If you’re coming to Seattle and choose to take a stipend instead of travel nurse housing provided by your employer, you gain flexibility to live the way you want. But it does come at a price – the price of your time to find the right place, and some worry of whether you can trust what you see.
Here are 6 important questions to ask before signing a lease:
Is there an option to extend your lease?
Many travel nurses, especially to Seattle, fall in love with their new city and want to extend their contract after the initial 3 months. Be sure to ask your prospective landlords if you’ll have the opportunity to stay in the same place, or if you’ll have to move
What happens if your contract is canceled and you no longer need housing?
Be sure to know the cancelation policies of the housing you are considering. It is common for companies to charge an early termination fee that compensates them for the time spent finding a new renter. This can be up to a month of the rent price for a short term rental. Most private landlords will expect you to pay for the full lease term regardless of if you are living there, and may let you out of the lease if they are able to rent it sooner.
How can you protect your security deposit?
Check into how the security deposit is managed. Will you get an inventory list that you can check off items and their condition when you first move in? What about the condition of the apartment when you take possession?
How can you verify the marketing information?
We all know that pictures can tell a different story online than real life. Ask to see testimonials, read reviews on 3rd party websites, or talk with current or previous tenants to understand exactly what the apartment looks like. Look for video tours, as these are less likely to be edited and will give you a real sense of the space.
What community rules are in place?
Most apartment communities have a set of rules included in each lease. You are expected to adhere to these rules, even though you may have never seen the original lease. Ask for a copy of these rules in advance so you know what you are agreeing to.
Who do you contact when something goes wrong?
Are you able to work directly with your apartment maintenance staff, or do requests have to go through your housing company? Is someone available 24/7? What do you do if you can’t reach someone in an emergency?
Finding the right travel nurse housing in Seattle can be intimidating when you are searching from another city. Prepare yourself by asking these questions of your housing provider, so you know what kind of risk you open yourself up to by working with them. Above all, choose a company that makes you feel comfortable and like they will put you first.