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Looking for your first apartment can be a little frightening, especially when your future landlord starts asking hard questions. Proof of income for apartments is a must if you are planning on renting. You have to show verifiable proof that you are financially capable of paying all your bills, rent and utilities included. If you are in college, your parents may have to sign a paper saying they will be financially responsible if something happens that you can’t pay.
What Is Proof of Income?
Proof of income is any document from a financial institution, employer, or company that pays you for the work you do or has records showing income that is generated by you and deposited into an account for tax purposes or personal use. There are many different types of proof of income documentation. The key is providing the ones that show the most accurate representation of your overall income for a week, month, or year.
Why Do Landlords Want It?
Landlords own property to make money. Most of them will require proof of income as part of the application process. Proof of income shows that you are financially able to cover the cost of your rent, utilities, and other bills. It will cost your landlord money to evict you if you get behind in the rent. For all intents and purposes, they would much rather have you rent the apartment and make your payments. Everyone has what they need and no money is spent on the legal system.
What Types of Proof of Income Documents Are Acceptable?
There are multiple ways you can verify your income. Pay stubs and bank statements are the most common, but you do have other options. A few of them include:
- Tax returns
- Worker’s compensation letter
- W-2 income statement
- Annuity statement
- Social Security benefits statement
- 1099 form
- Court-ordered awards letter
- Pension distribution statement
Your ideal rule of thumb when finding out how much rent you can afford is to keep it at approximately 30% or less than your income. If you have questions about which type of proof of income documentation your landlord will want, ask them. When it comes to proof of income for apartments, most aren’t too picky as long as they can get an accurate representation of your financial stability.
Applying to rent an apartment is usually a simple process if you know what you need before you fill out the paperwork. Contact your bank and your employer to get printouts of the information you need. If you’re well-organized, all you have to do is make copies of pay stubs, bank statements, or other financial documents for the last two or three months and you will be all set.