How to Write A Letter or Email to Your Landlord – With 8 Samples

Whether you need to request repairs, complain about your neighbors, or make a simple request, writing a letter or email to your landlord can be beneficial in all kinds of different situations. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through some tips for writing your landlord and offer a series of sample templates you can use as guidelines for your own correspondence. 

Basic tips for crafting a successful letter or email

Any time you write a letter or email to your landlord, keep your language clear and concise to eliminate any potential for confusion. Include relevant details such as the date of writing, the dates of any instances referenced within the letter, and your contact information and unit number.

Depending on your reason for writing a letter, you may wish to cite the details of your lease or the tenant laws in your state. If your landlord is flaky, reminding him that you know your rights may be enough to spur him into taking action. 

To write or to email? 

Both posted letters and emails can be effective ways to communicate with your landlord, and in many ways they’re interchangeable. Email is faster, and allows you to keep a clear record of your communications. And it’s easy to keep multiple parties in the loop on one email conversation.

Mailing a letter can be a great way to reinforce your request or message, especially if your landlord has been unresponsive. Make sure to include your return address so your landlord has no excuse not to write you back.

Whichever communication method you choose, the sample letters below are designed to serve just as well as for email or a mailed letter.

Sample Templates

The following templates cover various common scenarios in which a letter to your landlord may be helpful or even required. Don’t be afraid to adjust your letter’s tone to best suit your relationship with your landlord.

Paying the rent late

A well-crafted letter explaining why your rent is late and offering solutions can be a powerful tool for staying on your landlord’s good side and lessening the penalties that typically accompany late payment. Use the following sample to craft a letter to your landlord regarding late rent payment.

For additional tips on managing this situation, check out our article on how to tell your landlord the rent will be late.

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I’m writing to inform you that my rent payment will be late this month.

I was recently laid off from my job and won’t be able to make the payment on time. I have applied for unemployment benefits, but it may take up to 2 weeks before I receive my first payment.

I can pay $500 on the due date, and I will pay the remainder of the rent as soon as I receive my first unemployment check. I’ve also picked up some freelancing gigs and am actively interviewing for new jobs to avoid this problem next month.

Please let me know if this payment plan will work for you.

I understand that my late payment may have negative repercussions on your financial situation, and I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. I’m working diligently to ensure this never happens again.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Did you know? Rent doesn’t have to be due on the first. With Flex, you can split your rent in two and pay on whatever day you choose. Click here to check it out.

Intention to vacate

When you decide to move out of your apartment, you must give notice to your landlord. Check your lease agreement to see how many days of advance notice you are obligated to provide. If you have a good relationship with your landlord, you may wish to give early notice so he has plenty of time to find new renters.

In the letter, you should state the date you plan to vacate and remind the landlord that you wish to have your security deposit returned. You can offer to do a walk-through to assess the condition of the unit. Don’t forget to share your forwarding address so your landlord can get in touch with you in the future, if necessary. 

You can use the template below to craft your letter.

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name]

I am writing to inform you that I will be vacating my rental at [rental address] on [date you will move out].

I’m confident that you’ll find the unit in excellent condition. As such, please send my refundable security deposit in the amount of $________  to the following address:

[Your forwarding address]

If you wish to discuss this or schedule a walk-through of the unit, you can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Request for Security Deposit

In some states, your landlord isn’t required to return your security deposit unless you request it. Each state has different rules stipulating how long your landlord has to return your deposit. 

The following security deposit demand letter was written in the context of California law. Make sure to adjust the following template to conform to the laws in your state.

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name]

I wish to request that you return my security deposit in the amount of $________, which I paid for the rental at [rental address]. 

I expect to receive my deposit within 21 days, as stipulated by California state law. I vacated my rental on MM/DD/YYYY and thus expect to have my deposit returned no later than MM/DD/YYYY.

Please send payment to the following address:

[Your forwarding address]

If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Contesting deductions from your security deposit

As long as you leave your rental unit in the same condition in which you found it (minus normal wear and tear),  you are entitled to have your full security deposit returned. If your landlord determines that you’ve caused property damage that warrants repair, they may deduct from your deposit to cover those expenses. Unfortunately, some landlords may try to pull one over on you by making deductions that are excessive or unfair.

If you disagree with your landlord’s deductions from your security deposit you can dispute them. Do so in writing so there’s a clear paper trail.

Use the following template to craft your letter.

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name]

I am writing to formally contest the deductions you made from my security deposit for the rental at [rental address].

Your deduction of $ _____ based on the claim that I left my rental “excessively dirty” is unjustifiable. I hired a professional cleaning service to clean the unit before I vacated and oversaw the work myself. I am confident the unit was left in impeccable condition. You will find the receipt for the cleaning attached to this letter. 

Please send the remainder of my deposit, totaling $_______ to the following address within 7 days.

