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If you compare prices on housing to the average salary in the US, you’ll see housing, in general, is quite affordable. Prices largely depend on various factors like accommodation type, location, and building condition, to name a few. Take, for example, an old suburb house behind a fence or a contemporary loft-style apartment located downtown, and you’ll see the difference yourself. The US real estate market offers the broadest variety of living spaces in various locations across the country.
Having a hard time making the right choice? While you’re selecting the appropriate option, you can stay in some short-term rented housing. The market is abundant in such offers, so it won’t be a problem to find one because just a few paper formalities are required.
Rent an Apartment or House
Whether you are willing to rent an apartment or a house, the procedure is much the same in the US. It doesn’t really matter if you are an American national or a foreigner, owners cannot deny tenancy to you for this particular reason. There may be a difference though. For instance, you’ll have to present more documents to rent a house, and the security deposit will be substantially higher.
US Rent Control
The rental price increase ceiling is what US rent control administers. Your landlord is obliged to regard it when you decide to renew your rental agreement with them. Currently, only four US states (California, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York) and DC enacted the law. Nine other states allow rent control to take place, but local authorities in cities and towns have chosen not to resort to it.
US Rentals for Foreigners
In case you’re a foreigner, you’ll have to provide some papers proving your financial status to rent a living space in the US. If you’re not a US citizen, you likely have no bank records in this country. So, your landlord-to-be cannot verify your financial solvency to make sure you’ll be able to pay your rent. Be ready to provide documents proving your home country or international credit record. Moreover, landlords tend to ask foreigners for higher security deposits, like two to twelve-month rent.
Rental Routine and Rules in the US
The best way to start your rental routine is to search for options on various online platforms. Once you have something you like, you may want to check the selected neighborhood to see what it is like there.
The US accommodation market mostly features furnished living spaces, be it a studio somewhere in a high-rise tower inside the city or a single-detached dwelling in the suburbs. Unfurnished apartments are quite a rare occasion. However, as for unfurnished houses, you may find one if you’re lucky.
To be on the safe side, consider using a professional relocation service provider or real estate agent to smooth out your rental routine. In case you opt to find your living space on your own, check versatile online instruments, social media, or local periodicals to find classifieds offering accommodation.
Having chosen your place to live and agreed on rental conditions, you’ll have to complete an application. The document is usually created by your landlord based on some template. You most certainly will have to provide your credentials featuring your personal details, employment, and other tenancies you may have already had before. If your application satisfies your landlord, a tenancy agreement will be the next step.
Rental Agreement or Lease
Before you start looking for your new living space in the US, learn about tenancy contract options.
You may want to lease your accommodation. This type of contract allows you to rent a space for longer periods like half a year, a year, or more. In that case, your landlord won’t be able to raise your rental rates or make any changes to it for the time the agreement is valid unless you agree to that. The accommodation lease agreement has to be extended after the rental agreement has come to an end.
Another option to choose from is to conclude a short-term rental agreement if it’s what you’re looking for. Such agreements are commonly concluded for a 30-day term and are prolonged automatically for a new period unless either party issues a written notice of its termination. An agreement of this type gives your landlord the right to make any alterations to the agreement anytime but inform you about that in advance.
Deposit and Other Expenses
Almost half of the states set a limit on a security deposit amount. In those locations, the deposit won’t exceed three and a half months’ rental rate. Some states have legislation requiring the deposit to be transferred into an escrow account to make sure both parties to the agreement are protected from scams. Landlords must return your deposit within the term of 14 to 60 days (depending on the state) once you’ve decided not to extend your agreement.
As for some other expenses, they can be application fees, life insurance, maintenance and parking fees, a pet deposit or fee, utility payments, etc.
Apartment renters should also abide by some building rules which may be in place. It would be the best strategy to study them before you sign any agreement. The rules may restrict pets, stipulate quiet times, or require funds for hallway and staircase maintenance.
US tenancy legislation is generally pro-tenant. Any discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, race, origin, family status, or disability is prohibited by the Fair Housing Act.