Tenant Ask Landlord to Supply A W-9

8 Replies

I received one of the strangest request today. My tenant called me and asked me to supplied a W-9 to her so she can give it to the charity that is going to help her out with her rent. As this is a head scratcher, I looked up on the internet for some possible reasons why a church would request a W-9 from someone's landlord that they're giving out monetary aid to and I gather that it's an IRS rule that anything over $600, they have to give a 1099-MISC form to the person they give the money to. In order to give someone a 1099-MiSC form they need that person to fill out a W-9. My thinking is, why in the world would I give my personal info to anyone that I didn't make a request for aid to. Shouldn't the church ask the tenant to supply them with a W-9 form instead of me? Thoughts? 

I would think that the TENANT is the one that needs to supply the W-9 to the charity because they are the ones that should need to show the receipt of the income in order to in turn pay you an expense.  You already claim the income on your taxes.

However, my guess is that their thinking is that they are going to pay you directly instead of the Tenant (because why would someone trying to help a person pay their rent give the money to them and risk them spending it on something other than rent).

I would ask for the charity's contact info, and contact them to see what they require from you.  My guess is that, after some discussion, it will become clear that the charity needs the Tenant to complete the W-9, not you.  Since you have no relation to the charity, and they are not the ones on the lease, their connection is to the tenant.

@Cara Lonsdale Thanks Cara! I agree with you that the church is probably thinking that they don’t want to give money to the person requesting aid for rent and want to give it directly to the landlord. This can probably be resolve with the tenant providing the church her W-9 and then the church make a check out to me instead of her.

It is not unusual for a charity to ask for a W-9 when making someone else's rent payment.  It is unlikely they would give the money to your tenant, and if the check is made out to YOU, then they need YOU to fill out the W-9.  I have some husband-wife teams as sub-contractors for my business, and I make sure that the person who filled out the W-9 is the only one I write checks to, otherwise I'm screwed at tax time.  I would go directly to the charity with my W-9 .... I would not feel comfortable giving that info to a tenant.  And consider all the places that are far less secure that already have your personal information...

@John Vo Thanks for asking this question man I have never heard of this before so I am glad you asked it! My opinion would be to contact the charity or church directly and find out what they need. If they really do need your W9 I would take it to them directly yourself. I agree with you 100% with not wanting the tenant to know your personal information and finances. I always do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt so maybe the tenant just misunderstood what they asked. I'm sure a quick phone call to the charity will clear everything up! Good luck man!

So I did talk to a representative from the church. I posed the question of why didn’t they ask the tenant for a W-9 instead of me and the short version is that, it’s their procedure to make the check directly to the landlord not the tenant. So they need a W-9 from me since the check will be made out in my name. I’m still uncomfortable with giving anyone that I don’t work for a W-9, so we’ll see what can be work out with the church as I’m waiting for a call back from someone who can make that decision.

like @Roland Widmann stated. its not unusual for a charity to ask for a W-9.  Put a security freeze on your ss# for extra protection. 

I've done this before. Send the W-9 directly to the church and they will make the check out to you.

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