Can you Combine Income to Rent an Apartment?

Finding an apartment to rent on your own can limit what you’re able to afford. One easy way to help satisfy the 3 times the rent rule is to get a roommate. But the question is, are you able to combine everybody’s income in order to rent an apartment?

Yes, as long as all the tenants are going to fill out an application and be on the lease, you can absolutely combine incomes to rent an apartment.

Creative ways to combine incomes in order to rent an apartment

When Rachel and I were screening our own tenants we’d notice that unless somebody had a high-paying job, it was tough to afford some of our more expensive apartments we had for rent.

One piece of advice we would have given these tenants would be to think about renting with a roommate in order to satisfy the income requirement that we, and most other landlords have.

1. Bring on a roommate

Renting an apartment with a roommate can help you expand how much apartment you can afford- it’s pretty simple.

Landlords will allow you to combine income as long as the incomes being combined are from the people who will be on the lease. You can’t just temporarily bring somebody on who your landlord doesn’t know about, and combine incomes. The income sources being considered have to be people who are screened by the landlord or property management company.

Can you Combine Income to Rent an Apartment

2. Make sure you’re combining all of your income sources

Do you have any side-hustles or other income sources? You can definitely combine all of your income sources to help achieve the rent requirement rules.

If you only have your job income, than this won’t apply to you. Unless you decide to start a side-hustle or job and can get a few months of income proof under your belt. If it is a new income source, the landlord may ask to see bank statements or other proof of this alternative income source.

3. Get a Guarantor

If you have one income source, can’t or don’t want to bring on a roommate, there’s still one more option to get the apartment of your dreams. You can use get a guarantor or use a guarantor service.

Not all landlords will allow you to, but you may be able to combine income information with your parents’ or guarantor in a way that shows you can afford the apartment.

If your parents can use their income to show that they are helping you to pay rent, this could be your best way to combine income to rent an apartment.

Sometimes you need to get creative to get the apartment you want and we love helping people learn how to do that. Yes, you can combine incomes to rent an apartment in a variety of ways- just go with the way that suits your situation the best.

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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