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What Do Landlords Look For in a Bank Statement?

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What Do Landlords Look For in a Bank Statement

If you want to rent an apartment, have your bank statements ready because your landlord will probably ask for them. Most, if not all landlords want to make sure that you can pay your rent on time without a lot of hassle. Your bank statements will provide that information. 

Besides the fact that you might say that you are able to pay, your employer needs verification. And what better way than to ask your bank through scrutinizing your financial statements. Just remember you don’t have to show everything on the bank statement to the last detail. 

What Do Landlords Look For in Your Financial Statements?

There are a couple of things that landlords look for when looking at your statements. Though you might feel uncomfortable, worry not because they just want to ensure you are able to pay the rent.  

The things that landlords look for:

  • Your Monthly Income

Your landlords concern themselves with your bank statement so they can know how much money you are bringing in monthly. For you to afford to pay rent, you need to have a source of income. Your landlord wants to know your employer if you are employed. If you are self-employed, your bank account and statements will suffice. Make sure that the amount you say you earn reflects on your bank papers to avoid any issues. 

  • Abnormal Financial Activities

Landlords prefer law abiding citizens as tenants. If your money has suspicious trails, it is highly likely that you will not get an apartment. Large deposits or withdrawals that are unexplained will raise eyebrows. For the safety of other tenants, the landlord might suspect you of criminal activity hence denying you a spot.

  • Your Account Balance

Your account balance matters because the landlord wants to make sure you can pay rent comfortably. If your rent is about 600 dollars and you are earning 1000 dollars, the balance is not enough especially if you get a big emergency. What if you get that emergency and you are unable to pay your rent? The landlord does not want to take such risks.

  • Your Financial Responsibilities

Landlords count on stability. At least, that is what they prefer. They want to understand what takes priority when it comes to you paying their money. 

Other documents that a landlord may look at include social security, bank account number, W-2s, pay checks, security deposits, application form and application fees. 

How to Find Your Bank Statement

A while ago, you had to go to the bank and ask for your bank statements. Today, the process is a bit different because you can get a bank statement all by yourself. All you have to do is login to your online account and choose the statements tab. Select the appropriate dates. Download and print out your bank statements. It is that easy.

The steps are a template for most banks including Bank of America, U.S Bank, Wells Fargo, Capital One, T.D Bank and many more. 

Is It Legal for Landlords to Ask For Your Bank Statements?

Yes. It is very legal. Landlords are permitted by law to know their tenants’ financial situations before signing any lease agreements. Picture it like this, you are going to use someone’s space and they have to make sure you can pay for it. How do they make sure? By looking at your money and ascertaining you can pay them without problems. 

How to Hide Information on Your Bank Statement

Showing someone how much you have coming in, going out and your expenditure can make you feel vulnerable. Maybe there are purchases that you want to be visible only to you hence you have to hide that information. Well, there are tools you can use like a photo editing tool. 

All you have to do is choose a shape in a dark color like black and place it over the particular transaction. Now, you can leave your name, money available and account number visible if necessary. This method will also apply if you are self-employed and you don’t want your landlord to see your sources of income. 

Can landlords hurt you through using your bank statements?

Considering that your bank account and financial situation is personal and private, you might feel a bit exposed. So when you give your landlord your account number and personal details, should you be worried? No. You shouldn’t. The reason is simple, no one else knows that information apart from you and them. 

In case, you find some shady business going on with your banking details like the printing of fake checks. You will know where to look. That is why it is a good idea to cover some parts of your bank statement like the account number when printing out a bank statement.

Since most landlords look for punctual and reliable tenants, other documents like credit reports can still show your financial situation without exposing you a lot. If you don’t feel comfortable showing your bank statements, you can use credit reports which will affirm your financial situation.

If you don’t have a job but you have savings, then a bank statement will portray that. The idea is to make the rent payments on time and not cost your landlord any money. 

What if You Have Bad Credit?

In case you have a bad credit history, your rental history will be of major help for you to get an apartment. If possible ask past landlords to write you recommendation letters. Such letters will help to convince a potential landlord and might just land you a place. If you have no eviction history and you have always made your rental payments in time, you have nothing to worry about. 

Conclusion

Bottom line is your landlord will ask for your bank statements. At the very least expect them to have a look at your credit report. Your credit score might matter but if you have proof of income and a good rental history, you are good to go. Remember to hide any information that you are not comfortable sharing. 

Norman Garcia

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