Skip to main content

Rejecting tenants without a social security number?

Boston, MA |

Can a landlord reject tenants without a social security number, or are there any laws to this in MA? As a landlord, I can't run a credit check or a background check on tenants without a social security number. Since I am in the student rental market, a lot of them come from overseas with no social security so I am not sure if I should skip over them or take other documents such as a passport that they may have. What would be the safest thing to do as a landlord?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. It is legal to require an SSN for a background check so move on and be safe.


  2. As a landlord you are unable to discriminate in Massachusetts. You should save this link to your desktop- http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/subject/about/landlord.html I hope this leads you in the right direction. FYI Having a rental application is typical (have an attorney review to make sure you are seeking information you can legally request).

    The information on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Attorney Satterwhite invites you to call or e-mail for more information, however, visiting his website or contacting him does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send information that may be considered privileged or confidential prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship.


  3. I believe that this is more of a business question than legal.

    No attorney-client relationship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct. You are advised that it is always best to contact a competent and experienced with the practice of law in the county in which you reside.

Landlord-tenant law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics