What If I Don't Make Three Times the Rent?

Jan 7th 2024
Have you ever gone to look at an apartment and heard a request for proof that you make three times the rent? While this is put in place to ensure the landlord gets paid, it can hinder those who don’t make three times the rent. So what do you do if you don’t make three times the rent?

hash-markDo I Have to Make Three Times the Rent?

Although many landlords and property managers have a requirement that you make 3 times the rent, you don’t always need to make three times the rent to find an apartment. There is no hard and fast rule that states you need to make three times the rent to get an apartment. 

The 3x rent rule came into existence because of the Section 8 program. The standard ensures that renters can:

  • Pay rent monthly on a reliable basis
  • Have enough to pay on time
  • Avoid eviction if payments can’t be met

The rule benefits both the landlord and the tenant, keeping one in business and one inside a home.

If you don’t make three times the rent, there are a few things you can do to prove your reliability to the landlord. Let’s go over where to find apartments that don't require 3x the rent as well as some strategies for getting approved for an apartment. 

hash-markFinding Apartments That Don’t Require 3x the Rent

If you don’t make three times the rent and have fallen in love with an apartment, you can:

  • Search for more flexible renting situations: Look for a landlord that is only renting one unit. They might be more flexible than a landlord in charge of an entire building.
  • Provide a better security deposit: If you can’t afford three times the rent, offer a higher security deposit the landlord can count on.
  • Get a co-signer: Find someone to vouch for you when you speak to the landlord.
  • Look for a roommate: You don't need to make 3x the rent if you have a roommate, so looking for a roommate or empty room available for rent in a apartment building. To qualify you will be able to combine your incomes or if your roommate makes 3x the rent, they can qualify as the primary tenant.
  • Give your bank statement: Provide a bank statement to prove that you have a trustworthy financial history.
  • Prove you’re free of debt: Being debt-free is a big deal! Prove you’re debt-free to ensure your reliability with payments.

These may not work, but they are your best course of action if you don’t make quite enough.

Of course, there are exceptions in the world. Do all apartments require three times the rent, or are there spaces that choose to ignore this rule?

hash-markDo All Apartments Require Three Times the Rent?

Not every apartment stays true to the three times the rent rule. Most do, but you can also find apartments that only require you to make 2x or 2.5 times the rent. However, you may find it harder to afford the monthly rent payment if you don't make three times the rent. 

Communicating with the landlord is the best way to ensure you’re in the clear on their requirements, and if making 3x the rent is mandatory.

hash-markWhy Is It Important to Make Three Times the Rent?

It might seem like this rent rule doesn’t matter, but there is a reason why it came into existence. Even though it’s not necessary for every apartment situation, there are some valid reasons behind its existence. Let’s talk about a few of them so you can feel more comfortable with this rule.

Making three times the rent on an apartment can make your life easier because:

  • You can feel confident in your ability to pay rent for months to come
  • You can reduce stress around money with the knowledge that you can always pay
  • You can prepare for the future and set up savings in case something goes wrong with your job or health

Three times the rent benefits you just as much as it does the owner of the property. You get to live in the space, and they get paid for the area they’re offering.

hash-markApartments That Don't Require 3x Rent Bottom Line

You don’t need to make three times the rent to get a quality apartment. There are plenty of ways to communicate with a landlord to work around the general guideline. However, it does provide a level of security for both you and the landlord. If you don’t make three times the rent, don’t worry! Just ensure you’re on top of your spending and saving.