New Law Starting July 1st, Landlords Are Prohibited from Requiring Three Times the Rent from Tenants

New Rules for Landlords: No More Asking for Three Times the Ren

Starting July 1st, a significant change is coming to rental markets across the country. Landlords will no longer be allowed to ask potential tenants to prove that they earn three times the monthly rent. This new regulation aims to make housing more accessible for everyone, especially for those who may have been unfairly excluded due to high income requirements.

Starting July 1st, Landlords Are Prohibited from Requiring Three Times the Rent from Tenants

Understanding the Change

For years, it has been common practice for landlords to require proof that a tenant earns at least three times the rent. This rule was intended to ensure that tenants could afford their rent and still have enough left over for other expenses. However, many people found this requirement to be a major barrier to securing housing, especially in areas where rent is already very high.

The new rule is designed to address this issue by removing the income requirement altogether. Instead, landlords will need to use other methods to determine a tenant’s ability to pay rent.

Why the Change?

Housing advocates have long argued that the three-times-the-rent rule is unfair and discriminatory. It often impacts people who have steady incomes but do not meet the high threshold, such as gig workers, freelancers, and those with non-traditional employment. This can also disproportionately affect minorities, single parents, and younger people who are just starting their careers.

The new regulation is part of a broader effort to make housing more inclusive and equitable. By removing the income requirement, the hope is that more people will have access to housing and that the rental market will become fairer.

What Landlords Need to Know

If you’re a landlord, it’s important to understand how this new rule will affect you. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. No More Income Verification: You can no longer require tenants to prove that they earn three times the rent. This means you will need to find other ways to assess their ability to pay.
  2. Alternative Assessment Methods: Consider looking at a potential tenant’s credit score, rental history, and references. These can give you a good idea of whether they will be reliable and responsible.
  3. Be Transparent: Make sure you communicate clearly with potential tenants about your requirements and how you will assess their ability to pay rent. Transparency can help build trust and avoid misunderstandings.
  4. Fair Treatment: Ensure that you treat all applicants equally and fairly. Avoid any practices that could be seen as discriminatory.

How Tenants Can Benefit

For tenants, this change is a welcome relief. Here’s how it can benefit you:

  1. Increased Access: If you’ve struggled to find housing because you didn’t meet the income requirement, this new rule opens up more opportunities for you.
  2. Fair Assessment: Landlords will now need to look at your overall financial picture, not just your income. This means they’ll consider things like your credit score and rental history, which can give a more accurate view of your ability to pay rent.
  3. Less Stress: You won’t need to worry about meeting a high-income threshold. This can reduce the stress and anxiety that often comes with searching for a new home.

Potential Challenges

While the new rule is a positive step forward, it’s not without its challenges. Both landlords and tenants may need to adjust to the new system.

  1. Landlord Concerns: Some landlords may worry about how to assess tenants without the income requirement. It’s important for them to educate themselves about alternative methods and to be open to different ways of evaluating potential tenants.
  2. Tenant Preparation: Tenants should be prepared to provide other types of documentation to demonstrate their ability to pay rent. This might include credit reports, bank statements, or letters of recommendation.
  3. Market Adjustments: The rental market may go through a period of adjustment as everyone gets used to the new rules. It’s important to be patient and to communicate clearly throughout this transition.

Legal Background and Rationale

The move to eliminate the three-times-the-rent requirement has its roots in broader housing reform initiatives. Several states and municipalities have recognized the inherent biases in traditional income-based screening criteria and have pushed for more comprehensive and fairer methods.

For instance, New York City implemented a similar rule in 2020, which inspired other cities and states to follow suit. The goal is to dismantle systemic barriers to housing, particularly for lower-income individuals, and to create more inclusive housing policies.

Case Studies and Evidence

Research conducted by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) revealed that income-based rental requirements disproportionately impact minorities and low-income households. The study showed that nearly 40% of renters nationwide could not meet the traditional three-times-the-rent rule, thus significantly limiting their housing options.

Success Stories

Several cities that have already implemented similar rules have reported positive outcomes. In Portland, Oregon, the removal of the income requirement led to a 15% increase in successful rental applications among low-income families. The city also saw a decrease in eviction rates, as landlords began to use more comprehensive screening processes that included rental history and credit checks.

Steps for Landlords to Adapt

Adapting to this new regulation may require some changes in how landlords operate. Here are some practical steps:

  1. Education and Training: Landlords should educate themselves about the new rule and seek training on alternative tenant screening methods. Local housing authorities often provide resources and workshops.
  2. Updated Screening Criteria: Develop a more holistic screening process. This could include checking credit scores, requesting references from previous landlords, and verifying employment status.
  3. Collaboration with Tenant Organizations: Work with tenant advocacy groups to understand their concerns and find mutually beneficial solutions. This can also help landlords build a positive reputation within the community.
  4. Clear Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with prospective tenants. Clearly explain the new criteria and what information they need to provide.

How Tenants Can Prepare

Tenants should also take proactive steps to ensure they can present a strong application under the new rules:

  1. Credit Report: Obtain a copy of your credit report and check it for errors. Correct any inaccuracies and take steps to improve your credit score if necessary.
  2. Rental History: Gather references from previous landlords. Positive references can significantly boost your application.
  3. Employment Verification: Be prepared to provide proof of employment or other sources of income. Even though the three-times-the-rent rule is gone, demonstrating steady income can still be beneficial.
  4. Financial Documentation: Keep bank statements and other financial documents ready. These can help show that you have the resources to pay rent.

Broader Implications

The elimination of the three-times-the-rent rule is part of a broader trend towards more inclusive housing policies. This shift is likely to have several broader implications:

  1. Increased Diversity: More people from different income brackets and backgrounds will have access to housing, leading to more diverse communities.
  2. Economic Mobility: Easier access to housing can enhance economic mobility, allowing individuals to move closer to job opportunities and better schools.
  3. Reduction in Homelessness: By removing barriers to housing, the new rule could help reduce homelessness, particularly among low-income and vulnerable populations.
  4. Market Stability: As more people gain access to housing, the rental market could stabilize, with fewer vacancies and more predictable rental income for landlords.

Future Directions

While the removal of the three-times-the-rent rule is a significant step forward, there is still more work to be done to create fair and inclusive housing policies. Future directions could include:

  1. Rent Control Measures: Implementing rent control measures to prevent exorbitant rent increases that can displace tenants.
  2. Support for Affordable Housing: Increasing investment in affordable housing projects to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable housing.
  3. Tenant Protections: Strengthening tenant protections to prevent unfair evictions and discrimination.
  4. Continuous Evaluation: Regularly evaluating the impact of new regulations to ensure they are meeting their intended goals and making adjustments as necessary.


The new regulation banning landlords from asking for three times the rent is a significant change that aims to make housing more accessible and fair. While it may require some adjustments, it ultimately benefits both tenants and landlords by promoting a more inclusive and equitable rental market.

As we move forward, it’s important to embrace these changes and work towards creating a housing market that serves the needs of all people. By doing so, we can ensure that everyone has a fair chance at finding a place to call home.

The transition may involve challenges, but with education, transparency, and collaboration, landlords and tenants can navigate this new landscape successfully. Together, we can create a housing market that reflects the values of fairness, inclusivity, and opportunity for all.

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