What are appropriate references for landlord to ask for?

prairiemoon2 z6 MANovember 9, 2010

We are new to apartment hunting, not having to do it for many years. We expected to have to provide references but the rental application we've been asked to fill out, seems a little invasive to me. I understand that landlords have to be careful and I don't have any answers that are going to be a problem, but I always balk at giving personal information for my own protection. After all, I don't know this landlord from Adam.

He's asking for my social security # and my bank account numbers. If he does a routine credit check, doesn't he get reassurance about our ability and history to pay without having my account numbers? He's asking for permission to call not only previous landlords, but neighbors to investigate us. Doing a criminal background check.

I want to assure this landlord that we are not ax murderers or deadbeats, but is this usual when applying for an apartment? Is there a way for me to check out this landlord to make sure he is okay to be giving my social security number to?


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He'll need the social to confirm the background checks and credit checks, so I can understand that. But I've never been asked for a bank account NUMBER, just if I had a checking account. I've been asked for pay stubs and other proof of income as well.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 9:47AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks artjunkie, I thought that was asking too much for your bank account numbers. If a credit check isn't good enough, I'm not providing my account numbers. And I HATE giving out my social. I've even changed my driver's license # so it doesn't have to be my social.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 3:32PM
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Since 911, almost every lease/contract you enter into these days asks for more personal information. Some landlords even require you to sign a form that youre not a sex offender.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 9:11PM
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When we moved in here, we had to go through rigorous screening. It was a new, high end luxury complex, so we agreed and have had no issues with the info we gave out.

We had to give our socials for a bkground ck, we had to have a DMV bkground ck, ( could only have one moving violation in the past year), we also had to pay $25 per person to have a sex offender background check, then we had to go in and sign with a witness that we saw they had all our backgrounds checked and that they were clean and we acknowledged they were correct.

It was quite an experience, but other than the creeps above us, ( don't know how they snuck in), this complex has been run as one of the tightest ships I have ever seen. In the end we ended up feeling very safe here and way over stayed what our plans were....

Sometimes, it is best to just provide all the info and take all the time ( except bank accounts) just to know you have safety on your side. Most places will rent to anyone with cash in their hands.


    Bookmark   December 16, 2010 at 3:09AM
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One of my good friends lives in a building where the board won't allow celebrities of any kind. We had to show fiscal capability before we could schedule an interview with the board, who ultimately granted permission to buy in our building. It's an investment for someone if not everyone, so rules can get weird.

In some ways I'd feel better knowing everyone offered and passed all that stuff. Other hand could simply be restrictive on some superficial grounds -- even post 9/11 -- that wouldn't catch everyone. I'm sure the law has some kind of limit?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 11:10AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

We did move on by the way, and found a better apartment with a better landlady and it has worked out well. I forgot about this post and it's only four years oldâ¦lol

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 9:38PM
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