Salary / employment verification

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:28 pm

So a rental place wants to know my salary. This is unnecessary because my spouse's salary, which they already have proof for, more than covers their threshold for the rental. I'd rather not have my salary filed with every place I rent from. I tried politely asking why they really needed it, and they said it was needed "as a part of the application". I didn't push further. Do I:

- tell them I don't have a job
- tell them I'm unable to submit a salary verification because my company won't do it
- tell them I can give them an employment verification but not a salary verification
- ask my company for a salary verification that says "X's salary is at least nnnn per year" where nnnn suffices for the apartment but is not my true salary, thus protecting my privacy?
- something else?

What do others do in these situations? Thank you!

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 7336
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by cheese_breath » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:38 pm

Personally I wouldn't have any problem giving them my salary if that's all they want. I wouldn't give them my SS number or something like that though.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

User avatar
8foot7
Posts: 588
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:29 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:37 pm

Just put $1

User avatar
rob
Posts: 2840
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:49 pm
Location: Here

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by rob » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:40 pm

If you want to take the risk... go with I'm contractually prohibited from disclosing this information to non-HR parties.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

tim1999
Posts: 3329
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by tim1999 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:59 pm

Perhaps you could just have only your spouse's name on the lease and avoid the whole issue. They probably have some rule about verifying income of anyone on the lease, even if one person puts it way over the minimum requirement.

juanovo
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:57 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by juanovo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:23 pm

Depends on the rental laws in your area. If you live in an area with rent and eviction controls they may want verification of your income in order to determine if you can cover the cost of the rental in the event your partner loses her job. Similarly they what if you divorce your partner and choose to remain in the unit? This is theirs chance to be sure they are covered in such unlikely events. It is much more difficult once you are in the unit. If you choose to feign not being able to provide the information or purposefully mislead or falsify the application it is possible that they would be able to use that as grounds for eviction as well.

They seem to just trying to do their due diligence.

Tamales
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2014 10:47 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by Tamales » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:48 pm

As we discuss often here, income means very little without knowing expenses. You could have a 6 figure income and live paycheck to paycheck.

They shouldn't be allowed to ask open-ended questions on personal information. If they have some silly qualification threshold in mind, they should just ask, is your income greater than x, yes or no.

I'd probably just put 2x the monthly rent (assuming your income is at least that per month). That's safely beyond the 30-35% "rule of thumb" for rent as a % of gross income.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 1641
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:33 pm

I guess the question is how much you want the apartment.

I recently rented an apartment in a tight rental market. The office didn't particularly care about whether they rented to me and they didn't care to move things along in a timely fashion. There was always someone else coming along if I didn't take the place. My impression is that they get paid for following procedures and not for being efficient.

If you don't really need the place consider lying or making things up. I don't know if they verify salary but they were very serious about the background check.

(I'm glad to be out of the rental and into a place I own).

moneywise3
Posts: 302
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:54 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by moneywise3 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:28 am

Remember that the desk staff is generally not very sharp, and may just reject your application because of missing info.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:17 am

I guess I don't get why it is okay to give your wife's salary but you are so against giving yours. If it is a joint application, of course they want both.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 14093
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by dm200 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:22 am

Just my opinion, but not disclosing this OR not being accurate may not get you the apartment.

User avatar
cheese_breath
Posts: 7336
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by cheese_breath » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:07 pm

dm200 wrote:Just my opinion, but not disclosing this OR not being accurate may not get you the apartment.
Or get you evicted if they discover after the fact that you falsified the information.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 5888
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:18 pm

print out a pay stub. give it to them.

If you are completely unwilling to do that, move on to the next place to rent who won't ask this question. It's likely a check box that a clerical worker has to be able to check off. No pay stub, no check box, no rental for you.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:52 pm

Thanks so much everyone for all the views and suggestions.

Update: so I found out they've already qualified us for the rental, and we've completed signing the leases. They still need proof (of employment and/or salary, it's not clear) before we move in.
Last edited by MrJones on Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:54 pm

juanovo wrote:Depends on the rental laws in your area. If you live in an area with rent and eviction controls they may want verification of your income in order to determine if you can cover the cost of the rental in the event your partner loses her job. Similarly they what if you divorce your partner and choose to remain in the unit? This is theirs chance to be sure they are covered in such unlikely events. It is much more difficult once you are in the unit. If you choose to feign not being able to provide the information or purposefully mislead or falsify the application it is possible that they would be able to use that as grounds for eviction as well.

They seem to just trying to do their due diligence.
Sounds like this might be the case. I appreciate the due diligence part, but this somehow seems off to demand salary info just because one has a job, not because they truly need it for anything (at least at present). Eg, what if one spouse doesn't have a job?

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:55 pm

rob wrote:If you want to take the risk... go with I'm contractually prohibited from disclosing this information to non-HR parties.
I like this the best. I'll try it, thanks.

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:57 pm

Tamales wrote:As we discuss often here, income means very little without knowing expenses. You could have a 6 figure income and live paycheck to paycheck.

They shouldn't be allowed to ask open-ended questions on personal information. If they have some silly qualification threshold in mind, they should just ask, is your income greater than x, yes or no.
Exactly, thanks for articulating this.
Tamales wrote:I'd probably just put 2x the monthly rent (assuming your income is at least that per month). That's safely beyond the 30-35% "rule of thumb" for rent as a % of gross income.
I could, but they require proof, so I think if it comes down to it, I might ask my employer to give me an "earns at least nnn" letter.

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:01 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:I guess I don't get why it is okay to give your wife's salary but you are so against giving yours. If it is a joint application, of course they want both.
In this particular case, wife worked a partial year, and so based on that, they have no idea what her actual salary is (gave them a W2).

