When you're renting a house, you must give its owner certain data about your finances. But there are other kinds of personal information that you can keep for yourself.
Now that you've found a nice place to live in the neighborhood that you like and that it's under your budget, it's time to do the paperwork. The landlord is going to check out your financial management in order to know if you're going to pay on time. By digging into your bank account, your salary, your savings, and even your investments, they’ll set the price and the interest rate. You don’t need to worry if you’ve got a bad credit score, you can still rent an apartment!
There's some personal information that they shouldn't ask, because it corresponds to your private life, and they shouldn't make a difference in your suitability as a tenant. That's where you have the right to appeal to the Fair Housing Act.
According to it, it's against the law to ask questions regarding someone's nationality. This means that the landlord can’t ask you where you've born or where your spouse is from. This said, they can't ask for your race either. Penalties are severe for landlords that inquire about this information.
Another aspect that belongs to your personal information is your sexual orientation. This is something that you can legally keep to yourself if you prefer to do so. It shouldn’t matter if renters are straight, gay, or bisexual, and if anybody asks, it's a violation of the law.
An innocent question like “do you go to church?” is absolutely out of place. You may be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Atheist, but your religion doesn't make any difference when applying for rent.
Landlords shouldn’t mind if you’re married or if you've got children either. You can tell them about your family if you'd like. You may be in a situation when you need to ask, for example, whether there’s a school nearby. But they can't ask for further information in order to accept you as a tenant.
Did you know that there are cities where it's much cheaper to rent than to own a house?