Information Form for you to fill out. Please complete this form and return it to me at your earliest convenience. It is important that we have all your important information updated for our files.
We would like to inspect and address some minor concerns noted in the inspection. In the next few days we will contact you to coordinate an inspection time. If possible, please arrange to be present at the inspection so that we can personally meet and review any required maintenance items face-to-face.
I look forward to providing you with exceptional management, including prompt maintenance service, as well as maintaining a safe and enjoyable place to live.
Where to find a new landlord letter
The above example of a new landlord letter can be downloaded in either a Word Doc or Google Docs format using the following links:
Other resources for finding an example of a new landlord letter include:
- Rentec Direct: Sample Landlord Introduction Letter
- ezLandlordForms: New Landlord Introduction
- Landlord Studio: Free Landlord Introduction Letter Template
- Word Templates Online: New Landlord Introduction Letter (Free Templates)
They say that first impressions are lasting, and a new landlord letter can make a lasting impression on a tenant. Some landlords prefer to write a new landlord letter using a formal tone, while others like to come across as accommodating and compassionate.
As a rule of thumb, keep a new landlord letter brief and to the point to help ensure that the tenant takes the time to ready it, and follow up by scheduling an in-person visit.