How To Write an Appeal Letter If You’ve Been Denied an Apartment
You’ve been touring various apartments, and you find the perfect one. It fits your budget, the natural light is beautiful and it comes with great amenities. And then a curveball â your rental application gets denied. You’re not alone. Nine out of 10 people have their rental applications rejected. What now? You write an appeal letter. Here’s how to write an appeal letter to your potential landlord:
Well, thanks to the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot reject applications based on an applicant’s race, sex, gender, national origin, color, disability or familial status.
Beyond that, there are many possible valid reasons for a rental application denial â including income, credit score, bad references, rental history and background check. This is why it’s essential to look at the property’s requirements closely.
If you feel like the landlord made a mistake with your rental application, here’s how to write an appeal letter to ask them to reconsider.
What is an appeal letter?
The appeal letter expands on an issue found by the landlord that led to the denial. For example, no previous formal rental history or maybe you have more income than you showed. If you feel like you have additional information or clarification that may change their mind and approve your application, you might want to try writing an appeal letter.
When to write an appeal letter?
The most optimal time to send an appeal letter is within a week from receiving the denial letter from the landlord.
First, make sure the unit is still available before sending it, if possible. Then put together all evidence as soon as possible and send it certified via mail to confirm receipt. Emails can get lost in inboxes or ignores. Check-in 48 hours after receipt via email if you haven’t received a response.
What to include in your apartment appeal letter?
Now that you’ve decided to appeal the landlord’s decision, it’s time to build your case.
Scan your denial letter carefully
Every denial letter must tell you the specific reasons why your application was denied. After reading it carefully, identify the details that you’d like to provide more clarification on for the appeal letter. If the letter is vague, ask for a new letter with more specific information about your denial. It will help you provide a better appeal letter.
Think of what reason you want to address and how
If you had an incomplete application with not enough references, provide those in the appeal letter. Or if you didn’t have a formal rental history, explain that it’s your first apartment or provide references from old informal landlords.
If your income doesn’t meet the requirement in the background check provided, share that you have more than one job and bank statements to corroborate your actual income. Or maybe the credit check showed the wrong score.
Address the appeal letter
Add your name, current return address at the top with your rental application date. Follow below with today’s date and the landlord’s name with property address below that.
First paragraph: Ask for reconsideration
This paragraph should focus on quickly explaining the reason for this appeal letter. Start by thanking the property manager for their time and share that you’d like for them to reconsider your application for this specific property.
Second paragraph: State your case
This is where you make your case. First, clearly state the reason for the appeal of the property’s decision and restate their reason for denying your rental application. Then add additional evidence or clarify why the property manager should reconsider. If your credit score was wrong, attach a new credit report from a bureau and explain why the error happened, for example.
Take your time to flesh out your reasoning before putting it on paper. Stay concise in this section but effective at making your case.
Third paragraph: Offer possible concessions
Here’s where you will quickly summarize your letter by restating your reason for the appeal and offer any additional concessions, like a larger security deposit or a shorter lease, for example. Mention the other documentation you’re attaching, if any.
Conclusion: Don’t forget to sign
Write ‘Sincerely’ and sign your name. Below that, print your name with your contact information for easy access.
Use persuasive language
Keep the letter concise and explain just the facts. Avoid any negative language or complaining throughout the letter. The letter must remain clear and impartial to highlight your points more effectively. You’re negotiating with the landlord via the letter so think about what you can offer to make you trust you over someone else.
Avoid being overly emotional or desperate. Just make sure you don’t concede too much that you put yourself at risk as a tenant.
How do you write an appeal letter for reconsideration?
Use this template below to write your appeal letter. You can also download a word document of this sample letter and make changes where necessary.
(Name of landlord)
(Address of property)
(Landlord’s last name),
Thank you for taking the time to review my rental application at (property address with unit number) and now, my appeal letter. I understand that my application was not approved due to (reason for denial), but I wanted to share additional information for your consideration.
(Paragraph explaining your denial and what you’ve done to fix the problem.)
(Paragraph explaining what concessions you might be able to offer. Reference any attached documents here.)
Please feel free to contact me to discuss my rental application further. Thank you again for taking the time to review my rental application again for (property address with unit number).
Avoid getting your application denied for next time
Getting your hopes up about an apartment and then getting your rental application denied can truly crush you.
Most of the time, a rental application doesn’t have room for nuance, and that’s where the appeal letter can help with more details. Make sure to double-check your application before submitting it, too. If the apartment complex has other units available, it’s worth appealing their decision with more facts and seeing if you can nab an approval.
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