Author Topic: Renting without a monthly earned income, employment history or rental history  (Read 4104 times)

K. C. Gray

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Hi Jeremy & Winnie,

My wife and I have finally reached our goal of financial independence and have just recently retired from our jobs.  Although we are not young (58 and 53), compared to many out there in the FI community, we still managed it, mostly by changing our spending habits.  And there is where I would like to thank you two for influencing us so much.  I discovered your blog some three or four years ago.  Your story really spoke to me and I kept sharing your ideas with my wife, and well - here we are. 

Thank you both very much for deciding to share your philosophy with the great many of us out there.  I had always had trouble fitting myself into the American Dream, and I just never understood why.  Perhaps it was being a Military Brat my whole youth, traveling constantly, but I was never sure.  Reading your blog made me feel like I wasn't alone.  I only wish I had read your blog when I was a younger man. 

I do have one issue that has arisen for us that I am hopeful that you can share some ideas on, or perhaps point us in the direction of some good advice, or a good book that may cover this issue:  It is about establishing a steady income stream from investments, in order to show property managers that you are financially able to meet your commitments.  Rental contracts seem to be based entirely on earned income, with questions about present employer, past employers, how long you have worked there, monthly salary, address of last rental, name and phone number of last landlord, etc.  We are able to fill out our names and the present date, and that is about all.

In talking to various real estate folks and property managers, they do not seem to have any options for folks living off of their money.  Apparently folks our age do not rent much, so this question does not come up.  The folks we talked to were at a loss as to how they would be able to rent to us.  Even after taking our questions, back to their offices, they seemed to be at a loss as to how to fit someone like ourselves into their forms.  It became clear to us that this will be an ongoing issue going forward, as we plan to sell our home, and long term travel, renting as we go.

Perhaps there are ways for FI'ers to show a steady income stream for these purposes or other inventive ideas for working around this problem?

Any advice you may be able to give us on this subject, would be most welcome.


K & K


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I'm a landlord for a lot of properties. And it's true you don't run across financial independence types every day. I can see how you get confused looks from employees of management companies.

BUT ... I would rent to you all day long. I do have criteria for income for all applicants, but in your case I would ask you to document how you generate money to pay your bills. If you said "I live off of dividend income and sell a few stocks per year" I'd ask for a brokerage statement showing you have enough assets to do it.

I KNOW you'll pay your rent. So, it's just a matter of getting documentation (for fair housing reasons and others) to show you've done your homework as a landlord.

Can you ask to speak with a manager or property owner?

And worst case can you offer to pay an extra deposit that they'll release after on-time payments for 6 months?

Good luck!


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In the past I've also offered to pay a landlord a whole year of rent in advance (with a healthy discount, of course.)
"No, no, that's ok.... "

This is when I was working so I had a verifiable income stream, but they still had some other hang up.


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I'm sorry to hear that K.C.  You would think property managers would find you guys to be less of a risk to rent to.  I currently rent, but I work a W-2 job and am the only income for our household.  While our rent is manageable compared to my gross pay (~19% of gross pay) I am a much greater risk than someone living off of their portfolio who has hundreds of companies paying dividends/ growing earnings to sustain their lifestyle (i.e. one income stream vs. multiple).

Would offering to pay 6 months in advance for a small discount get management interested? Could you show your checking account or past brokerage statements to show the stability?

Finally, what about going even more non-traditional in finding some longer-term Airbnb homes to rent?  Perhaps you could make good contacts with the owners of each Airbnb and then use them as your "rental history" or references on an application for a more traditional rental?  Just some thoughts which came to mind.
I have a blog as I chronicle my family's journey to FI.