Apartments and Income Verification

Why Do Apartments Verify Income?

When applying to live in an apartment complex, like our beautiful Desert Point Apartment Homes, a potential tenant is a complete stranger to the landlord. To better know the applicant and the applicant’s financial situation, management and/or the landlord require an initial application to gather information with an emphasis on the employment and income information.

This is a precautionary measure to avoid renting out an apartment to tenants who cannot afford to pay the rent. Renting out to a person who cannot pay rent consistently is hassle for multiple reasons. For one, a landlord and management have the obligation to track the property’s finances, including rent payments.

Depending on the type of the property and how management handles its budget, an absent or late rent payment may cause an imbalance with the finances. It also means the landlord has to make an effort and communicate with the tenant about said rent payment, which may be uncomfortable for both parties. If the tenant continues to not pay rent, then eviction becomes necessary and the process means more expenses for the property.

Resorting to eviction typically runs up an additional $2,000 or more in court fees and in changes to the apartment, such as changing the locks, completing repairs and cleaning fees. Dealing with all of this is extra work and stressful so landlords try to screen applicants as best possible to avoid having tenants that will give them such problems.

As an added precaution, landlords also verify employment. In doing so, the landlord determines how stable the applicant’s income is and if the income is legal. The way a landlord sees it, a stable job means stable income and stable income means rent payments made on time.

Verifying employment also serves to assure the landlord that an applicant’s income is legal. Though illegal income is an income nonetheless, landlords want to ward off tenants in such situations to avoid problems both with the police and possible illegal activity on the property that may physically harm the property or one of its tenants.

To sum up, an applicant’s income is verified for the well-being and safety of the property and its tenants.


How do Apartments Verify Income in Phoenix - Heers

How Do Apartments Verify Income

The first step to verifying income is the application process. A typical application asks for basic details about the applicant, information regarding employment, rental history, criminal background, credit score and, of course, income.
Once the application is submitted and processed, a formal background check and credit check begin. Depending on the property it may be done in-house or through a tenant screening service. While this is happening the landlord or assigned management staff will contact your employers and references.

A Focus on Each Section

Income Verification

  • The application itself will ask to list gross, net or both types of income.
  • The application will also ask the applicant to provide proof of income, specifically a pay stub.
  • Some agencies may require one or more of the following forms: W2, 1099 or Form 4506-T.
  • If unable to provide the forms listed above, an applicant may be required to submit a letter from the employer on company letterhead stating the applicant’s salary.
  • Each property asks that a tenant earn a set minimum – for example, have a monthly income that’s twice the rent payment. With the paperwork above provided, a landlord will determine if an applicant meets the established income minimum.

Contacting Employers

  • Landlords will contact employers for three reasons: to verify the applicant is employed at a stable job, to verify the applicant’s income, and to gain insight on the applicant’s character.
  • Though the applicant’s character does not tie in directly to income, it does so indirectly. For example, if a tenant meets the minimum income requirement but the employer mentions a tendency to turn in things late, the landlord may conclude that rent payments are not guaranteed to be on time.

Credit Check

  • A credit check is a look into an applicant’s financial health – in other words, how they manage their income.
  • With this assessment a landlord will know how much debt an applicant has accrued, meaning he/she will know that part of the income is going toward paying off that debt. He/she will also know of any bankruptcies.
  • One important thing he/she will also know is whether the applicant has been evicted before and if it was due to non-payment of rent.


  • Verifying income is a whole different process for a self-employed applicant.
  • More times than not, a self-employed applicant is asked to provide more proofs of income than someone who is not self-employed.
  • The types of proofs usually used are bank statements from the last two to three months, quarterly tax statements, a company contract or a Form 4506 or Form 4506-T.
    • If unable to provide any or not enough proofs than an applicant is asked to provide a larger security deposit or have a cosigner/ guarantor.


How do Apartments Verify Income in Phoenix - Heers

At Heers Management Properties

We, at Heers Management, are here to help applicants find their new apartment home and part of that is explaining our very own application and income verification process for our Phoenix, Arizona, apartments.

Income Verification

  • Gross monthly income must be 2.5 times or greater than one month's rent.
  • To prove that income level, an applicant must provide the following:
    • One month’s pay stubs;
    • Previous year’s W2 or 1099 forms;
    • Consecutive bank statements for the last three months;
    • An offer letter from employer on company letterhead clearly stating income verification.


  • Applicant must be employed.
  • If unemployed or retired, applicant’s assets must equate to 2.5 times the rental payment.


  • If an applicant’s primary income is based off of tips only, bonuses only or commissions only, that the applicant is considered self-employed and must provide the following.
    • Previous years income tax return;
    • Bank statements for the last two months.
**Application will be denied if income or salary cannot be verified.
For more information about our rental application and income verification process or to schedule a tour of our apartments in Phoenix, Arizona, contact us today!