Are you in the process of looking for a new apartment? Have you recently come across a place that you’d really like to call your new home? If that’s the case, you’ll have to go through a number of administrative steps with your potential new landlord.
Landlords have the right to request numerous kinds of information before figuring out who their new tenant is going to be. And while there are various questions a landlord definitely cannot ask, inquiries about income aren’t included in that list.
In fact, you’ll often be asked to provide proof of income in order to be considered a suitable candidate for the place. Not only that, you will need to establish the fact that you’ve been employed for some time and that you enjoy career stability as an employee.
Showing that you have some type of employment and stable income is very important – you’ll be considered a reliable candidate this way. Apartment pay stubs rank among the documents used most often as proof of income.
If you’re wondering about the specifics of handing over pay stubs to a potential landlord, the following guide will answer some of the most prominent and popular questions on the topic.
Why Would I Need Apartment Pay Stubs to Find a Rental?
It’s easy to understand why proof of income is going to be very important when property owners consider potential tenants for their place.
Many landlords have had to deal with payment issues in the past. By asking you for proof of income, a property owner isn’t assuming you can’t handle the rent in the long run. That’s just a simple step that acts as insurance at the time of renting out the apartment.
The aim here is to make sure that a tenant is financially stable to cover the cost of living in the respective place.
Stable income, making enough and having been with the same company for a certain period of time all give landlords peace of mind. The landlord would probably want to make sure that a candidate for the place will be living within their means.
So, how is your income going to be judged when your paycheck stubs are being examined?
The 3X Rule in the World of Real Estate
Anyone who has done basic research knows that the 3X rule applies to apartment rentals.
The 3X rule is pretty self-explanatory – a tenant should be making at least three times the amount of the rent that a landlord is asking for.
Financial experts have made the calculation and they believe that the ratio makes it possible for tenants to cover the rent and to also pay additional expenses connected to living in the flat (bills, groceries, house maintenance and cleaning, etc.).
Statistics suggest that people who make less than three times the rental amount are more likely to be late with payments and to struggle with those. Also, landlords wouldn’t want to select a tenant who would be struggling financially in all other aspects of life just because they want to afford the respective flat.
And while exceptions to the rule do exist, most landlords use the 3X rule as a general guideline for the selection of reliable tenants.
How Many Paystubs Can a Potential Landlord Ask for?
Now that you know you’ll probably be asked for pay stubs as proof of income, you probably would want to get some information on the number of forms that a potential landlord will have the right to ask for.
There isn’t a rule set in stone as far as the number of paycheck stubs goes.
Most landlords will ask for anywhere between two and three pay stubs for the past few months (they will have to be recent). Showing an even bigger number than that demonstrates stability. If you’ve been with a company for a while and you’re confident in your professional future, you can demonstrate the fact by offering a potential landlord at least three paystubs for your latest pay periods.
Will I Have to Provide Additional Proof of Income on Top of the Pay Stub for Apartment Rental?
Now that we’ve answered the question “how many pay stubs do I need for an apartment” it’s time to examine another very common inquiry.
That one pertains to additional forms that can be requested to verify income.
Most often, a landlord is going to verify a certain number from multiple sources to guarantee the accuracy of the information you’re providing.
Additional forms and documents that can be used as proof of income include:
- Bank statements: people who receive their salary in a bank account can feature an official bank statement alongside their paycheck stubs. Bank statements will once again suggest a stable income and they will provide additional information, especially if you have some savings that you can count on.
- W-2 form: the wage and tax statement form can be provided alongside pay stubs or instead of them to verify your income. Your W-2 form will feature information on the income you earned over the course of the last fiscal year. Depending on when you’re applying for a new rental, however, that information could be considered a little bit outdated. Usually, W-2 forms are provided alongside recent paycheck stubs and not instead of them.
- Proof of income letter: depending on your situation, you can ask an employer to create an official proof of income letter you can use for the specific purpose of an apartment rental. The proof of income letter (signed by your employer) verifies the fact that you’re the company’s employee and that you’re earning a certain amount there. As a proof of income letter can feature various kinds of information so ask a potential landlord exactly what they need to find out before taking matters to your company’s HR department.
- Tax returns: a tax return works in a manner similar to what a W-2 form does. It delivers information on the latest fiscal year and it’s not the most reliable proof of current income.
- Disability insurance, pension or retirement documentation
What if My Employer Doesn’t Provide Me with Paystubs?
If you live in a part of the US that has no regulations on companies handing out paycheck stubs to your employees, you could be dealing with a sticky situation.
