3 Things to Know About Proof of Income

Proof of income is evidence that a rental applicant provides to a landlord to show that they'll be able to afford rent. Your landlord wants to know that you'll pay rent each month as they rely on that money and if you sign the lease, you're legally required to pay rent.

1. Proof of income is often needed for rental applications

A landlord wants to make sure that you can pay your rent before you sign the lease, so they might ask you to show proof that you have a stable income and can afford the monthly rent payment. Understandably, no landlord wants to have a tenant that can't pay rent. It's not fair to the landlord if they're providing a place to live without receiving proper compensation.

2. There's more than one way to provide proof of income

There's not just one single way to provide proof of income. Most landlords accept a variety of methods. A few commonly accepted ways are:

  • Pay stubs
  • W-2 income statement
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from employer
  • Federal tax return
  • Social security statement

3. Proof of income isn't always required

Not every landlord requires proof of income. Each landlord has his or her own requirements that they want to be fulfilled on the application, and proof of income may or may not be one of them. If they do need proof of income, it will be specified on your application.

proof of income

Requiring proof of income is common

Although not every landlord requires potential tenants to provide proof of income, it's fairly common that they do. It's a safe bet for them as it's more likely the tenant will pay rent each month. If you're applying for a rental property, it's a good idea to provide proof of income even if the landlord doesn't require it. Doing so may give you a better chance of being accepted as the tenant.

Additional resources

Morgen HendersonMorgen Henderson is a writer who grew up in Utah. She lived in the Dominican Republic for a year and a half, where she was involved in humanitarian service. Some of Morgen's work has appeared in State of Digital, The Next Scoop and TechPatio. In her free time, she loves to travel, bake, master DIY projects and improve her Spanish skills.

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