3 Times Rent Calculator (What can I Afford?)

One of the most common rules that landlords have when it comes to tenant screening is the 3 times the rent rule. As landlords ourselves, we also used this rule when screening tenants in our area. This rule states that a prospective renter must make 3x more each month than the monthly rent.

We’ve created a helpful calculator to help you determine if you meet the 3x rule and can go for that apartment!

The 3x Rent Calculator

Use our 3 times rent calculator to see what you can afford.

How to use our 3x Rent Calculator

Just click the link, click File > Make a copy > Plug in your numbers.

Once you have created your own copy of our calculator on Google Sheets, you are able to plug in your numbers and use the calculator.

Remember: When using our 3x rent calculator, plug in your gross pay not your net pay. This means you should put your pre-tax income. This is a good thing! It will help your chances since it doesn’t require your take home pay for the calculation.

Also, if you have roommates who will be on the lease with you, you can combine your incomes which will further help your chances of getting the best apartment you can all afford.

3 times rent calculator

The simple formula is to figure out your gross monthly income and multiply it by 3. The apartments you are looking at should have a monthly rent equal to, or below this number.

People have asked us specifics like: what is 3 times the rent of $1400? what is 3 times the rent of $1200? or $1500? Honestly it’s a pretty easy equation:

Monthly income Apartment rent X 3

Apartment hunting is not easy and we know it, but if you make sure you have a good credit score and try your best to impress your landlord you will find out that overcoming the three times the rent rule can be easier than you thought.

FAQ

How do you calculate the 3x the rent rule?

Take you and your roommates gross monthly income and divide it by 3, that is the rent you can likely afford according to the rule.

Can I Share your 3x rent calculator?

Absolutely! Feel free to share our helpful calculator with anyone who could benefit from it. If you are another blog we just ask you to link back to us if you plan on using it.

What is 3x the rent of $800?

If rent is $800, the tenants’ income should be $2,400 per month. Or a total combined gross salary of $28,800 per year.

What is 3 times the rent of $1400?

If rent is $1400, the tenants’ income should be $4,200 per month. Or a total combined gross salary of $50,400 per year.

What is 3 times the rent of $1500?

If rent is $1500, the tenants’ income should be $4,500 per month. Or a total combined gross salary of $54,000 per year.


Finding an apartment you can afford starts with the 3x calculation for most landlords. Of course this rule depends on your location, it’s definitely tougher to achieve in certain areas. But the best thing you can do before setting your budget is to use our 3x the rent calculator to determine exactly how much you can afford to spend on your monthly rent. Good luck finding your next apartment!

About Chad & Rachel

Rachel and Chad have over 17 years of experience as both renters and landlords. They were tenants in 7 different apartments before becoming landlords of 9 apartments in Chicago. Renting apartments from landlords and being landlords themselves have helped them gain the knowledge that they want to share with renters. Whether you are at the beginning of your rental journey or in the middle of your lease and dealing with complex apartment issues, we are happy to help where we can. Read more about Rachel and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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