I applied for an apartment in the same town I live with no issues. I exceed the three-times-income requirement and my credit check was cleared.

Then my landlord said we couldn't move forward until I provided proof that the studio apartment I'm currently under lease for is no longer under my name/responsibility. I explained that I would be keeping the other unit as a work space.

She then told me that because of that other apartment, they would require my monthly income to be four times their rent ($650) plus what I pay for the other place ($600). My income is barely under the threshold for that.

Are they legally able to change the income requirements after going through the whole application process? All I was told before applying was that their only income requirement was the standard three times monthly rent.

I haven't been able to find an answer for this, so any help is greatly appreciated!


1 Answer 1


Unless you've signed something (i.e. a rental contract or application contract) that gives the original terms explicitly, there's really no limit to what (or when) the landlord can choose to impose in terms of a rent to income requirement. There are no regulations controlling rent to income requirements, and generally there aren't any requirements for landlords to maintain any specific application process, except that landlords aren't allowed to discriminate on characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act and other anti-discrimination law.

Further, it's somewhat common that a landlord seeing your other obligations would cause the income requirement to vary (i.e. if you have multiple car payments or other large obligations showing on your credit report, they may "suddenly" want 4x instead of 3x). It's really unfortunate that the landlord wasn't able to explain this upfront for you, but there's really nothing stopping them from disqualifying you based on your income compared to your obligations.

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