How to Verify Tenants’ Income

Being able of afford rent is the number one qualification for a new tenant, so it’s important to have the right information before you agree to a lease.

Here are the steps to follow to verify tenant income:

1. Ask applicants on the initial phone call if they meet your income requirements. That avoids wasted time in showing the property to unqualified candidates.

2. Have interested candidates complete a rental application. This requires the applicant to put their income information in writing,  to verify that it is accurate, and to give consent to contact the employer.

3. Ask the applicant to supply proof of income through pay stubs, bank records, or tax returns. Note that the privacy of this information must be protected.

4. Contact the employer directly and verify the income stated in the rental application.

5. If the applicant is self-employed, they should still be able to supply documentation, like pay stubs (if they run a corporation), bank deposit records, or tax returns.

6. Cash-only candidates are too risky if the amount of income cannot be independently verified.

7. It is usually acceptable to apply an income to rent ratio in determining if a candidate is qualified; however, it is important to apply the same standard to every prospect, regardless of source of income.

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