Can You Lie About Your Income to Get an Apartment

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Can you lie about your income to get an apartment? The quick answer is yes you can lie, but you will get caught. Your potential landlord knows a lot more about you than you think and they will be able to figure out your true income.

Can You Lie About Your Income to Get an Apartment

In today’s world where information is at your fingertips, property managers have many ways to determine if you are telling the truth about your income or anything else on your rental application, so lying won’t get you very far.

Here are just some of the ways they can dig up information on you.

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1. Your Bank Statements

If your landlord asks to see your bank statements as part of the application process, then they will quickly be able to see your monthly and annual income.

This information will also show if you can truly afford your monthly rent.

The jig will be up very quickly.

If you have lied about your income, chances are they won’t rent to you.

2. Proof of Income

If your property manager doesn’t ask for your bank statements then they will still want to see some sort of proof of income.

Typically these will be your pay stubs from your job.

They might want to see the last two months or they may even ask for the last six months. 

Either way, very quickly they will see your monthly income.

They will also be able to see if you have a steady income.

So there is really no point in lying as they will be able to find your verifiable income. 

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2. Your Credit History

Many potential landlords will run a credit check on you before they rent you an apartment.

You might be surprised to learn that your credit report contains more than just your credit score.

It also has an employment area.

This will show where you work now and where you have worked in the past.

It could also show your income.

So, even if you have a good credit score, if you lie about your income, chances are you won’t get the apartment.

3. A Background Check

Some rental properties will do a background check on you.

This can include talking to previous landlords to see if you paid the rent on time.

It could also include talking to your employer.

I know one time when I was renting an apartment, they wanted my current employer’s information so they could call them.

This was in part to determine what type of person I was, but they could have also asked about my current income.

Some housing providers will call this a screening report.

And while they are doing it, they might also do a criminal background check.

They can also call your current landlord or past landlords as part of the screening process.

If you’ve had a problem with nonpayment of rent they will find out.

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4. Social Media

Be careful what you post on social media. 

A prospective employer might check and not hire you if they don’t like what they see.

The same is true of a landlord.

When making rental decisions they can gain a lot of information about you from your posts.

They will see how you spend your money and where.

They might even see if you are having money issues depending on what you are posting.

Just keep your financial history and money spending off social media.

Not to mention, if you are partying all the time and posting pictures of you being wild and crazy, they may decide you’re not a good prospective tenant.

5. The Internet

More of your personal information is on the interest than you would think.

There are lots of public records out there that will show if you have bad credit or other issues.

Employment history might be on the web as well.

Keep in mind that landlords create application questions that they can follow up on with background checks and credit histories.

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Problems That Come With Lying on Your Application

Beyond not getting the apartment, there are other issues that could come up if you lie about your income or other history on the application.

Once you have signed the application you are saying that everything you have put on the application is the truth.

If that’s not the case, and it is found out later after you have rented the apartment you could be evicted.

Even worse, your lie will be considered perjury and you could be charged with a crime.

Granted that typically doesn’t happen, but it could.

The best course of action is to answer these basic questions truthfully.

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To Sum it All Up:

If you feel part of your history or your income is going to be an issue, talk to the property manager honestly upfront. They might be able to work with you to overcome past issues. Chances are they will discover your lie anyway, when checking your employment references, so it is best to just be honest.

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