Can a landlord require a photo ID with rental applications?

The landlord for the property I manage wants all potential tenants to submit a photo ID with their lease application. Can I require that?

Yes, but you should only use an applicant’s photo ID to verify his or her identity and/or to check on criminal history, rental history, or credit history. You must be uniform and consistent with your photo ID policy by requiring it from all applicants. Never use the photo ID to discriminate against an applicant.

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10 Responses to Can a landlord require a photo ID with rental applications?

  1. Gayle L SpeckG says:

    It would be useful to collect in event of collection if that is permissible.


  2. Tracey Collier-Shafer says:

    They are always submitted. I wonder sometimes if people discriminate based on the id though.


    • A Ward says:

      Yes , I feel that they do. They dont really need to see a picture ID to run an applicants credit. I think if all else checks out, then they can request the ID at the end in order to proceed, but I had a few situations where things were going well, then I submitted the photo ID for an African American applicant and things suddenly went south . We both feel that it was discriminatory based on skin color and the type of hairstyle the applicant had at the time the pic was taken years ago. A shame indeed.


  3. Ray Faragher says:

    It’s allowed, and should also be required.. Responsible landlords need to make sure that their applicants are actually the people applying, not someone using another persons identity to gain tenancy.


  4. Scott McDonald says:

    Yes, we absolutely should. We are entrusting properties worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to Tenants we’ve never met (in most cases). We have an obligation to verify 100% that they are who they claim to be.

    Furthermore, I have NEVER seen ANY FFHA discriminatory behavior by ANY person in 17 years of property management. Why live in fear of something we are NOT doing? (The Lawyers are telling us how to be free of Fear! Really?) I always do the right thing and I don’t let my clients do the wrong thing, so this is -as with most of these ‘what-ifs’ – a non issue.


  5. Patty Barron says:

    In life, all of us are required to provide a current photo id. Examples: airlines security, title at closing, part of getting a drivers license, some credit applications, applications to educational institutions, applications to lease a vehicle — to name a few. Of course it should be part of an application to lease a property.


  6. Munis Syed says:

    If the prospective applicant meets all requirements of income and no foreclosures and background check, then DL # and Social should suffice. Discrimination can be avoided.


  7. L S Watson says:

    My thought is why is this even a question?
    Isn’t it a normal procedure for Banks and mortgage companies to Require photo IDs?
    Why would Landlords or rental management companies not require the same thing???


  8. david kusko says:

    Can’t believe this is even a discussion!!!! How could the landlord possibly confirm who they’re dealing with otherwise….or enforce payment on a bad check for that matter. This would really open up the doors for fraud if not allowed.


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