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Apartment Landlord is asking for Social Security Number Letter Verification Letter, is this legal?

Irving, TX |

I just recently moved into an apartment and my landlord is asking for a Social Security Number Verification letter. In all my years of renting I have never came a across this. I am hesitant to follow the request because its seems highly unorthodox.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

I understand your concerns. However, usually landlords require this before you move in or are even given a lease - the SS# is used both to confirm identity (although it is not technically a form of ID) and to run a credit check. As such, don't be surprised if the failure to provide ends up meaning you will not have your lease renewed. Because in many rental situations you'd have had to put your SS# on your application, you may not be gaining much by refusing this time.

Asker

Posted

The thing is, I did provide my SSN when I filled out the apartment application. I provided all identifying information for them to do a background check. Isn't their job to do the due diligence and research if the SSN i provide is valid or not? My concern is this letters contains the full SSN and my name on it. The office manager tried to assure me that this letter will be stored with my file and behind a "secure digital lock". That means nothing to me because anyone in the leasing office can enter this room. They threaten to proceed with an eviction if i dont provide this by next week. What recourse do i have in this situation.

Stephanie O Joy

Stephanie O Joy

Posted

There job is to rent apartments, they have no duty to you to get the verification letter. You have no duty necessarily either, but again, they may choose not to renew. I am not seeing that they'd have a right to break the lease now, however, because of this. They are already in a contract for whatever length of time. I am not following you on your concern about it being your full name and SS # on the letter - didn't you already give that to your employer on your application? As such, they'd be learning nothing new, only seeing an official letter unlike your statements on your application, confirming that what you stated is true. But, in terms of eviction: Check your lease and see if there is any such requirement to provide this letter - probably not or they would have pointed it out to you. I'd then ask them to produce the citation for the statute that gives them the power to win an eviction case based on you not getting this letter. But again, your concerns about the sanctity of your information may be unfounded - since your asserted SS# is already in that office, right? I am also wondering if they did try to run a credit check and perhaps your stated SS# did not match up with your name and they couldn't run it - could there be such a clerical error/typo? If so, double check that info, perhaps you can correct this situation that way, short of ordering a verification letter.

Posted

A landlord can rent on his own terms and require different application procedures. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, say so and if he insists, it may be time to say goodbye!

Posted

Yes

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