I don’t want to give a landlord my Social Security Number…?

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and I don’t feel comfortable giving out my SSN to landlords when applying for appartments. I work for the city so it’s not like I can’t pass one… I just don’t trust a landlord with that along with more reasonable things like name, DOB, etc where if they were crooked they could easily use to take out debt in my name.

I just don’t see the reason for it. I have a very unique name (there’s only two people including me with my name in the US) so it’s not like I’m John Smith or anything here. I have a well established good credit and a week old credit report with all 3 reporting agencies & FICO score which I am furnishing (with everything but the last 4 digits of my SSN black out). Plus, these days you can do a background check with only name and DOB. And when they ask for info on bank accounts and credit card numbers…. that’s really fishy to me.

Why do they ask that stuff? Is it acceptable to give a copy of my CA ID instead that way they have something to trace to me and prove that I can legally be there without giving my SSN?
Can’t they collect from me with my CA ID? It seems like it’d be a pretty easy way to trace me if they needed to collect. I currently live in San Francisco in a nice, non-shady building with decent neighbors and my landlord was a corporation (now it’s owned by individuals) and all they asked for was a CA ID, security deposit, and first and last month’s rent. The self furnished credit report was okay. So obviously there are decent landlords who’ll accept it…. is there any good way to find them?

The issue mostly comes up for me when giving my information to individuals. Yes, I know there’s crooked companies out there but I honestly trust people more when other people are regularly looking over their shoulder. Especially when they’re already charging first, last, and nearly double rent security deposit for a house in a not so good part of Oakland…. which seems to be way more common than I’d imagined.

(I wish I could buy but I don’t have the down payment and can’t save it up 5% down p

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