Table of Contents
- What is an income verification letter?
- Why do landlords ask for a letter of employment?
- How do you obtain a verification letter?
- What does a verification letter contain?
- Sample income verification letter
What Is an Income Verification Letter?
An income verification letter is a letter that landlords and mortgage lenders use to verify your income. Also known as an employment letter, income verification letters will state your salary, your job title, and when you started working in your current place of employment. Most of the time, your employer provides this letter, but there may be circumstances that you or your account write the letter, for example, if you’re self-employed or own a small business.
If you need an income verification letter, you’ll need to contact your boss or HR department so that they can provide it. Often, your employer will send the income verification letter directly to your potential landlord, as requested on your apartment application.
Why Do Landlords Ask for a Letter of Employment?
The landlord isn’t just trying to be nosy when they ask for an employment letter and proof of income. Letters of employment are used as a safeguard. You can put anything you want to on an application for a lease, but a potential landlord needs to know that you truly have a job and make enough to afford your rent. Requesting a letter of employment or income verification helps them confirm everything on your application.
Providing a landlord a letter of employment is also beneficial to you, as you’re less likely to get in over your head and commit to renting an apartment you might not be able to afford.
How Do You Obtain a Verification Letter?
If you need a verification letter as a landlord or as a renter, you can use these steps and tips to help obtain one.
1. Lookup the Business Entity
Start by searching the business. Look them up and make sure they are an actual business. Keep in mind that if it is a small business they may not have a functional website but you can find them somewhere on the internet still usually.
When you look up the business, you should be able to locate some contact information.
2. Call the Employer
Start with a phone call. The quickest way to get the information is to get a phone call. Some employers will require a written request and maybe even an authorization to release information by the individual.
Ask first what you need to do to verify employment and then go from there. Be kind and respectful and follow their requirements.
3. Obtain Past Pay Stubs
A landlord can use pay stubs as proof of employment and income as well. Pay stubs will show you what the individual makes and how often they get paid. It would have just as good of information as most employment letters will. They also might be easier to obtain.
Be sure to check the dates on the pay stubs. You don’t want to accept anything that is over 60 days old as the tenant may not work there any longer.
4. Get Past 2 Years of Tax Returns
Another good way to verify stable income is to collect tax returns. If you can acquire the past two years of returns, this could be a good way to confirm income. You can see if they have worked consistently and had consistent income over the past two years.
5. Run a Credit Report
Finally, a landlord can run a credit report. The credit report will typically have some employment history, but it also provides a history of whether or not accounts are paid in a timely manner.
What Does a Verification Letter Contain?
Verification letters are meant to be straightforward. Most of the time, it’s easiest if your request to the employer provides a simple form they can fill out and return. Some businesses do have their own forms to use as well.
In most cases, your income verification letter should contain your salary, job title, and length of employment.
An employer may choose to leave other remarks, but they may be limited in what they can disclose.
Sample Income Verification Letter
If you need to send an income verification letter, you can use this sample as a guide. This can be tweaked slightly to meet the needs of the letter.
CITY, STATE, ZIP
DATE OF LETTER
RE: Proof of income letter for Employee’s Name
Dear Landlord’s Name,
Please accept this letter as proof of income for (Employee’s Name). Employee’s name has been employed at Employer since applicable hire date. Their job title is fill in blank. Employee’s name earns an income of fill in $$ amount and how often.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions. (Fill in contact information here).
FILL IN SIGNATURE