But more to the point, just because it's a joint application doesn't mean they need both. What I don't get is why they need *salary* info *if and only if* one is employed, but are fine not having anything if that one person is unemployed! (In cases where the other person's salary suffices for qualifying).

michaeljc70
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:17 pm

MrJones wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I guess I don't get why it is okay to give your wife's salary but you are so against giving yours. If it is a joint application, of course they want both.
In this particular case, wife worked a partial year, and so based on that, they have no idea what her actual salary is (gave them a W2).

But more to the point, just because it's a joint application doesn't mean they need both. What I don't get is why they need *salary* info *if and only if* one is employed, but are fine not having anything if that one person is unemployed! (In cases where the other person's salary suffices for qualifying).
Well, for one thing, if two people are employed if one loses their job the other can pay the rent. What is so secret about your income? To be honest you seem paranoid.

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:34 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
MrJones wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I guess I don't get why it is okay to give your wife's salary but you are so against giving yours. If it is a joint application, of course they want both.
In this particular case, wife worked a partial year, and so based on that, they have no idea what her actual salary is (gave them a W2).

But more to the point, just because it's a joint application doesn't mean they need both. What I don't get is why they need *salary* info *if and only if* one is employed, but are fine not having anything if that one person is unemployed! (In cases where the other person's salary suffices for qualifying).
Well, for one thing, if two people are employed if one loses their job the other can pay the rent. What is so secret about your income? To be honest you seem paranoid.
The rental qualification is not made based on whether this is a possibility, so this argument doesn't work.

Please let's focus the discussion on solutions without going into preferences or reasons for privacy.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:48 am

MrJones wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:
MrJones wrote:
michaeljc70 wrote:I guess I don't get why it is okay to give your wife's salary but you are so against giving yours. If it is a joint application, of course they want both.
In this particular case, wife worked a partial year, and so based on that, they have no idea what her actual salary is (gave them a W2).

But more to the point, just because it's a joint application doesn't mean they need both. What I don't get is why they need *salary* info *if and only if* one is employed, but are fine not having anything if that one person is unemployed! (In cases where the other person's salary suffices for qualifying).
Well, for one thing, if two people are employed if one loses their job the other can pay the rent. What is so secret about your income? To be honest you seem paranoid.
The rental qualification is not made based on whether this is a possibility, so this argument doesn't work.

Please let's focus the discussion on solutions without going into preferences or reasons for privacy.
The solution is obvious. Go somewhere else if you don't want to give that information. I think that information is pretty basic on any rental application though. Do you really want to take an apartment you like less because of this? Do they not have other private information like where you lived and worked? Are they running a credit report?

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 14093
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by dm200 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:13 pm

There may also be reasons or justifications beyond just the required income level. For example, the landlord my want/need to be aware of the employer (employment status) of all residents.

michaeljc70
Posts: 1989
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:53 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:21 pm

dm200 wrote:There may also be reasons or justifications beyond just the required income level. For example, the landlord my want/need to be aware of the employer (employment status) of all residents.
There also could be another applicant that has a higher income that they want to go with. It's not just about meeting a minimum all the time.

JGoneRiding
Posts: 989
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by JGoneRiding » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:48 pm

MrJones wrote:
Tamales wrote:As we discuss often here, income means very little without knowing expenses. You could have a 6 figure income and live paycheck to paycheck.

They shouldn't be allowed to ask open-ended questions on personal information. If they have some silly qualification threshold in mind, they should just ask, is your income greater than x, yes or no.
Exactly, thanks for articulating this.
Tamales wrote:I'd probably just put 2x the monthly rent (assuming your income is at least that per month). That's safely beyond the 30-35% "rule of thumb" for rent as a % of gross income.
I could, but they require proof, so I think if it comes down to it, I might ask my employer to give me an "earns at least nnn" letter.
I would do what you suggest at the end. They just want to verify that all adults have sufficient income should something happen to the other . I absolutely won't rent with out income verification and all adults to sign thr lease. I don't understand your objection at all.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 14093
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by dm200 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:56 pm

They just want to verify that all adults have sufficient income should something happen to the other . I absolutely won't rent with out income verification and all adults to sign thr lease. I don't understand your objection at all.
Neither do I!

Saving$
Posts: 1535
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:33 pm

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by Saving$ » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:53 am

All adults living in the unit need to provide info. LL has no guarantee both adults will stay through the lease, and wants to make sure whoever is left there has the means to pay the rent.
- Salary used to determine income. Rent should never be more than 33% of income, but may need to be much less.
- SS is used to run credit check which provide info on monthly debt obligations and timely payment, as well as credit score
Salary less debt obligations = available cash to pay the rent.
SS is needed to pursue claims /judgements if you dont pay the rent.

You are asking the LL to allow you exclusive custody and use of an asset probably valued at $150k-$300k or more. I seems reasonable that the LL wants financial and SS info...

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:24 am

dm200 wrote:
They just want to verify that all adults have sufficient income should something happen to the other . I absolutely won't rent with out income verification and all adults to sign thr lease. I don't understand your objection at all.
Neither do I!
OP here. I agree with both of you! Where we perhaps disagree is whether I need to disclose my entire income or simply disclose enough of it to satisfy them. This already happens: you disclose employment income, but not, say, estimated interest income or estimated dividends if your employment income meets their threshold. My point is, I only want to disclose that portion of my employment income that meets their threshold.

All adults signing the lease: not sure why you mentioned this, as it is irrelevant to this thread and not at issue.

MrJones
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:23 am

Re: Salary / employment verification

Post by MrJones » Tue Apr 18, 2017 10:26 am

OP here. An update: I obtained an "MrJones' income is greater than XX" letter from my employer which satisfied the rental. XX was some 15% greater than their requirement threshold.

IMHO, this should be the standard procedure. Anyway, thanks everyone!

Post Reply