[Your forwarding address]

If I do not receive the payment by MM/DD/YYYY I will pursue legal action.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Request for Repairs

When it comes to repairs on your rental, it’s wise to create a paper trail of your requests in case there are ever issues regarding maintenance in the future.

In your letter, state the date the issue began, describe the problem in detail, and outline a timeline for arranging repairs.

If you have already requested maintenance and the issue is ongoing or has yet to be repaired, writing a letter is a great way to follow up and remind your landlord that you are still expecting a resolution. Don’t be afraid to pressure your landlord by referencing state laws or the terms of your lease regarding maintenance.

The following is a template you can use for a standard maintenance request. 

[Date] 

Dear [Landlord’s Name]

I am writing to inform you that the bathroom sink in my rental unit located at [rental address] has been leaking into the vanity cabinet since [date the issue started]. I have been unable to fix the problem on my own and request that it be evaluated by a professional.

I appreciate your arranging to have this repaired as soon as possible. I can make myself available to let a technician into the rental any day this week after 2 PM. Please let me know when the technician will be arriving.

If you wish to discuss this issue further, you can reach me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. 

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Following up on request for repairs

In some instances, you may contact your landlord over the phone to request repairs rather than writing a letter, especially if the issue is urgent. In this case, it’s wise to write a follow-up letter confirming what you discussed to ensure that there is a record of the problem.

Use the following template to craft your own follow-up letter.

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I am writing to follow-up on the repairs we discussed over the phone on [MM/DD/YYY]

As you know, on [MM/DD/YYY], the faucet in the kitchen sink of my unit, #_______, began leaking. 

I contacted a plumber and had the faucet replaced. The cost of the repair came to $123.75. 

As we agreed, I would appreciate it if you could send a check reimbursing me for that amount within 10 days.

Thanks for your assistance with this issue. 

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

Vacating your rental due to uninhabitable conditions

When your landlord fails to keep your rental in inhabitable condition, they are violating the terms of your lease. If you find yourself in this situation, you can break your lease agreement and move out early without penalty. 

In your letter, detail the issues that render the unit unfit. Collect as much evidence as you can to support your claims in case your landlord disputes the issue. If you can provide photos and documentation as well as a record of communication with your landlord regarding the problems, it will all be helpful if the issue is ever escalated. 

Here’s a sample letter you can send to your landlord in this situation. Adjust the tone of the letter to suit your relationship with your landlord. 

[Date]

Dear [Landlord’s Name],

I am writing to inform you that I will be vacating my rental at [rental address] on [move out date].

As you are aware, my lease doesn’t expire until [MM/DD/YYYY] but I will be moving out early due to ongoing maintenance issues that render the unit uninhabitable. 

I have reported the presence of black mold in the bathroom multiple times, first on [MM/DD/YYYY] and again on [MM/DD/YYYY] and the issue has yet to be addressed. 

As you know, pursuant to California Civil Code Section 1942, I am entitled to break my lease and vacate the rental free of penalty because the mold is a health concern.

As such, I expect that you will forward my damage deposit in the amount of $_____ to the following address by [MM/DD/YYYY].

[Your forwarding address]

If you wish to discuss this you can reach me by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX.

Best Regards,

[Your name]

Complaint about neighbors sample letter

If noisy neighbors are causing you to lose sleep at night, it may be worthwhile to have your landlord intervene. 

Ideally, a civil conversation will be all it takes to come to a resolution, but in extreme cases, having noise complaint letters on file might assist your landlord in building a case for eviction.

Before you draft the letter, review your lease agreement to see what it says about noise issues. It may be helpful to quote the language on your lease in your letter to your landlord.

Below is a noise complaint template letter to help you get started.

[Date] 

Dear [Landlord’s Name]

I am writing to make a formal complaint about noise from the tenants in unit #_______. 

My lease states that building quiet hours are between 10 PM and 6 AM. However, these neighbors are consistently playing loud music well past midnight. The noise is impeding my ability to sleep and thus my ability to do my job. 

I have spoken with these individuals three times this month on [MM/DD/YYYY], [MM/DD/YYYY], and [MM/DD/YYYY], but the issue is still ongoing. I would really appreciate it if you could speak with them regarding the noise. If we cannot resolve this situation I will be forced to begin looking for a new apartment.

Thank you in advance for attending to this matter.

Best Regards,

[Your Name]

For more info, see our full guide on how to file a noise complaint.

A Final Word

There are countless scenarios in which a letter to your landlord can come in handy. Whether you’re making a complaint, seeking assistance, or following-up on a telephone conversation, a clearly written letter can help you resolve issues and advocate for yourself as a tenant.

Remember, letters create a paper trail for both you, your landlord, and others to refer back to time and again. In the off-chance that you ever end up in a formal dispute, you’ll be glad to have this record of correspondence to reference.