Does a rental company have the right to keep my application if I was not approved for the lease?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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Does a rental company have the right to keep my application if I was not approved for the lease?

I wanted to have my name added to a lease and the rental company did not approve me. I asked to have my application, copy of my social security card, license, and pay stub either in my hands or shredded because I do not want my SSN and bank account information floating around with a company I do not have a signed agreement with. They gave me the originals but said they needed to keep a copy for 3 years. I stated that this was illegal but they refused to give me the copies. Am I protected legally if I demand the documents?

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You do not have a right to make them destroy or give up the documents. If the information on the documents is misused due to some negligent (careless) or intentional act of the company or its employees, you could potentially sue them for any costs, losses, etc.; but as stated, you have no right to make them return or destroy the information.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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