Bank statements for rental application, everything explained!

You found the perfect place, you earn more than 3 times the rent but now your landlord is asking for bank statements for apartment proof of income WHAAAAT? CAN HE DO IT?

Showing bank statements for apartment applications is more and more common nowadays and renters can often feel like their privacy is being compromised so we put a quick guide that you walk you through everything you need to know about this practice so you can decide whether you feel comfortable with it or it is time to find a new apartment to rent.

Can apartments ask for bank statements?

‘Can a landlord ask for bank statements?’ is a common question and the answer is yes. Landlords are allowed to ask for anything that can prove your ability to pay your rent every month, as long as it is reasonable information. However, you have the equal right to decline the request.

What do landlords look for in bank statements?

Bank statements for apartment applications are usually used as proof of income. If you are self-employed your landlord will probably want to look for deposits that can prove that you are making what you stated in your rental application. If you are actually employed by a company, they will compare your bank account with your pay stubs in order to corroborate that you didn’t fake them. 

In cases where you don’t meet the apartment’s income requirements, such as not making 3 times the rent or if you are trying to rent an apartment without a job, the landlord will want to see in your bank statements if you have enough savings to guarantee that you can pay the rent and will probably pay attention to your spending habits.

Should I show my bank statements to my landlord?

You are not forced to provide your bank statements for apartment applications, however, it is recommended to do so. One thing you ou should keep in mind that, as long as the landlord is not violating any discrimination law, he reserves the right to rent the apartment to whoever he wants to, which can lead into another person winning the place.

Is it safe to send bank statements to the landlord?

Besides acceding to your personal transactions, the only “extra” information your landlord will get with your statements is your bank account number. There are several sources where the landlord will get this information, such as your payment checks, so actually, it is nothing new for him, so we can say that it is totally safe to send your bank statements to the landlord.

If you can afford to rent the apartment but don’t feel comfortable showing your bank statements, you can always offer him to provide the following information in order to prove that you are capable of renting the apartment:

  • W-2 Form filled by your employer: as the IRS website states, every employer is forced to file a Form W-2 for each employee. Among other information, this document states your wage, tips and other forms of compensation so it is an excellent way to prove your income.
  • 1099-MISC Form: this tax form reports income payments and royalties and is the one you should pay attention to if you are self-employed.
  • Pay stubs: if you are employed this is the easiest way to prove your income without using bank statements for the apartment application, however, there have been several reported cases of tenants faking them so landlords can be more reluctant to accept them.

Sadly, if you are living off savings while in between jobs or have a steady income that is less than 3 times the rent, it will be very difficult to find an apartment without showing your bank statements. 

Fake bank statements for apartment rental

It is crazy that we have to say this but faking your bank statements for an apartment application is not a good idea. While it might sound as a child’s trick, forging financial documents for your own benefits is a fraud and you risk facing criminal charges. 

If for any particular reason you can’t show your statements we recommend you to sublet an apartment as most of the time the requirements to get one of them are lower.

Have you shared your bank statements with your landlord? Let us know! We would love to hear your comments about it and share your experience on this post. 

If you are in the process of renting a new apartment and you are not conviced of showing your bank statements we recommend you to check our guide about renting with a guarantor

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.

10 thoughts on “Bank statements for rental application, everything explained!”

  1. I provided my bank statements as well as paystubs and all identification documents to a third party site in order to qualify for an apartment. The same company called me and told me I had to call my bank with them in 3way so they can hear and verify my account funds and transactions. This is not only an invasion of privacy but it seems illegal based on the banking privacy act. As well as 4th Amendment. It’s a scammers dream to have not only your full identification information but access to your accounts.

  2. Currently in order to rent property in New York City, most landlords want to see your bank statements IN ADDITION to pay stubs, tax returns, and a credit report. Credit checks became the norm only 10 something years ago. Prepare to submit for a DNA test and body cavity search in another 10 years.

  3. Why would a landlord want 6 months of bank statements when I have shown proof of income, dedicated funds for the amount of rent as well as precious landlord statements as to paying my rent on time and in full? I was renting a room from my last landlord and she lost the house due to her negligence of making payments, so now I am homeless. Again I have proved that I have dedicated funds for my rent payment and I am not comfortable with this company having FULL ACCESS to my bank accounts. I have already given them info on my accounts…why do they need to see my daily habits (I am paying off credit cards debts which don’t affect my dedicated rent payments)? My personal life is not for them to know outside of cleanliness and the ability to pay. The rental property is subsidized…

  4. Past rental history without issue should be enough. Sharing bank accounts online seems very unsafe to me.

  5. I just don’t see why they need to be able to see each an every transaction I make. I think paystaubs and renters history plus a credit check is all they should ask for. What I do in my personal life is my own business. They do Not need to see exactly how I live my life day to day. I make enough simple as that.


Leave a Comment