How to Give Your Tenant Permission by Writing an Authorization Letter

Landlords learn quickly that almost everything related to tenants must be written down and kept on file. Authorization letters are an important part of keeping track of changes, adjustments and alterations in the tenant’s residency in your rental unit.

Learning how to write clear and detailed tenant letters will benefit your business and your record keeping.

What is a Tenant Authorization Letter?

A tenant authorization letter is one that gives permission for the tenant to do something to the rental property, whether it’s calling an outside service to complete a repair or making changes to the property outside the lease agreement. An authorization letter makes it clear what is allowed and when. It also documents that you are aware of the activity and approve of it.

Here are some examples of why you might need to write an authorization letter to the tenant:

  • The rental property needs major plumbing repairs and you authorize the tenant to call for bids from different plumbing companies.
  • The tenant would like to paint one of the bedrooms for his children in a bright, cheery color and you agree but want final approval on the color.
  • The tenant wants to get a satellite dish installed and you agree but want to highlight the conditions in the lease agreement about installation.
  • The tenant wants to run a home business out of the rental property, so your letter of authorization establishes the conditions and notes any municipal regulations about such practices.
  • The tenant wants to sublet the rental property and the authorization letter outlines the conditions and penalties as noted in the lease agreement.

How to Write a Tenant Authorization Letter

There are many templates for authorization or permission letters online. You can write your own letter by following these 5 steps:

  1. Include the date, the tenant’s full name and address at the top of the letter.
  2. Identify yourself as the landlord of the property and that you grant permission for the requested action.
  3. Add any additional conditions or provisions that must take place. This can be as simple or as detailed as the situation requires.
  4. Sign and date the letter, then deliver it personally to your tenant.
  5. Keep a copy of the authorization letter in the tenant’s file, so you’ll have written evidence in case of a dispute.

Example of Tenant Authorization Letter

Here is an example of a basic authorization letter that you might send a tenant requesting a satellite dish:

May 24, 2013
Jane Tenant
123 Elm Street, Apt. 2

Dear Jane,

As the landlord of the rental property, I, Mary Landlord, give permission for you to work with a satellite TV company to subscribe for their services, including installing a dish on the property. Please read the lease agreement, section 2-13, where it outlines the conditions for installation.

In brief, these conditions are that 1) the installation must be done by a reputable company that is licensed and insured; 2) I must be present for the installation and must approve any drilling to accommodate cables; and 3) the dish must be installed on the south end of your apartment balcony and cannot hang over the sidewalk below.

Please contact me about the time and date of the installation so I can be present.

Mary Landlord, 555-5555

Even a tenant authorization letter doesn’t guarantee the tenant will understand you. Do you have any tips on ensuring clear and open communication when it comes to giving permission for something?

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