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Am I required to give my bank statements at the request of my apartment landlord?

Detroit, MI |

When I filled out an application for my apartment 7 months ago, I was asked to bring in recent check stubs and employment verification along with the application. Six months later, they are conducting a re-verification process, and they asked for my most recent pay stubs, they sent another employment verification form to my employers, and also asked for bank statements. I complied, but now a few weeks later they are asking for 6 more recent bank statements; they say they need to average my total income. I was already skeptical the first time they asked for the bank statements, do I have to give it to them? Am I required by law to give them, or can I refuse without getting into legal trouble?

Attorney Answers 1


Does you lease give them an ongoing right to this information? It would be an unusual lease term, but if it is there, they most likely do have a right to keep requesting it. If it is not a right that is granted to them in the lease, then they have no legal basis to demand it. You could start by asking them on what authority they are demanding the information. Just keep this in mind, even if they have no right to dmeand it, and even if they cannot evict you over it right now, you have no right to a renewal of your lease (unless your lease includes a renewal provision). That means that while you might not have to give them the information now, if you refuse and that irritates them enough, they will not renew your lease when it is up. Of course you might want to move anyway if they are that difficult to deal with.

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If you live at a Tax Credit (low income) apartment complex, you have to re-certify once a year. If you cannot provide proof of income, the property will ask for a bank statement in order to ensure that you are in compliance with the income guidlines. They will fax an employment verification form to your employer. But they cannot just take the word of one person over a piece of paper. They need physical proof of your income in order to qualify you. If you do not meet the income guidelines, you will be asked to move. When you first applied to the apartment, if it is a tax credit property, they should have provided you with 5-6 other pages involving the original certification process. If you are concerned about identity theft and all of that, mark out all other information on your bank statement, except for your name. You do not have to and most definitely should not provide account numbers or other personal information. They are just looking to see your deposit history to get a general idea of your income.

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