Rental Applications: How Do Apartments Verify Employment and Income?


There are four things that apartments are evaluating on any rental application:

1) Employment and Income
2) Credit History
3) Rental History
4) Criminal Background

So that I can give you a thorough explanation, I’m going to take each of these in a separate blog post.  This post is about the process Austin apartments use to verify employment and income.  The other topics are linked above.

When it comes to verifying employment and income, not all apartments follow the same process, but there are some staples.  Almost all rentals, whether you are looking for an apartment, town home, duplex or even single family home, will require you to verify that you make enough money to afford rent.  Most will call or ask for a letter from your employer to verify:

a) Income Range
b) Length of Employment

While most do, a few employers are not verify income, only length of employment.  In these cases you will most likely be required to provide a pay stub, or maybe even multiple pay stubs.

Apartment and rental landlords are usually looking for 3 times monthly rent in gross income (before your expenses).  Some affordable housing apartment properties will accept 2 times monthly rent and a few more stringent communities will require 4 times monthly rent.

So what do you do if you do not have income?  Maybe you are retired?  Or you are a student?  Don’t worry, there are other ways to verify that you have the ability to pay your rent.  Retirees can usually show a bank account balance sufficient to cover the lease term at the required percentage (2x, 3x, 4x).  If you are self-employed, and therefore do not have an “employer” to verify your income, often they will allow you to produce your most recent tax returns to verify income.  Students can almost always be verified by a cosigner, additional deposit or bank account balance from student loans.

If you have specific questions about qualifying for an apartment, call us.  We’ve been down this road many times and can help you determine which apartments you will likely qualify for and even suggest some places you might not have considered.  Our services are always free to our clients.

Posted in Austin, Rent Smart

32 Responses to Rental Applications: How Do Apartments Verify Employment and Income?

  1. manosonia20 says:

    an great article, i impressed to read this article,

  2. Catherine says:

    I was approved for an apartment as far as my rental history goes, but the complex requires me to make 3 times the rent and I only make 2 times the amount. I only put down my payroll job, but I also work as a personal assistant to a music artist. This is not a payroll job and my pay is based on his music sells and shows. Can I use this for income verification?

    • Chip Parker says:

      You can attempt to make this income verifiable by providing check stubs, bank deposits, or perhaps a letter from the artist that you work for if the management company will allow a letter from this source. Each apartment is different in what qualifies as “verifiable”, but start with these. If all else fails, you can attempt to show back tax returns (the last two years) if those prove more income than just your payroll job. Good Luck!

  3. Cassandra says:

    I am self employed I deliver paper to stores and I pay the express news the bill what ever is left I use for gas and other how can I verify that I work need help please thanks

    • Chip Parker says:

      Some management companies will accept a letter from the employer, in this case a statement from Express News of your receipts from them during a certain time period. They also might consider bank deposits, bank statements, or pay stubs (if you get them), back Tax Returns, a co-signer (if you are a student), or, if you receive money from family, they might accept a letter from them. Let us know if you have more questions! Good Luck!

  4. It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Maharadnan says:

    This article is very great.You are right my dear keep it up..I impressed to read this article…Good Luck ! Thanks

  6. rodnesha says:

    Can I use my tax return to get a lw income apartment? And if so, can i pay like 4 months in advance?

    • Chip Parker says:

      It varies, but I believe in most cases you can use a tax return to verify low income status. Whether or not accept advanced rent is at the discretion of the property, so you will just have to ask the specific property you are interested it or have your locator inquire about advanced rent prior to touring if you are using one. Best of luck!

  7. Valuable info. Fortunate me I found your web site by accident, and I’m stunned why this coincidence did not came about in advance! I bookmarked it.

  8. abdielt02 says: is a good source of jobs because it only shows you jobs from employer websites and every other job board out there
    Columbus job site is an excellent job site.We can search any kind of job in the site.It provides best jobs in any category.This site is doing excellent job
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  9. Renee says:

    I left one job so that i can do interviews and look for an apartment in another city. im looking for another job or maybe transfer so i currently am not employed or have income. how can i get an apartment without this information. i will have later once i either get a new job or transfer.

    • Chip Parker says:

      Hi Renee,

      If you do not have current pay stubs some property managers will accept a bank statement as long as it shows enough money to pay rent. Other properties will take an extra deposit. However, in our experience a tax return is the most accepted substitute for current pay stubs. Best of luck!

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  23. Jenny says:

    I make roughly more than enough for rent each month, however i am going to be sharing a one bedroom with my boyfriend, so we will be splitting the costs. i have an income, as i have a job, but he does not have a job and his parents pay for his housing. how does that work with applications?

    • Chip Parker says:

      Apartment managers could handle this in a number of ways. The end result would depend on where you applied. Typically a manager would add together roommate’s income and would like to see each roommate be able to pay the rent by themselves, some managers would want each roommate to make 3 times the rent. The scenario would also be affected by your boyfriends lack of income and his parents involvement as well as their income. If they are cosigners typically have an even higher income requirement, up to 6 x rent.

      I would recommend having a locator help you out, this is the sort of thing we help people with all the time. An apartment locator will have knowledge of (and can verify) the income qualification criteria of the apartments that you are considering and save you a lot of time and application fees by helping you weed out the ones that definitely won’t work with your situation. If you do decide to use a locator, remember that reputable apartment locators are free to the client. Check up on the office you consider working with by looking at their reviews on services like Google, Citysearch and Yelp. You might even find reviews from people with situations like yours.

      Best of luck!

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