Proof of Income - NJ Rental

8 Replies

Hi all!

We have a rental property that will soon be up for rent. I have not yet posted the property for rent but we have gotten requests for information from people in the area. My current neighbor rents the house next door to me. Her landlord is currently trying to tell the house and she would have 60 days to vacate if they sell. She really wants to rent our house. She has seen it and has come to our house with checkbook in hand asking if she can put down a deposit to rent it.

Rent is 1600/month.

She worked for the schools and has a pension which she verbally stated is 1600 a month. She was let go from that job and is currently suing the school system because she states that they were not following regulations for special education. She states she was let go and “black balled” in the education community because she refused to sign evaluations for students which she was not present for the eval (but they needed someone with her credentials to sign the documents).

After that she worked at Talbots for a bit but stopped during the pandemic and has been collecting unemployment. Right before she quit Talbots, she opened a store in our town. That was in the works pre pandemic but officially occurred post pandemic, hence her ability to claim unemployment. She verbally states rhetoric 517 a week, plus the current 300 additional.

I asked for the rental application to be filled out, which clearly states to attach pay stubs. Of course she does not have pay stubs.

I can ask for tax returns but with the changes over the past year her 2019 income doesn’t really mean anything.

What else can I ask for to verify income? Pension info, unemployment info... She states she could get social security but is waiting to claim it.

I of course contacted her current landlord and am waiting to hear back from them.

She is a nice lady but I need to protect my families assets and I am fearful she will not be able to pay the rent or will try to pull some sort of scheme.

Thoughts?

@Kevin Purvis right?? It’s giving me anxiety.

She has been our neighbor for four years. Prior to that she owned a home, got divorced and has been renting the house next to me since then. (1425/month). Also NJ is very tenant friendly so we really need to do our due diligence to avoid any potential issues.

The market is insane here right now so I have no fear of finding someone for the place, but it would be great to have someone locked in now (I’m 37 weeks pregnant).

@Kevin Purvis

She said she has a joint savings account with her siblings with a “substantial” amount of money that she could send me a statement of as proof that she could pay her rent with that if needed. I vaguely remember her telling me in the past that her mom left her and the bro/sis over a million.

She also said her ex husband could co sign for her.

Originally posted by @Kimberly Carver :

@Kevin Purvis

She said she has a joint savings account with her siblings with a “substantial” amount of money that she could send me a statement of as proof that she could pay her rent with that if needed. I vaguely remember her telling me in the past that her mom left her and the bro/sis over a million.

She also said her ex husband could co sign for her.

 Could potentially be ok, but I would still ask to see that she has any income.  Also increase the security deposit as much as legally possible in your jurisdiction.  She has money but no income then get first month, last month plus bug security. If she has money then it shouldn't be an issue.  However I still wouldn't rent without credit and background plus 90 days of bank statement.


I’m thinking background check/credit check, 1099-R for proof of the pension, and either co signer or proof of this “substantial” sum of money. Or both? If I go for the bank statement of the money should I ask for a letter signed by the siblings stating she can use it for rent if needed since it’s a joint account? (If that’s legal to ask for)

I love the idea of maxing her out with the first and last month's rent plus the security deposit. I would also ensure that she has someone to co-sign on the lease as well, ensuring that that person understand exactly what they are getting themselves into. The bank statement concept is great as well.  Besides those points (and the others already raised), I would seriously consider putting her on a 6-month lease only for starters.  It would be easy to evict her during this pandemic season once her lease has expired, I think.  

All that said, to me, it sounds like this lady may have personality issues that may end up being a headache that you can't afford.  The fact that she has lived there for a while is nice, but you don't know what she's like.  Is it that easy to be fired from a job in the school system?  How likely is it that she's right about being the victim?  If everything that's ever gone wrong in her life is everyone else's fault, all this work you're going to get her financials straight will be a total waste (and you'll have a baby keeping you busy on top of a potentially high-maintenance tenant?). I say smile sweetly and pass.  you can do it. :)