When a rental property is accepting tenant applications there are common requirements that landlords take to check the box throughout the process.  Often these include background checks, credit checks, job verification, and proof of income.

What happens when your tenant cannot produce a recent pay stub?


Proof of income is an important step in due diligence.

Obviously, proof of income is very important.  Equally as important is due diligence on that proof!  Unfortunately, we cannot always take the potential tenant’s word on their income.  If the tenant is unable to provide proof of income through pay stubs, that is not the end of the world.



Business statements can show income

Small business owners might not take a “paycheck” from their business.  They could utilize their business account to subsidize their income.

When existing tenants of mine applied, they provided their business, a cross-fit gym, bank statements to show proof.  It also allows you to see how healthy their business truly is.  If their business goes south then so does the likelihood of on-time rent payments.




There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there today that utilize payment technology like Venmo or PayPal for their fee collections.  You can have them provide their Venmo reports to show they are indeed receiving a form of income directly.

Freelancers do not commonly have W-2's


Perhaps they do not have a job, for whatever reason.  They might have other forms of income through passive income, inheritance, or financial aid.  As a real estate investor, you too might be living off your passive income of rental properties.  That too is not documented through a W-2.

Tenants with wealthy family members can receive dividends through a family trust.  Often college student income comes through financial aids that are paid in large chunks a few times throughout the year.


Wrapping things up.

At the end of the day, having proof of income through a pay stub isn’t the only solution to proving income.  What is most important is the due diligence on your end to determine if they are qualified.  That might require calling their employer and past landlords.  Double if they have co-signers.  Lack of pay stubs isn’t the end of the world and should not stop you from accepting tenants that meet all other requirements.

What matters most is proof they pay their bills and rent.  Learn how to properly screen tenants and you have access a lot of tenants that most property managers or landlords would be too afraid to consider.  Although you should never rely solely on rental history reports, they are a great place to start to verify the trustworthiness of an applicant.  During this screening process, ask the applicant these questions as well.


Screen Your Tenants