Before doing anything else, make sure that your employer doesn’t have a paycheck stub system in place. It’s possible for the organization to issue and distribute electronic paystubs without you being aware of the fact.
You have the right to access some kind of pay information. Your employer cannot withhold such details from you. Even if the form you get is not a paycheck stub, it should still feature details on how much you earn.
In case an employer is stubbornly refusing to provide any kind of payment or income information, you have the right to take things to court. Consulting an experienced lawyer will shed more light on your rights and the way in which you can request information that should rightfully be provided to you.
What If I’m Self-Employed?
Do you need pay stubs to rent an apartment if you are self-employed?
The answer will still be yes for many potential landlords.
Self-employed individuals, solo proprietors and those who run a home-based business are not somebody’s employee. As a result, they are responsible for handling income documentation and filling out all essential forms.
As a self-employed professional, you can employ paycheck stub generators to come up with your own forms.
The important thing here is to make sure every single number featured in the paycheck stub is correct.
Apartment pay stubs will be double checked. And if you feature wrong information (even in the case of an honest mistake), you could be running into some trouble.
Can I Make My Own Paystubs for Apartment Rental Purposes?
Yes, you can make your paycheck stub.
But if you’re asking how to make fake pay stubs for apartment rental, that’s a whole different topic.
Do you want to know how to fake pay stubs to rent apartment properties in your area? The short answer is don’t.
Falsifying the information you will deliver to a potential landlord will be very easy with the right type of software product. The thing here is that the paycheck stub will be verified before a landlord agrees to let you in their property.
Having wrong income information featured on a paycheck stub that you’ve created on your own will be considered fraud in many parts of the US.
As a result, you’ll not only run into problems with an eventual landlord, you’ll also have to deal with the legal consequences of committing financial fraud. While you may be eager to score an exceptional apartment, the reward is simply not worth the risk you’re going to be taking on.
Proof of Income Verification: An Important Step You’ll Have to Go Through
Proof of income verification is something you will have to go through, no matter how confident and secure you feel in your financial capabilities.
A landlord has the right to request both a paycheck stub and a bank statement.
Some landlords will even go ahead to get in touch with your employer and double check the figures you have supplied. This usually happens whenever a property owner has had to deal with fake paycheck stubs in the past.
Keep in mind, however, that HR departments have the obligation to protect sensitive and personal information. As a result, they’re not likely to divulge specific digits. Chances are that they’ll only verify the fact that you’re employed by the specific organization and that you’ve been issued official paystubs.
Can I Get an Apartment without Showing a Paystub or Another Type of Income Proof
Anyone who has lower income or who is facing an employment transition will probably wonder about getting a new apartment without having to show proof of income.
That’s going to be a difficult task, especially when it comes to attractive properties that many people are interested in.
Yes, it is possible to rent an apartment without showing paystubs, having to create your own forms or being forced to provide tax information and other IRS documentation. For the purpose, however, you will need to maintain an excellent credit score. You’ll also have to potentially consider getting a lease co-signor.
A final idea worth exploring would be to consider rentals by an owner instead of a company. Most attractive apartments on the market are owned by companies or agencies. these entities have very strict rules and requirements when it comes to tenant characteristics and incomes.
Renting an individual property that has a single owner (a person) can help you reduce the administrative burden you’ll need to face.
Some owners may be willing to help you out if you are between jobs or you’re starting your own business and you lack pay stubs at the time being. Such owners, however, can be more difficult to find. Also, you’ll need to be persuasive enough in order to convince a potential landlord about your reliability.
Final Verdict: Pay Stubs for Apartment Rentals Are Included in the Standard Procedure
Do you need pay stubs to rent an apartment? The answer to that question will be yes most of the time.
How many paystubs for apartment do you need? At least two or three will be requested.
Finally, can you fake a pay stub in order to be considered a good candidate for a certain property? Technically, the answer to that question is yes. With today’s technology, you can accomplish just about anything. Having a landlord discovering the fact that you’ve provided fake information, however, will lead to repercussions.
Paycheck stubs are proof of income and as such, they’re invaluable tools for getting the apartment you’ve always dreamed of.
Even if you are a self-employed person, a small business owner or a freelancer, you can still get a paycheck stub that you can use to convince a landlord to make you their next tenant.
Searching for your new home should not be hard, so use a paystub generator or check maker, such as Real Check Stubs, to create a reliable document. Landlords are sure to be more considerate if they have a good sense of your status.