Thoughts on tenant using offspring's SSI to count towards 3x

6 Replies

Potential applicant wants to use the SSI of his/her offsprings to count towards the 3x rent/income requirement.


If the offspring are legal dependents of the applicant and residing in the residence, I would count it.  We count the income and income equivalents of all occupants in the household.

However, if the SSI funds are for a minor, I would check with the applicant about their ability to access the funds. It's not uncommon for a parent to be the representative payee for their minor child who receives disability benefits. Ask to see documentation, such as an award letter.

This is a excerpt from the Social Security Administration website:

Your child’s regular monthly SSI payments can be deposited into your standard savings, checking, or money market account, but you will still need to accurately track the manner in which those funds are spent and report that information to the SSA as required.

Monthly benefit payments can be spent on everyday living expenses and daily support needs. These can include any and all of the items listed under the authorized Dedicated Account spending, as well as the following:

  • food
  • clothing
  • shelter
  • insurance costs
  • medical care
  • child care expenses
  • furnishing
  • personal comfort items

Keep in mind that the above listed items can only be used for the child earning the benefits.

My thinking is more along the lines of, "Shouldn't a tenant be able to meet the 3x rent requirement without having to use his/her child's SSI?"

If a tenant has to require on SSI from their offspring to meet the requirement (1/3 of amount) .... I feel that it's a bit desperate and/or using SSI the incorrect way. Yes, I saw the part about SSI being used for shelter, but what everything else on the list?

If a large portion of their SSI is being used to meet the rental obligation, shouldn't said tenant be looking at a location with a lower cost?

I know this is not a very objective answer but something about it just doesn't feel right. Almost seems like you would be enabling the parent to live off the child instead of it being the other way around. I get it though, if the child has no "shelter" then what does it matter. Still feels kinda oogie to me though. Gotta go with your conscience on this one. I know you'll make the right choice.

in my non-legal, non professional opinion, it should in theory count but in no way would I ever want a tenant who needed that to meet the requirements.

I would want to know the age of the dependent, and if the applicant has full or partial custody.

If the dependent is 17 years old, they may be planning to move out (along with your hopes of collecting rents) in a year or less. If the applicant has only partial custody, they may also only have partial access to the SSI money.

We've had a few tenants use this as part of their income requirements. My main thinking with this is a case by case basis. If this is a 10 year old child and they have no history of losing custody, then yes your can assume that this is a guaranteed income for approximately 8 years. Also I have had a 34 year old man living with his mother because of a handicap. They can be a long-term tenant, because #1 change is hard on special needs, #2 by that age they have found the budget/life formula that works for them. In essence I say take this as a case by case basis. Be realistic, don't fall for a sob story, and also don't judge because a parent is using that income to justify rent. (special needs children are a job/sacrifice that few can comprehend).

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