Renting can be a tricky business.
But if you’re on the move, then once again you’re entering into a relationship with the landlord.
Trust needs to be built on both sides. They need to rely on you to pay up each month and keep the place in good condition, you’re looking for them to have your back and honor your agreement.
One common request from landlords is to see your paycheck stubs.
Is that request legal? Is it a requirement? What can you do if you don’t have them? What if you’re self-employed?
Read on to find out the answers.
Can Landlords Legally Ask to See Paycheck Stubs?
The short answer is yes, they can.
Asking to see paycheck stubs is in no way considered to be discriminatory. If they start asking you about your race, language, or disabilities, then they’ve overstepped the line.
Landlords are understandably looking for reassurance that you can meet rent each month. Unless you’re sitting on some serious savings, most of us pay that from our paycheck. The landlord is looking for some evidence that you’re not going to default.
Is It a Requirement?
This is a tricky one because when it comes to deciding who to rent the apartment to, the landlord has the final say.
If you don’t want to produce your paystubs, they cannot force you.
But on the flipside, they can just refuse to rent you the apartment. So, it’s a catch 22 – usually, it’s best just to stump up the paystubs.
What if I’ve Lost My Paystubs?
If you’ve lost your paystubs, don’t despair.
Use an online paystub generator to do this for you. All they require is the information from the original paystub. Once you’ve submitted this, they can generate a paystub that you can print and submit to your landlord.
What if I’m Self-Employed?
Not everybody has paystubs, and landlords will take this into account.
As an alternative, they may ask to see other proof of income. This could include tax statements and bank statements. Anything that proves you have a reliable income that will cover the rent should be offered up to reassure them on this point.
What Else Is Involved in Tenant Verification?
Along with paystubs, tenants can legally dig into aspects of your history before agreeing to rent you the property.
They can request various verification documents.
- Current employment
- Credit check
- Current financial obligations
- Previous landlords’ contact information
- Personal references
- Information about pets
- Criminal record
They usually collect most of this information when you apply for the apartment. With a credit check, they will use a service to do this for them.
Many landlords choose to use a tenant screening service to get a lot of this background work done. If anything needs explanation, it’s good to offer this up front, as that can build the landlord’s confidence in you.
The Takeaway: Why Show Your Paycheck Stub?
In the end, if you really want the apartment, you can see why a landlord would want to see your paycheck stub.
Doing so will build their confidence in you, and hopefully begin a strong working relationship, which will provide you with a home you can enjoy for years to come.
Thinking of renting in LA? Click here to check out our guide now!