Q: I'm wondering about how, once I'm retired, I prove my income to landlords. I am not eligible for Social Security, but I'll have a regular monthly pension and I have fairly substantial savings. Is that good enough for most landlords?
A: If you are able to show any type of income that can support your ability to pay your rent, you should be fine. Landlords know that some tenants may have different sources of income. Once you retire, you may have some income from a pension or interest from savings or even dividends from stocks. Any of these items work as income as far as landlords are concerned.
If you have a pension and other sources of income, a prospective landlord should ask you about these sources to understand how you'll pay the rent. In the event that your pension isn't enough to cover your payments but you have sufficient savings, the landlord will likely be satisfied. (He or she may ask how much is in the account.)
The landlord only needs to see that you either have sufficient monthly income to pay your bills or that you have sufficient assets to pay those bills.
Landlords often will pull a copy of your credit history and credit score to help determine what sort of risk you are. If you have a good credit score, a prospective landlord is far more likely to give you a chance if you have cash in the bank but not much regular income. If your credit score is poor and you have a history of not paying your bills on time and in full, you'll get less flexibility.
Send questions to Real Estate Matters, 361 Park Ave., Suite 200, Glencoe, IL 60022, or contact author Ilyce Glink and lawyer Samuel Tamkin at www.thinkglink.com.