You’ve scoured the internet to find the perfect apartment, wowed the socks off your future landlord, and picked the perfect color to accent the cabinets in your new kitchen. All that’s standing in your way is navigating the rental application and all the details it demands, including your income. Many leases, especially with larger apartment complexes, have some sort of income requirement (likely 2 to 3 times your rent). But how do landlords actually verify your income during this crucial process?
In addition to your credit score, renter’s history, and a few other variables, your income is a key component of your candidacy for an apartment. A good rule of thumb is to search for an apartment that costs about 30% of your income. Be careful though – some leases require more than this, or a higher security deposit.
The first thing you can do is be prepared with 3 to 6 months of current pay stubs and/or bank statements. For freelancers, bringing along a few years’ of IRS-approved tax returns is recommended in addition to bank statements. Students should bring their loan disbursement schedule.
Landlords will probably ask you to list your employer’s contact information so they can verify your income and date of hire. They might also run a credit check to gain insight into your financial health. Some landlords work with outside organizations to run employment checks and verify income.
Bottom line? Be honest. Don’t waste you or the landlord’s time if you don’t meet the income requirements up front. Some may be willing to work with you if you don’t, but avoid getting attached to a place if you don’t think you’ll be able to afford it. Tell him or her up front to establish a trusting relationship with your potential future landlord.
Now that you’re in-the-know, you can prepare your information ahead of time to speed up the apartment application and approval process. Find your next apartment on ApartmentSearch.com to get started today!