How to Contact the Landlord

Make a Good First Impression

Contacting a Landlord by Email

Many landlords prefer to receive rental inquiries via email rather than by phone. Or, perhaps, a particular listing that has caught your attention is lacking ample information and you would like to learn more before submitting your rental application.

This is your opportunity to make a good first impression. It is important to note that landlords will use your email inquiry as a method of pre-screening.

Follow these tips to present yourself as an ideal potential tenant and to optimize your chances of receiving a response from the landlord.

Example email

Hello Mr. Landlord,
My name is “YOUR NAME HERE” and I’m interested in your rental at 55 Residence Dr. My roommate and I are searching for a peaceful place to live near campus. We are quiet and studious, majoring in physics and psychology, and capable of paying rent through jobs and financial support from parents. Our application packet is ready for review; I would love to set up an appointment to see the property. My phone number is 
705-555-5555

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.
“YOUR NAME HERE”

Do:

  • State who you are and why you need a rental
  • Mention where you found their ad and how you can afford the rental
  • Offer to provide references (work/volunteer/housing office)
  • Include some highlighting feature from the original ad so that when you receive a response you can remember which rental you are talking about (ex. 4-bedroom 2.5-bath townhome in Seabright, address if provided).
  • Ask for pictures of the rental if the ad posted has indicated that pictures are available upon request
  • Ask questions about pertinent facts that may not be included in the ad.

Don’t:

  • Mention your age
  • Include a link to your Facebook page
  • Show that you haven’t fully read the ad by asking questions already answered in the ad.

Making Your 1st Call to a Landlord

Most landlords receive many messages regarding a rental listing. Follow these tips to make a good first impression and improve your odds of receiving a return phone call.

Chances are good that you will reach someone’s voicemail. Speak slowly and clearly. Repeat your phone number at the end of the message. Frantic messages with quick speech and an unorganized speaker do not encourage landlords to return those calls.

Things to do before making the call:

  • Review the rental advertisement to see if you have any questions about the rental in case the landlord answers the phone.
  • Know your schedule so that you are ready to make an appointment to view a rental.
  • Decide how you would like to present yourself to the landlord and how to best show that you are a responsible individual (e.g., through your part-time job, volunteer work, research projects, past experience as a tenant).
  • Tell them where you found their ad.
  • Take a deep breath and prepare yourself to speak calmly, comprehensibly, and concisely.

Here are some examples of what to do and what not to do when leaving a message:

  • Caller #1:“Yeah, my name is Tom and I’m calling about your rental. I’m at 555-5555. Thanks.”
  • Caller #2:“Hi! My name is Tom Jones, and my number is 555-5555. I’m very interested in your Bay Avenue unit; the location is perfect. I am a student at Fleming College majoring in Customs Border Services, and I am quiet and studious. I am a very responsible person and I can afford the rent because I support myself with part-time work. I also receive financial support from my parents. I’d really like an appointment to see the place, so please call me. Again, this is Tom Jones, 555-5555, and I’ll be available between 7 to 9 p.m. tonight or you can leave me a message at any time. Thank you.”

There are several reasons why Caller #2 is much more likely to get a call back from the landlord:

  • Caller #2 speaks clearly and slowly and repeats the number for the return call.
  • Caller #2 indicates that they are quiet, responsible and able to pay the rent.
  • Caller #2 gives an indication of how they will be able to pay the rent.
  • Caller #2 speaks in greater detail, implying that they are a thinking and caring individual.

If the landlord answers the phone:

  • Speak clearly.
  • Know what you want to say to the landlord and what questions you would like to ask.
  • Be prepared to take notes on the landlord’s answers so that you can reference them later. This is especially important if you are calling on behalf of a group of people.
  • Set a date and time to see the rental. Inform the landlord that you will be ready to turn in an application if you like the rental.