So, you’ve decided you don’t want to forfeit your entire housing stipend towards company-paid/corporate housing and you can’t secure an Airbnb for your next travel assignment. It’s time to find a short-term lease. Depending on the area, the availability of furnished apartments will vary. For instance, areas such as Fort Bragg, North Carolina will have a greater availability of short-term furnished leases due to the transient nature of a military town. In other areas, you will be hard pressed to find a short-term lease that is also furnished.
So where do you begin? Below is a short list of resources that will be helpful in your search for a short-term lease.
Apartmentguide.com – This website is extremely helpful. You can filter your search for short-term leases and furnished apartments. Be aware that the price for a short-term lease will often be higher than the price listed on the website. The site also does a nice job displaying floor plans and photographs. When using this site, contact the apartment complex directly instead of filling in the contact request form.
Craig’s list – For those of who are adventurous or open to sharing an apartment, this can be a great resource for you, particularly in college towns.
City Chamber of Commerce website – Often times, these websites will list apartment communities in the area as well as other housing resources
For NYC… join the Facebook group Gypsy Housing
It’s also never a bad idea to ask the facility about housing options. Sometimes, facilities have had travelers before you and can help point you in the right direction.
HOUSING TIP: Prior to applying for a short-term lease, it is a good idea to request a letter of reference from your current landlord to give extra strength to your application for a short-term lease. Emphasizing that you are a traveling healthcare professional during your conversations with the leasing agent can also add substantial support to your application!
Now that you have had found an apartment that will do a short-term lease for the duration of your travel assignment, it’s time to submit an application. What does this entail?
A general application with your general information, income, employer, previous address, etc
An application fee (typically in the amount of approximately $50). This will cover the cost of a credit check to determine the amount of your security deposit
Rental history form (not always required)
Proof of employment (your recruiter will be able to get this filled out for you)
Once your application is approved, you will need to send a check to the apartment complex to cover the cost of your security deposit and first month’s rent along with any additional pet deposit and/or pet rent if applicable.
A QUICK WORD ABOUT PETS: Many travelers bring their pets with them on assignment, including myself. It is important to note that not all apartments are pet friendly. Additionally, many apartments will have breed restrictions, weight limits, and/or limits on the number of pets allowed per apartment. These are important questions to ask when speaking with the leasing agent.
NEXT STEPS: Once you have been assigned an apartment, you’ll want to find out what utilities, if any are included in the rent. In most cases, you’ll be responsible for your own gas & electric. That means setting up an account for each. The leasing agent should supply you with the names, phone numbers, and websites for the companies that supply your gas & electric. You’ll want to call each company to place a “Start Service” order prior to your move-in date.
The other thing you’ll want to take care of prior to moving into your new apartment is setting up your internet. Some apartment communities will be able to provide this for you at an additional fee which can be added to your rent. You can create your own portable WiFI network by purchasing a modem and router. From there, all you’ll need to do is contact an internet provider to set up your service. You’ll be able to avoid all installation and equipment fees by having your own equipment. Be sure to ask your leasing agent which internet providers service their community since you’ll be doing all of this long-distance.