It seems like a simple request. The bank will contact your landlord to confirm that you’ve paid your rent on time for the last 12 months. If you have a reliable landlord, a simple phone call is all it takes. If you have an idiot for a landlord, this process could threaten to delay your closing, as it’s doing in my case.

Verification of Rent Form
Some banks request a “verification of rent” form. Your landlord should be able to quickly and easily complete the form and fax or mail it to the back.

This is where the trouble started for us. We learned three weeks ago that our lender couldn’t reach our landlord. We supplied a different phone number. Our loan was approved this week, except they still needed rent verification. They faxed the form Monday. And then again Wednesday. And then again Friday. On Friday, when we stepped in, the management company promised they would fax it back in 20 minutes. They didn’t. I now have to go to their office and sit on them until they fax the form.

Alternatives to Landlord Confirmation
Had we known what a hassle this would be, we would have prepared in advance by ordering check copies. Our bank allows us to print 6 months worth of checks online, but it then takes 7-10 days to mail check copies after that. If we’d ordered the checks when we first became aware of the problem two weeks ago, we’d be done with this, but our lender prefers to receive the form.

What to Do to Avoid this Situation
If we can’t get the rent verification completed on Monday, we may not be able to sign our loan documents by Friday, which means we wouldn’t be won’t be able to close by the end of the month. If that happens, we won’t be able to take possession on the first of the month and will lose a weekend for painting and maintenance before we move in. We may also after to stay in our apartment an extra week, which would cost money. (Although we’ll scream about that to the management company, since this is their fault.)

If you know that your management company or landlord is difficult, prepare yourself in advance:

  1. Alert the landlord or manager that you’ve entered escrow and will need rent verification from them.
  2. Gather needed phone numbers. We didn’t know the bank needed phone numbers until they’d already attempted to reach the management company.
  3. Order check copies. It may cost a few dollars, but it’s worth the piece of mind to not be scrambling at the end if something goes wrong.
  4. Call the landlord after you know the rent verification form has been sent to confirm that it’s been received and returned. If it hasn’t, call repeatedly until it’s resolved.

If you’ve ever had to make repeated requests to get repairs made, then you should probably assume that your landlord or manager won’t verify your rent properly. If that’s the case, order the check copies now to avoid the hassle later. At this point, I have no other option but to go there and wait until I receive confirmation from my lender that they’ve received the form. Even it means being late for work, I will wait.


3 Responses to “Mortgage Stumbling Block: Rent Verification”

  1. monthly budget spreadsheet on December 19th, 2009 7:55 am

    Thanks so much for a wonderful website. I was a little nervous about renting my home without a Realtor and doing my own lease
    Your site made me got many new ideas for these.

  2. ME on January 30th, 2011 7:41 pm

    Very informative. We have a landlord who is trying to keep silent; she’s been hemorrhaging tenants for the past year and this is a delaying tactic. Fortunately, i warned the lender about this and they directed me to order bank checks while they await any semblance of a response.

  3. Aryn on January 31st, 2011 10:47 am

    You must be very irritated. It’s not like you’ll decide not to buy a house because she refuses to send the paperwork!!! I hope you get your check copies quickly.

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