How To Politely Reject a Prospective Tenant

How To Politely Reject a Prospective Tenant
  • Opening Intro -

    Marketing, screening, and accepting tenants can become so overwhelming and time-consuming that some landlords forget the critical process of learning how to turn down a potential tenant.


While you may have already encountered your fair share of awkward situations, declining an application can feel like a completely different ball game. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to help you politely reject a prospective tenant that can make the letdown process go a little smoother.

Don’t Do It in Person

Telling prospective tenants that you’re rejecting their application can lead to many awkward situations, especially if saying no to people isn’t your forte. You can send a letter, email, or even call the person if necessary. You don’t want to give the wrong person the opportunity to get aggressive. While this may seem like a copout, it isn’t. In truth, it’s often the best way to keep situations like this professional.

Know What You’re Going To Say

No matter how you decide to contact an applicant, you want to make sure you know what you want to say and how you want to say it. Getting across the right tone is important if you send a letter or an email. You can keep it strictly dry and business-like or professionally empathetic, but only send rejection letters and emails after thoroughly reviewing them. Additionally, if you’re going to call the person, ensure you have an idea of what you want to say first so you can guide the conversation and feel confident in what you’re saying.

Be the First To Call

If you decide to conduct rejections over the phone, be the first to call. You don’t want a prospective tenant to call you out of the blue when you’re unprepared for the conversation. This looks unprofessional, and an unexpected call can throw you off your game.

Even though you’re rejecting a prospective tenant, being the first to reach out shows responsibility and respect. Proper communication with tenants is critical, even if it’s a potential tenant that you’re rejecting. If you reach out first and conduct an open and respectful conversation, it could be to your benefit. For example, you can ask the prospective tenant if they’d like to get called back in the event that the accepted application falls through.

Write a Rejection Letter Template

If all of this seems too much, or you have too many applicants to contact individually, a rejection letter template can streamline this process. There are many free online rejection letter templates that you can use, or you can write one yourself. In doing so, you can simply plug in the relevant information and send the letter. Many landlords that operate a multitude of properties do this, as playing phone tag and personalizing every letter can become tedious.

Ultimately, the best way to politely reject a tenant is to be kind, punctual, and respectful. You don’t have to give them specific reasons why you’re rejecting them but having the decency to inform them of your decision the right way ensures you don’t burn bridges.

Image Credit: Serious african-american employee making business call focused on laptop screen By fizkes FILE #: 271077976

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