Understand if a landlord can use a rent-to-income ratio

Some landlords might tell you they won't rent to you at all, or they will only rent to you with a guarantor, if the rent would be more than a certain percentage of your income.

For example, they might say the rent can't be more than 30% of your income. So if the monthly rent is $900, they won't rent to you if your income is less than $3,000 per month ($36,000 per year).

This often called a rent-to-income ratio.

It could be  if a landlord won't rent to you or demands a guarantor, just because of a rent-to-income ratio.

A landlord is allowed to take your income into account, but they also have to ask for at least one of these things:

  • a credit reference, for example, a letter from an old landlord
  • rental history information
  • a credit check

You don't have to agree to give the landlord any of this extra information. But if you don't, the landlord is allowed to just look at your income to decide whether to rent to you.

Giving more information can be a good way to show that you will be a reliable tenant. For example, a good reference from a previous landlord or a good rental payment history could show that you can afford the rent even if your rent-to-income ratio is higher than the landlord thinks is acceptable.

Hide this website