When choosing to rent a home as a recipient of Social Security, you have both an advantage and a disadvantage. You have a set amount of money each month that is guaranteed income, which is good in the opinion of the landlord. The downside is you only have that much money coming in each month and might need more to qualify for some rentals.
Figure out how much of your Social Security income is available for rent. This means you must create a household budget that takes in to account medical expenses, transportation, food and utilities. Find a home for rent in your price range.
Fill out the rental application completely, disclose on the application that you receive Social Security benefits as income. Landlords tend to like applicants that have a guaranteed monthly income. Provide references and as much information about your finances as required on the application.
When you turn in the application, make sure to let the landlord know that you have a budget and have allotted a certain amount for rent. Before paying an application fee, ask the landlord whether there are income limits that must be met to qualify. If you don't meet them, don't apply.
Once approved, meet the landlord for a lease signing and walk through of the home. Pay your security deposit and first month's rent, then finalize your move-in dates with the landlord.
Fill out a change of address form at the post office and notify the Social Security department so there won't be a holdup with your payment.
- Author is a Registered Property Manager in Virginia