5 of the Most Common Ways Landlords Verify Proof of Income

Your credit score, background check, references, and proof of income are some of the typical requirements to rent a home. It doesn’t matter if you have a clean background or a great credit score. Landlords won’t allow you to rent if you can’t prove your income.

Renters have a hard time proving their income since the required proof documents often vary on a landlord basis. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned or newbie renter. It’s vital to learn what documents your landlord may ask as proof of your income.

Want to learn how to provide proof of income? We’ve got you covered. Here are the 5 methods most landlords use to verify your income.

Pay Stubs

Like when applying for a loan, landlords often ask renters to provide copies of their last 2 or 3 pay stubs to prove their income. This document details your pay rate, employer deductions, gross pay, among other details. If you don’t receive this document, you may consider creating fake pay stubs detailing your income.

You can create this document for income earned from self-employment or your employer. Keep in mind all the information included in the pay stubs must be accurate. If it isn’t the same, you’ll be committing an illegal act.

W-2 Tax Forms

Every year your employer provides a W-2 tax form detailing your income. Employers generate and file this wage and tax statement with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Your employer’s identification number, social security, federal and medicare tax withheld are some of the information included in this document. If you work as an independent contractor, your employer won’t provide this form.

Bank Statements

If you aren’t employed, it may be tough to provide tax forms or pay stubs to prove your income. Some landlords accept bank statements to verify your income. You can also provide these documents to support income proof such as pension distributions or worker’s compensations.

1099 Tax Forms

Self-employed individuals and independent contractors often receive 1099 tax forms from their employers. According to the IRS, you may receive this form if you received at least $600 in rent, income from services performed, awards, and other income. Individuals and retirees often receive this form for payments of at least $10 in any tax-exempt interest, royalties, or broker payments in lieu of dividends.

Tax Returns

Depending on your income, your landlord may request a copy of your tax returns. This practice is more common for retirees looking to rent properties. Remember your returns will detail all your income including your interest and dividend income.

Can You Provide the Necessary Proof of Income for Your Next Lease?

You can provide the right documents as proof of income to lease your next home. It’ll depend on how you earn your income. If you’re retired, your landlord may request documents such as an annuity, pension distribution, or social security statements.

Before taking a look at properties to rent, you should gather all your identity and income proof. If you’re unsure what documents landlords accept, you can ask your realtor for guidance. Your real estate expert will provide insight into the best way to meet your potential landlord’s requirements.

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Written by
Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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