Bank statements for apartment rental, 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.

What do apartments look for on 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, while 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.

Can apartments ask for bank statements?

Actually 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.

Should I show my bank statements to my landlord?

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

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.

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. 

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  1. Pingback: What if I don't make 3 times the rent? Rent rule explained!

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