Landlord’s Guide to Writing a Proof of Residency Letter
As a landlord, it’s fairly common to be asked to provide a proof of residency letter, also known as an affidavit of residence.
Tenants might request this type of official verification for a variety of reasons in which they need to prove that they reside at their address.
The proof of residency letter is simple, and isn’t something landlords need to stress over. This guide includes everything property owners need to know about the proof of residency letter and how to handle these requests when they come.
What is a Proof of Residency Letter?
Proof of residency letters simply serve the purpose of verifying your tenant’s residence for a third party who requires it of your tenant.
The proof of residency letter is not a landlord’s recommendation of their tenant. You don’t need to vouch for the individual at all, you just need to verify whether or not the individual does, in fact, live at your property.
Why Might a Tenant Want One?
A current tenant may request a proof of residency letter for any situation in which a third party wishes to verify their residence before granting them some sort of service or approval process. Here are just a few examples.
The DMV wants to make sure the address they print on an individual’s driver’s license is accurate, so a proof of residency letter is often required. However, it is also common for DMV’s to also accept proof of residency by showing pieces of recent mail that have been received by the tenant at their current address.
Proof of residency may also be required for registering a vehicle.
School District Verification
Most public school districts limit access to their resources to families that live within their designated district boundaries.
When the residence of potential students is unclear, a proof of residence letter may be requested of a parent in order for their student to be enrolled.
Voting for political offices is organized by district, so potential voters need to be able to verify that they actually live in the area for which they will cast a vote.
Again, some circumstances also allow for this verification to happen by presenting mail or pay stubs that note the individual’s address. But a proof of residency letter from their landlord is one option that some individuals may choose.
How to Write a Proof of Residency Letter for Tenants
The proof of residency letter should be a completely straightforward, simple statement of fact. While some landlords elect to actually write it in their own words, some even use a fillable template to get the job done.
The choice is yours, as long as you include the necessary elements.
Elements to Include
- Complete Property Address
- Tenant’s Full Name
- Landlord’s Full Name & Contact Information
- Current Lease Terms (only necessary if requested by tenant/third party)
- Landlord Signature
Proof of Residency Letter Template
To simplify the process of writing proof of residency letters for tenants, you might decide to use a template like this.
Using a Public Notary
The requesting tenant can let you know whether or not the affidavit of residence must be notarized. If it must be signed in front of a notary, then a section of the letter should be included for the notary to include their stamp and signature.
Completing / Delivering a Proof of Residency Letter
Just as landlords expect their tenants to act promptly when requests are made, tenants ought to be able to expect their landlords to act quickly when help is needed, in the form of a proof of residency letter or otherwise.
The completed letter may be handed to the tenant in person, sent by mail, left at the property, or whatever other arrangement is agreed upon with you and your tenant.
Things to Remember
Tell the Truth
Be absolutely truthful in all of the details included in a proof of residency letter.
Keep It Simple - Stick to the Facts
This is a facts-only document. There is no need to be creative in language or add any personal opinion. Its only purpose is to establish that a tenant does, in fact, reside at a particular address.
Proof of Residency Letter vs Landlord Reference
A landlord’s letter of reference is a completely different document from a proof of residency letter. You might choose to not write a reference for a bad tenant, but there is no reason to not complete a proof of residency letter for any tenant who legally resides at your property, no matter how you feel about them.
In some cases, the third party that wants to verify your tenant’s residency may request the information from you directly as the landlord.
If this happens, you should notify your tenant and get their written permission to provide the proof to the requesting party.
Tenant Management Services in Utah
Providing proof of residency is part of the tenant management minutiae that landlords must take care of.
At Joseph Thomas, we manage tasks like these along with a variety of other services in order to free up our Utah property owner clients to focus their time where they want to.
If you’re ready to streamline and maximize your rental property management, we’re ready to help you do it. Let’s chat!