2

I'm submitting a rental application for a privately-owned townhome in North Dakota, US. The application asks for more detailed financial information than I have ever had to provide on past applications. It asks for gross monthly income, savings/checking/money market account numbers, institutions, and branches. It also asks for credit card account information (type, balance, issuer, account number, average monthly payment) and loan information (type, creditor, account number, amount owed, monthly payment). I assume that the pertinent information about these accounts could be obtained by running a credit report, which the application also asks for authorization to do.

Am I correct in thinking this is not normal information to request? I'm worried about what could be done with all of this information. I plan to reach out to the owner and state my concerns, but I wanted some more info before doing so.

7

There are many small-time landlords that are a bit overzealous in asking for information or simply don't know what information is appropriate to ask for. Some ask for pretty much everything remotely relevant to see what you'll provide, since that helps them get as detailed an understanding of your financial situation as possible.

Savings/checking balances are helpful for a landlord, but there's no need for a landlord to know your account numbers. Bank statements with sensitive information obfuscated seem adequate. Of course, if you pay by personal check they'll know your checking account number.

The loan and credit card information is almost completely redundant with a credit report, but seeing a history of credit card statements can paint a picture of spending/debt habits that aren't seen on a credit report.

Personally, I typically just get a background check, credit report, and then verify income via copies of pay stubs or bank statement. If they offer up more information that is helpful to my decision-making that is great, but usually not needed.

If you aren't comfortable with them, don't do business with them. To apply in general you provide them with a lot of your personal information, so you need to trust them a bit. Make reasonably certain they are the legitimate owner/agent of the property before you provide much information. At the end of the day they just want to be reasonably certain that you will pay your rent on time and aren't a criminal. I'd say, "I'm happy to prove the information I've provided is accurate, but my bank said it is unwise to share my account numbers, would you be content with reviewing redacted statements?"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.