Sharing Your Financial Information with Landlords

Financial Information for RentalLast week we had two interesting interactions with rental applicants.

One was very upset that we required them to resend their bank statements after they blacked-out their bank account numbers.

The other applicant wanted to know why we asked for proof of their rent payments via cancelled checks and copies of money orders.

In both instances, the applicant felt that we were asking for too much information – after they had already given us their social security number and a copy of their driver’s license! 

What they failed to realize is that the owner of the property would be entrusting them with an important asset – called a home. 

Let’s look at it this way – if instead of applying to rent a home you applied for a mortgage to buy one, you’d be required to disclose your social security number, driver’s license, paystubs, W-2’s and tax returns, account numbers for all your bank accounts, retirement funds, debt accounts and explain anything the lender asked you to. 

So, why would you have a problem providing that same information to the landlord of a property you want to rent?  They are basically lending you their property instead of the money to buy a property, but they are still counting on you to make your rent payments on time and take care of their property.

We do find that sometimes applicants don’t want to share the required information because it’s negative and may lead to their application being rejected.  It’s very rare that we don’t find out the truth anyways, so you’ll actually be further ahead by disclosing it upfront.

So keep in mind that just because you’re renting a property instead of buying it, doesn’t mean a landlord isn’t entitled to your financial information.

Posted in: 2. Tenant Blog Posts, Rental Applications

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Comments:

    • jennifer page Says:
    • March 11th, 2012

    Are landlords also legally required to have liability insurance? How about legal responsibility to insure that the tenants’ information is kept safe? There are a lot of legal responsibilities that mortgage companies and banks have to uphold that insure the protection and safety of people who are acquiring an investment and obtaining a huge loan to do so. Let’s not forget that renters are not BUYING. They will reap no reward in owning an asset. R-E-F-R-E-N-C-E-S are a huge plus in obtaining information on a potential renter. Knowing the right questions to ask can also help in making a decision who will be the best fit for the home. I for one would never give out my bank account information. Common sense. If the landlord is not satisfied with the print out minus the account number, I would see that as a red flag. Only monetary lender’s need that information.

    • RRP Says:
    • March 12th, 2012

    Thanks for your opposing view. We don’t agree with it, but we appreciate it.

    • Shannikia Says:
    • May 6th, 2017

    I agree that the landlord does not need to know my banking account numbers. I’m already showing proof of funds. Explain exactly why you need my bank account numbers. What do you plan to do with them?

    • RRP Says:
    • May 13th, 2017

    What is “needed” for your rental application is subjective, but what is required is solely up to the landlord.

    It’s amazing that applicants expect a landlord to turn over possession of a home they could cause thousands of dollars of damage to, yet quibble about sharing banking info that won’t cover these costs.

    Of course, you don’t have to share your banking info, but then the landlord doesn’t have to approve your rental application.

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