letter exchange

October 25th, 2018

What an employment letter should include

It’s always in your best interest to get an employment letter from any tenant you're seriously considering for your rental unit.

Reading and checking an employment letter is one of the best ways to wrap your head around your potential tenant's level of responsibility, their occupation type, their hours of work per week and potentially their salary. 

Employment letters can show you how stable someone's job is, if they're dedicated to it, or if you should consider another tenant with less risk.

You'll need to scrutinize this employment letter to determine if the tenant has told you the truth in person, and if the actual information contained on the document is legitimate. A little sound research and judgement can be used to separate honest applicants from deceptive ones.

Below, we’ll show you what to look for in an employment verification letter.

Length of letter

Is the employer or supervisor being long winded or straight to the point in the letter? Most employers will simply explain the type of work done by the applicant, their weekly hours and their salary if requested.

Unless the employer has a lot of time on their hands, any supervisor who writes at length to describe their employee's characteristics and personality traits should be treated with a bit of skepticism. Why do they have to write so much?

Tone of letter

The tone for an employment letter should be professional above all else. Is there an obvious letterhead showing the company logo at the top of the page? Has the letter come from the Human Resources Department or the employee’s direct supervisor?

If you suspect a friend of the prospective tenant is behind the employment letter, check to see if the tone is professional or leaning towards friendly. Then call them with a handful of rapid-fire questions you can shoot their way, gauging their ability to honestly answer without flinching. 

Relevant information

A proof of employment letter should not include any unnecessary information. Landlords will find the following information useful when they’re tasked with picking a new, working tenant:

  • The person’s name, their department and usually their specific job title
  • The length of time they’ve been employed
  • If they are full- or part-time
  • Number of hours per week
  • Potentially a salary figure
  • If they have weekly or bi-weekly paydays
  • Contact information of employer

Do your due diligence

Once you’ve gotten the proof of employment, it’s up to you to verify the details. Google the company, the prospective tenant’s name and cold-call the supervisor to see if the facts line up.

Doing these steps, along with other important screening techniques such as checking former landlord references and reviewing credit scores, helps you get the responsible and working tenant every landlord is after.