Freelancer 101: How to Provide Proof of Income for Apartment Rental


Let’s face it, freelancing isn’t your typical full-time job with 70% of them working on more than one project at a time and half working intermittently.

In addition to the freedom of working your own hours and from anywhere in the world comes some struggle when it comes to proving your income.

The greatest challenge is when you are looking for a place to live.

Here is the best way to provide proof of income for apartment landlords when you are a freelancer.

What is Proof of Income?

As a freelancer, you may not even know how much on average you make, but at some point, you may need to provide proof of income.

This includes some official type of document that shows how much you make on a monthly, weekly, daily, or even hourly basis. It will also show which company(ies) you work for and possibly for how long.

Landlords will use this information to determine if you have a stable salary. This will assure them that you will be able to pay the rent.

Most renters would like to see their tenants earn at least 3 times the rent.

How is Income Different for Freelancers?

While an earning statement is easy to access if you work in a salaried position from one company, freelancers may have a more difficult time.

Inconsistent pay periods make your pay schedule abnormal and confusing. Plus, your salary may vary or change abruptly between projects and dry periods.

You most likely work for several companies, so multiple documents will be needed to meet the minimum income. And most contract jobs are short term, so there is a large turnover.

Many freelance companies do not give their employees pay stubs, which is the most common income verification for apartment renting. Instead, contractors use various pay mediums like PayPal, so tracking becomes more difficult.

Freelancers must be organized and are responsible for keeping track of their income. Even so, some renters may be wary of a freelance salary given its inconsistencies and unverifiable data.

Acceptable Proof of Income for Apartment Approval

It is your job to reassure the landlord of your salary so they can trust that you can pay rent on time. Use several forms of documentation and show all types of income.

Create a pay stub using to break down your income for the landlord. Although it is not an official pay stub, it can help explain your income clearly and professionally.

Use a bank verification letter or statement to show what money is being deposited in your account, from where, and how often.

Your tax returns or your 1099 form can show how much you made in the past. Although it is reliable, it may also be out-dated so keep this as a backup.

A self-employment letter might work well if you have been with one more of the same companies for long-term. They might be willing to write an official letter stating your average pay and commitment to the company.

It is best to have at least two or three documents to show the landlord that your numbers match up.

Finding Unconventional Accommodation

Sometimes, as a freelancer, you may not be able to provide proof of income for apartment landlords who require a more reliable income. In that case, look for roommates or homes for rent by owners instead of apartment complexes.

Let us know in the comments below your stories of finding an apartment as a freelancer.

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By Sidharth

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