Why is my rental application asking for a bank account number?

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rental application asking for a bank account number

It’s perfectly normal for a landlord or property manager to ask for your bank account number on a rental application. This helps them verify that you actually have a bank account and you’re able to cover the rent. They may also use your bank account to extract missing rent payments. 

While there are no laws preventing a rental application from asking for your bank account, landlords don’t have free reign over your personal financial information. 

Here’s everything you’ll need to know about what to expect from a rental application asking for a bank account number and other important personal information. 

Can rental applications ask for your bank account?

In short, the answer is yes, rental applications can ask for your bank account information. Landlords need to make sure that whoever is renting the apartment is financially secure. They need to know you have a job or another steady form of income that will allow you to cover your rent and your other living expenses. 

By asking for your bank details, the landlords can verify your bank account and that your income, minus your expenses, is enough to meet your payment obligations. Landlords may also want to know your account number in case you fail to pay your rent. This way, if the property owner has to sue you for breaking a lease, they can get a court order for permission to withdraw money directly from your account and pay themselves the outstanding amount.

Other times, landlords or property managers may request your bank account information to set up automatic rent payments through an online portal. This can help simplify payments and allow for a smoother rental process. Automatic payments can also help you avoid late fees and are actually safer than mailing checks. 

Keep in mind that the landlord is considered a third-party in the eyes of the law, so they won’t be able to do anything with your bank account number unless given permission by a court ruling.

Why would a rental application ask for my bank account?

Landlords and property managers require proof of income before they agree to rent an apartment. 

Oftentimes, landlords will ask for ​​bank statements or tax statements to prove your earnings. While it’s usually rare for them to ask for your bank account information, it can happen. Here are some of the most common types of documents and information you’ll be required to provide as a tenant. 

  • Account balance
  • Bank statement
  • Contact information
  • Driver’s license number
  • Credit report
  • Employment information
  • Pay stubs 
  • Tax returns
  • Residential history
  • Social Security number
  • Co-signer’s financial documents (if you have one)

Should I give my bank account number to my landlord?

You don’t have to do anything with your finances that you’re uncomfortable with. If you’d rather not share your bank details, you can discuss this with the property owner. You can offer to provide other forms of income proof instead. However, keep in mind there’s no guarantee that they won’t rent the apartment to someone else.

Instead of your bank account information, you can offer to provide the following:

  • W-2 form: This IRS tax form is the main document companies have to file for every employee. This document is one of the key ways to verify your income.
  • 1099-MISC form: This tax form contains information on income payments outside of full-time, payroll employment. It’s also the main tax form for self-employed people.
  • Pay stubs: Pay stubs are another solid way to prove your income. However, they’re easier to forge or misrepresent than other proof of income documents. As a result, some landlords may be hesitant to accept them as proof of employment.

Prepare your credit score and become a solid rental applicate

Proof of income is one of the main ways landlords and property managers decide whether or not to approve your application. However, your credit score will also have a major influence. If you’re not sure where your credit stands or how to improve it, look into credit building programs and monitor your score often.

FAQ

Should I offer my bank account information to my landlord?

You can, but it’s never a requirement. Your landlord may ask for your bank account information for a number of reasons.

Why does my landlord need my bank account information?

Your landlord is most likely trying to ensure you have enough money to cover your rent. They may also be trying to set up automatic payments.

Why would a rental application be rejected?

Insufficient income, poor credit, eviction history, and high competition are just some of the reasons your rental application may be rejected.

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