How to find and rent the first house in the United States: advice from experienced immigrants

The author of the channel “ABC immigrant” with “Yandex.Zen” talks about how to find your first apartment in the USA and what you need to know about renting all the other newcomers. Hereinafter in the first person.

Как найти и арендовать первое жилье в США: советы опытных иммигрантов

Photo: Shutterstock

Many people know that in USA there is no registration. But it’s not. The person must have an email address to which you would mail to confirm the residence (permanent residence) to apply for a Bank card, get a driver’s license, for each state law their. The tax rate also depends on the state of residence — with no address, nothing. You can rent a mailbox at the post office, but that’s not always enough.

Rental housing is a rather complex process. As an example, take new York. I think you remember that in the U.S., each state as a separate state with its own laws. Therefore, rental housing in one state may be fundamentally different from other not only on price but also on the procedure.

What you need to know a new immigrant

Lease (the lease). In fact, this will be confirmation of your registration. Why is it necessary? When you go to the Bank to open your first account, the first card, you may (not always so) to ask for the envelope with your address and name, that is confirmation that someone you send mail to this address, which means you really live there. It can be an envelope with a bill for electricity, and the like.

In addition, the lease spells out your rights and obligations. By law, any contract (in our case, the rental agreement/lease) must be in writing if it is for a period of not less than one year.

Typically, homeowners are offered a contract for one or two years, renewable. If you read/watch sad stories about how someone was evicted “just because”, know that these people have not protected themselves in the contract, otherwise, could sue the owner.

By the way, in new York, renters are protected by law so much that you should still try to evict someone. Hence high rents.

Agent/realtor must be licensed, which he is obliged to show you on demand. If he has no license, then you are involved in illegally. You can do without it, but in this case, the landlord can refuse you because the realtor is responsible for whom he brought.

Large buildings (apartment buildings) often have their own managing company (management) that deal with paperwork without a realtor.

Be careful! If you offer to rent a house “by owner” and without a contract, you will check “on the bird’s rights”, and you can at any time be evicted. There are many stories when people lived without contract, paying the owner in cash, had no receipt of payment, and then they were kicked out for “failure to pay”. To prove it will be very difficult. And why the extra challenges in a new country?

Deposit. Usually it is equal to the amount of one monthly rent. You’ll get it back once release the apartment (but only on the condition that the apartment will remain intact). Sometimes the Deposit can be less than the monthly rent, and sometimes, on the contrary, more.

Management company apartment buildings usually are checking your financial viability (if you read that someone did not check, this does not mean that you will not check, too).

Since the new immigrant has no credit history, the owner may request payment for several months. In any case, the question of the Deposit, as the question of the amount of the monthly rent, individual for each apartment and for each owner.

“Live” on someone else’s contract. Beware of those who will offer you “live” in the apartment according to their agreement. The fact is that if the contract is for a year/two, it cannot just withdraw before the deadline. If the owner agrees, then lucky, if not, tenants can make the “black” list, which will significantly complicate then the search for a new apartment.

Not to bring the case to its black list, looking for those who “survive” until the end of the term of the contract. In this situation the contract will not be in your name. Although it is possible that the owner go ahead and rewrite the contract for you. This is the perfect option.

How to look for an apartment?

The first method is to contact the real estate agency (real estate Agency). By the way, this year you don’t need to pay money to the agent — this is now paid by the owner (talking only about new York). While this is only introduced. The second method is to Google the building in which the apartments and contact them directly.

Zillow will not help. This does not mean that you don’t need to look at this website. But, most of the apartments that are shown there requires verification of your credit history, which have not. So the options with a realtor or management companies are more promising. This website and others similar (, etc.) will help to Orient at the prices.

Discrimination. The only circumstance for your discrimination is the financial condition of, or rather, the lack of credit history. Know that you can’t raise the rent or deny housing if you are a family with a child, if you are a single mother and the like. It’s all discrimination. In new York do not have the right to refuse to rent housing, if the person applies to sexual minorities, while, as in some other States, this category of people not already protected.

The help of a friend. As you know, in the US, the test can significantly complicate the housing search. In this situation can help your friend who is already living in the United States has a credit history and vouch for that.

Rental housing in the US gives you all rights except property rights. A contract, carefully read what is written in it to protect themselves in the future. The tenant cannot simply evict — there must be substantial grounds, which are presented in the contract. Do not listen to the nightmare stories of those who live illegally. Go to the issue of rental housing in mind.

The original column published in the blog “the Alphabet of the immigrant” at “Yandex.Zen”

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