Sharing Your Financial Information with Landlords
One was very upset that we required them to resend their bank statements after they blacked-out their bank account numbers.
The other applicant wanted to know why we asked for proof of their rent payments via cancelled checks and copies of money orders.
In both instances, the applicant felt that we were asking for too much information – after they had already given us their social security number and a copy of their driver’s license!
What they failed to realize is that the owner of the property would be entrusting them with an important asset – called a home.
Let’s look at it this way – if instead of applying to rent a home you applied for a mortgage to buy one, you’d be required to disclose your social security number, driver’s license, paystubs, W-2’s and tax returns, account numbers for all your bank accounts, retirement funds, debt accounts and explain anything the lender asked you to.
So, why would you have a problem providing that same information to the landlord of a property you want to rent? They are basically lending you their property instead of the money to buy a property, but they are still counting on you to make your rent payments on time and take care of their property.
We do find that sometimes applicants don’t want to share the required information because it’s negative and may lead to their application being rejected. It’s very rare that we don’t find out the truth anyways, so you’ll actually be further ahead by disclosing it upfront.
So keep in mind that just because you’re renting a property instead of buying it, doesn’t mean a landlord isn’t entitled to your financial information.