Can a Landlord Ask for My Child’s Social Security Number?


As a tenant, the permissible extent of information a landlord can request can be perplexing, especially when it involves sensitive data like a child’s social security number. This article delves into the boundaries and considerations surrounding this inquiry.

Landlord-Tenant Relationship

Understanding the dynamics of the relationship between a landlord and a tenant is crucial in evaluating the rights and responsibilities within this interaction.

Rights and Responsibilities

Landlords have the right to request certain information during the application process, but it’s subject to legal limitations and guidelines.

Information Landlords Can Request

Typically, landlords can ask for employment history, credit reports, and references, including social security numbers as part of the application process.

Child’s Social Security Number

The query about a child’s social security number is intricate and involves both permissibility and legal considerations.


In certain instances, a landlord might legitimately request a child’s SSN, especially if the child’s income contributes to rent payments or for background checks.

Legal Considerations

Laws are in place to protect tenant privacy, and there are legal boundaries dictating the extent of information landlords can request.

Privacy and Legal Concerns

Tenant privacy rights play a pivotal role in safeguarding sensitive personal information from undue intrusion by landlords.

Tenant Privacy Rights

Various state laws and the Fair Housing Act prevent landlords from asking for unnecessary or excessive personal information.

Protecting Sensitive Information

Tenants, particularly parents, must safeguard their children’s social security numbers and provide them only when legally required.

Implications and Consequences

Sharing a child’s social security number can have implications for both tenants and landlords, along with potential legal ramifications.

Impact of Sharing SSN

Providing a child’s SSN exposes their sensitive information to potential risks if mishandled.

Legal Ramifications for Landlords

Improper handling of requested information can lead to legal consequences for landlords.

Tenant’s Action Steps

Tenants have rights and options to address such inquiries while maintaining a good relationship with the landlord.

Effective Communication

Open and clear communication with the landlord about concerns or legal obligations can often resolve such issues.

Legal Recourse

Tenants can seek legal advice or report the matter to tenant rights organizations if a landlord’s request seems inappropriate or unnecessary.


In summary, while landlords may request a child’s social security number under certain circumstances, it’s essential for tenants to understand their rights and the landlord’s responsibilities. Privacy and legal considerations are vital in such scenarios.


FAQs 1: Can a landlord legally ask for my child’s SSN?

    • Generally, yes, but there are limitations and legal boundaries to consider.

    FAQs 2: What should I do if a landlord insists on my child’s SSN without reason?

    • You can politely ask for clarification or seek legal advice if the request seems unnecessary.

    FAQs 3: Is it safe to provide a child’s SSN to a landlord?

    • It’s crucial to ensure the landlord will handle the information securely and only if legally required.

    FAQs 4: Can a landlord deny tenancy if I refuse to provide my child’s SSN?

    • In some cases, a landlord might deny tenancy, but it’s important to understand the legal grounds behind the request.

    FAQs 5: Are there specific state laws protecting tenants from such requests?

    • Yes, many states have laws protecting tenant privacy and limiting what landlords can ask for.

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