Can Landlords Ask for Bank Account Information on Rental Applications?


iStock.com/Delmaine Donson

Finally, you’ve found your perfect apartment and you’re ready to move. Your next step is to complete an application for your potential new apartment and, after approval, sign the lease for your new space.

You might feel like you’re exposing your entire financial history when you apply to rent an apartment. However, what may worry some are the landlords asking for your bank account number and recent bank statements. Find out what you need to know if you come across a rental request asking for your bank details.

Can a landlord request your banking information in your rental application?

The short answer is yes. Homeowners and property managers will need proof of income to be able to rent the apartment to financially secure people. However, you probably won’t have to provide your actual account and routing numbers on the app itself to do so, but rather a bank or tax statement to prove your income. Below are some examples of information you may be asked to provide to confirm your financial responsibility as a tenant.

  • Account balance
  • bank statement
  • Contact information
  • Co-signer information
  • Driver’s license number
  • Job information
  • Payslips
  • Income tax returns
  • Residential history
  • Social Security number

While some property owners and managers will ask for all of the documents listed, others will only ask for some. Your best bet is to have everything on hand so that you can complete your application in a timely manner and beat other potential applicants.

When would the owner need your bank details?

Landlords only want to rent to reliable and financially stable tenants. By asking for your bank details, the landlord can confirm that you have an account and that your monthly income, less your charges, is sufficient to cover the rent. Another reason landlords want to know your account number is security if you don’t pay the rent. If the landlord has to sue you for breaking a lease, they can get a court order allowing them to withdraw money directly from your account to pay a court debt.

Plus, landlords are constantly on the lookout for new ways to simplify the rental process for their tenants. Hence, some might adopt the use of advanced online property management systems. These systems require you to provide your banking information to facilitate secure online rent payment services.

If you choose to pay your deposit or rent by check, the check itself provides the bank details the landlord needs. One routing number identifies your banking institution, and the other set of numbers on the check associates your bank account number. Using online payment portals eliminates cases where checks are lost or ripped from a deposit box, potentially exposing your private information.

Do I have to show my bank account number to my landlord?

You do not have to produce your bank details for apartment rental requests. However, as long as they do not break any discrimination laws, the owners reserve the right to rent the apartment to whomever they choose, which could result in the apartment being occupied by another tenant if you do not comply. not the documentation requirements.

Suppose you can afford to rent an apartment but you don’t feel comfortable showing your bank details. In this case, you can always provide the following information to verify that you are able to rent the apartment:

  • Form W-2: As the IRS website states, the law requires every employer to file a W-2 form for every employee. This document shows your tips, wages, and other forms of compensation, and it’s another way to check your income.
  • Form 1099-MISC: This tax form summarizes all royalties and income payments. You must take this document into account if you are self-employed.
  • Pay slips: If you are an employee, pay stubs are one of the easiest ways to prove your income without using bank details for your apartment rental application. However, several reported cases have occurred involving tenants tampering with them. As a result, owners may be reluctant to accept them as proof of employment.

Unfortunately, if you live off your savings between gigs, or have a stable income of less than three times the rent, you’ll be hard pressed to find an apartment without disclosing your bank details. One option to explore if your finances do not meet the requirements would be to find a co-signer for your rental agreement.

A bank’s duty of confidentiality

If your landlord stumbles upon your bank account number, don’t worry. There’s not much he or she can do without getting your consent. The United States has some of the strongest privacy laws. Generally, a bank cannot disclose any private information, such as your bank balance, to a third party unless a court requires it.

Why would a rental request be rejected?

Your rental requests may be refused for many reasons:

  • You have bad credit: Rental housing providers use your credit score as one of the primary determinants of their tenant selection process to decide if you are financially responsible.
  • You have insufficient income: If a landlord reviews a rental application and finds that the applicant is not making enough money to pay the rent, the individual may reject the offer.
  • You have a history of evictions: An eviction history does not look good on your apartment rental application. However, if you are in such a situation, consider attaching a letter explaining the circumstances.
  • The property has received many applicants: As a tenant, you should be prepared with your apartment rental application if you like a location. This can save you valuable time and be ahead of other potential applicants.
  • You have unsatisfactory references: Not having references or having bad references can cause your apartment rental application to be rejected. Owners use logins to verify the validity of the information you provided. For example, they can contact a previous owner and inquire about your rental history.

Laws on rental inquiries

Homeowners must adhere to federal fair housing laws. This membership implies that the procedures for accepting a candidate must be the same for all candidates. They cannot reject applicants on the basis of:

  • Color
  • Race
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Kind
  • Sexual orientation
  • national origin
  • Family status

These are federal laws and they are taken very seriously. If you believe you are being discriminated against, you can file a complaint with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Steps to follow before submitting an apartment rental application

Before filling out an apartment rental application, make sure you know your credit score. If you need to solve certain financial problems, focus on them first. Only apply for apartments within your budget to avoid the disappointment of not being able to afford an ideal find. If an owner or property management company asks for your bank account information before viewing the apartment or receiving a request, beware of potential scams and never give out sensitive information unless you have verified that the business was legitimate.

An apartment rental application asking for a bank account number can be a bit difficult to navigate. But once you understand what to expect and how the process works, you can easily move forward with your application.

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