Sharing Your Financial Information with Landlords
Last week we had two interesting interactions with rental applicants.
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.
8 thoughts on “Sharing Your Financial Information with Landlords”
Are landlords also legally required to have liability insurance? How about legal responsibility to insure that the tenants’ information is kept safe? There are a lot of legal responsibilities that mortgage companies and banks have to uphold that insure the protection and safety of people who are acquiring an investment and obtaining a huge loan to do so. Let’s not forget that renters are not BUYING. They will reap no reward in owning an asset. R-E-F-R-E-N-C-E-S are a huge plus in obtaining information on a potential renter. Knowing the right questions to ask can also help in making a decision who will be the best fit for the home. I for one would never give out my bank account information. Common sense. If the landlord is not satisfied with the print out minus the account number, I would see that as a red flag. Only monetary lender’s need that information.
Thanks for your opposing view. We don’t agree with it, but we appreciate it.
I agree that the landlord does not need to know my banking account numbers. I’m already showing proof of funds. Explain exactly why you need my bank account numbers. What do you plan to do with them?
What is “needed” for your rental application is subjective, but what is required is solely up to the landlord.
It’s amazing that applicants expect a landlord to turn over possession of a home they could cause thousands of dollars of damage to, yet quibble about sharing banking info that won’t cover these costs.
Of course, you don’t have to share your banking info, but then the landlord doesn’t have to approve your rental application.
You’re not explaining WHY you need a bank account number or other information that could potentially be used to steal an applicants identity. You need to be able to explain why you need that information if you’re going to require it. That’s just data collection common sense. You’re implying some kind of “mutually assured destruction” because the landlord gives possession of the home, but during the application process there’s no reciprocation for the applicant, they’re just handing over their information with no guarantee they can trust you.
Why would a landlord need bank account info to steal an applican’ts identity, when they aleady have an applicant’s driver’s license and social security number?
An applicant doesn’t HAVE to supply any of this information to a landlord, but then the landlord doesn’t HAVE to approve their application.
I find it hilarious that you just keep reverting back to the whole “we already have your social and driver license.” Ok Then why do you need my specific Banking Institution AND my specific Account Number???? I mean if you’re going to steal my identity, you already have a great jump start. So why would renters then provide you even more information to make the job of stealing someones identity even more easy??? I have no problem providing direct deposit information into my checking account. However I see no reason why any Landlord would have to know where you bank and what your account number is to still see and believe the income is factual. Even if I gave you that information, what are you doing with it? I could have given you my friends bank statement, because you legally can’t call the bank and verify over the phone or in person that that account actually belongs to ME. It’s my account and no one but the bank and other financial institutions (not citizens) can access information from.
We’re glad we can put a smile on your face!
Landlords aren’t required to explain their legal application requirements.
You are welcome to your opinion, and don’t have to comply with their requirements, but then they don’t have to approve your rental application.
To address your question more specifically, the Eviction Moratorium seems to have caused a spike in rental application fraud. One of the biggest areas of fraud, has been false employment information. Several landlord groups recommended their members require bank statement(s) from applicants to prove their income – as the majority of employers now direct deposit payroll payments. There have been many examples of applicants not being able to explain why their bank statements showed weekly unemployment deposits, but no deposits correlating to their submittted paystubs.
Hope that helps you!