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Exchanging information


Currently I am seeking a new apartment, and I do not feel that at the beginning I have to tell people my name since that puts me at a severe disadvantage, and they can even use it against me, as once happened, if they don’t want a certain kind of person in their building or neighborhood.
At this stage I am only inquiring to find out if the apartment is suitable for me to rent.
The information I ask for is the square footage, a copy of the floor plan, and pictures, if there is a refrigerator and washer and dryer, and if there is a place to build a Sukkah, and the location.
However, often I encounter those who want to know my name right away, and some who refuse to give any more information until I reveal my name to them.
They also want to know my marital status, and if I tell them I am divorced without children, sometimes they will not rent the apartment to me, they will say it is only for newlyweds or families.
Again, I don’t feel they have a right to insist on knowing my name or marital status or any other personal information at the beginning.
They also never tell me their name.
Am I wrong?




You are not obligated to give any personal information to anyone, unless you have to. On the other hand, asking a person’s his name is not considered a very personal question to most people, rather a way to identify who you are, just in case you call them back, the person will know who you are. Additionally asking someone their name is often just a way of being friendly.

A landlord will want to ask certain questions, because he wants, and has the right to know who he is renting his apartment to. After all, he might be particular to only take a person or couple who don’t have children, as they don’t want the kids scribbling on the walls. Or he specifically wants a person with a stable job, to make sure that he will be receiving his rent money. Different people have different preferences, to whom they want or don’t want to rent their property to. The same way you just want to know basic information, to the renter it is also just basic information, to see if you fit the criteria of the type of person that he wants to rent to.

One thing is important, if the person does ask you for your name, and you don’t want to tell it to them, they will be unfavorably impressed, and discouraged from renting the apartment to you. It will be uncomfortable to you, because you don’t want to tell it to them. However, if they ask, it would be in your best interest tell it to them.

Best wishes


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  1. It is known that for shidduchim it is sometimes permitted to present the details in a more positive way to give that person a chance to get married.

    Unfortunately for my livelihood I collect for myself, and I am able to pay the rent, but to most landlords, this is not considered a “stable job” as the Rabbi wrote.
    So if I tell this to them, it is almost certain that they will not rent me the apartment, even though I can afford it.
    Regarding my marital status, which is older divorced without children, again, most landlords only want newlyweds or families, no unmarried men, or even females.
    Statistically, from age 18 and up, there are more people unmarried than married, either not yet married, or divorced or widowed, but that does not seem to matter.
    In Israel more than once, I tried to rent an apartment in a Charedi housing development, either new or small, but because I was not married (divorced), they would not permit me to rent anything there.
    To me, this is a form of discrimination since I am a talmid chochom now in my 60’s, why should I be denied a place to live?
    Currently, my landlord asked me to return the basement apartment to him, because he wants to marry off his son and to let him live in this apartment.
    Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a suitable apartment, and even moreso, to find someone willing to rent to me.
    I am under a double deadline, I have to be out of this apartment by the end of August, and I have to also move everything from my late Mother’s apartment by the end of August because the lease expires then.
    The situation seems so hopeless.

    1. I understand you, and your precarious situation, and I daven that HKB”K should send you to the right apartment soon, (bayis ploni l’ploni). Your question was, are you wrong for not wanting to tell people your name and/or marital status. all I answered ws that you don’t essentially have to give them this information, but if the landloard wants it, he does have the right to ask whatever questions he feels are pertinent, for him to know regarding renting out his apartment. it might help you if you have references of some Rabbonim, or other respected people, who can vouch for you, so that even if the renter will have hesitations, the references can allay their concerns.
      Hashem should send you a lot of hatzlocha, in parnossa, an apartment, and a shidduch, soon.

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