Showing bank statements to letting agents

Sorry if this query has been answered already…I did a search but didn’t find an answer on this site.

I am looking to rent an apartment and for some reason nearly all of them are being advertised by agents. Some of these agent’s websites say they want your bank statements as well as work references. I would have a problem with providing the bank statement as I don’t feel it is any of their business in seeing how much I earn or what I spend my money on. I have nothing to hide but it’s a matter of principle really.

Is there any alternative way of convincing an agent that you have the capacity to pay the rent each month without showing them your personal bank statements?


I’d give them a photocopy of my bank statement with everything blacked out except my name and address.

I thought of doing something like that except that’s only going to prove i have a bank account…it’s not going to convince them of my ability to pay the rent.

Would offering to set up a direct debit be an OK way to assure them? I don’t want to lose an apartment I like by being pig headed but i really don’t like the intrusion of showing my statement.

I would imagine that what they are doing is illegal, there is no way I would let them see that information, it is none of their business. No agency has ever asked me for that and i’ve been renting from agents for about 10 years.

You could ask Threshold, the tenants rights agency, what to do.
They have cleared a few legal matter up for me before. Might not do much for you but you will know your rights after a phone call.

If you’re moving from one rental to another, black out everything but the previous rental payments? Maybe agree the rent first also.

I’m not currently renting so that’s not an option unfortunately…if i was it would probably be OK for them. What i might do is blacken everything out except for my balance, I don’t mind them seeing that as it obviously fluctuates and proves i have a healthy current account balance. I wonder would that suffice though…

I recently moved to a new gaff which is managed by a letting agent. They didn’t ask for this and there’s no way they’d have gotten it. I’d go with the blacked out option if they insist.

Tell them to request a bank reference. Asking to see bank statements is a high grade gobshitery.

ps bank will charge for a reference.

Interesting. Never heard of this, actually. When you say “tell them to request a bank reference” do you mean that they have to request that of me or of my bank, i.e. is this something i have to have beforehand?


do you have a savings account statement?

I’ve been asked for a bank refernce before.

If they really want to see a your back statement ask them to show you theirs so that you can be sure your deposit is safe.

The problem you have is that if the property in question is much sought after due to its price, condition, location, value in general, then you will lose out if your competition show bank statements that demonstrate their financial health.

If you have concerns about confidentiality, ask to see the estate agennt’s written policy on how they handle confidentiality concerns around their handling of bank statements.

If you are concerned that they may be using your bank statement to work out the maximum amount of rent they can extract from you, I suppose all you could do is report them to the competition authority or your TD, or similar. Perhaps if enough such reports are made, some legislation could be put in place to prevent this practice in the future.

Having said that, I know there are some people who rent who voluntarily provide the agent with sheaves of previous landlord references, character references, bank statements, and photographs of themselves. As it enhances their negotiating position.

We had to give a bank statement when we were signing up for our lease but it was just to prove that we had a current account so we blanked out all the numbers. They had no problem with this. Maybe get back onto the agent to find out the reason they want the statement.

Keep savings in Rabo and they don’t send statements AFAIK.

The agent writes to the bank stating that you are taking a lease for x months at y rent per month. They ask the bank if you can meet the financial commitment. The bank replies in terms like;

*Considered good for your figures and purpose.

The agent can pay the fee for the bank reference.

It’s not so much the confidentiality issue, it’s more that it’s not their business and i think is unnecessary to ask for such personal details… but i do want to avoid losing a nice place over it.

Ok, thanks. Maybe i should first of all just ask why they want to see them. They might not even be looking to see such personal details and just want to make sure i have an account that is not in the red…

Thanks for the explanation Duplex, I will suggest this and see if they go for it. They may just be requesting statements to avoid the hassle and fees of the bank reference, if so they might accept blackened out bank statements as proof instead.

Thanks to all who have replied…