Personal experience. How to avoid mistakes when renting a home in the US
I have always treated the USA as a country where everything is thought out to the smallest detail. Starting from global things (transport interchanges, home furnishings) and ending with the care of the state about the personal hygiene of the population (there are disinfectors in almost every store, which I personally like very much). For the first time I visited the States in 2009 under the Work and Travel program, and my impressions are exactly like this - in America everything is perfect.
What was my surprise when my husband and I flew to Miami last year, faced with the difficult process of renting housing. No, not everything is thought out in this country, I realized.
We didn’t want to search for accommodation in advance, because we have a lot of experience in moving and we know that photos of an apartment very rarely correspond to reality. Not to mention the fact that the “picture” cannot be verified as the plumber works, and to touch, for example, the upholstery of the sofa.
Therefore, after arriving, we first settled in a motel in the Hallandale area, where 69 dollars were worth a day. Before Miami, we spent a few days in New York, and after his crazy prices 69 dollars seemed like a reasonable price for a cozy room.
The next morning, after settling in, we began to search for an apartment. Searched everywhere: Craiglist, thematic groups in social networks (group about Miami in the social network “VK”, Miami Facebook group) plus realtors in Russian newspapers. On the Craiglist website, there was nothing travel, in Russian newspapers, too, and there were no suitable options on social networks.
On the second day, we decided to try our luck at the US real estate agency, where We were offered several options. We went to watch them on the same day, but did not choose anything. By that time, we did not have time to rent a car and walked or took a taxi, which, at a temperature of + 35, made any of our walks unbearable.
My advice: Try to resolve the issue with the machine as soon as possible. For example, you can rent a car for a short time right at the airport after your arrival.
On the second day of the search, we realized the main problems that we somehow had to face when renting accommodation in Miami:
1. Unsuccessful location, for example, often there is not a single store. In the USA, everything is created not for pedestrians, but for drivers. Narrow footpaths will eloquently “tell” this to you, where two moderately well-fed people will hardly pass each other.
2. Most apartments are rented without furniture, but with a built-in kitchen. This is definitely convenient for those who often move and have their favorite sofa and bed, and terribly for the newcomers. Furniture in the US is not very expensive, but the very need to buy it lowers the mood and increases the cost of renting an apartment.
3. In order to rent an apartment, you will need to get approval from the Condominium Association and fulfill some of the other requirements. For example, you will need to show your rental history, criminal history (or rather, its absence); have a social security number, prove solvency and so on. Good homes require a whole list of documents, which is unrealistic to provide to newcomers in Miami. Is there a solution? Of course! You can pay the rent for a year in advance, and the association will close its eyes to the fact that you do not have the required papers. Solvency, thereby, you already prove. Oh yeah, in 80%, the association’s consideration of your application form and documents required for settlement costs about 100 dollars for a family member or more.
4. The Association considers documents from a week to two. Sometimes more, sometimes less. All the while, you need to live somewhere and bear the rental costs, such as a hotel room. The usual option at home "we looked today - today we settled", if the settlement process is correct, it will not work.
5. Getting into your desired home with your beloved pet can be problematic or impossible. Not all condos allow you to live with pets. Under the ban are most often dogs. However, if the dog is your great friend, and this is confirmed by a psychologist in the certificate, the association can go on to allow you to live with the dog.
6. In many buildings, washing and drying machines are on the floor in the laundry room, and their use costs money. From $ 1-1,50 for drying or washing. Frequent washing also affect the budget of the tenant. Not to mention the fact that you need to collect linen, carry it to the floor and perform all the manipulations in the common room, and not in your apartment.
And now about the good:
1. If you live in a good complex, you can not worry about their safety and the safety of your children. No one will turn on loud music at night, do repairs at the wrong time and ruin your nerves in other ways.
2. Almost every house has its own pool, barbecue area and a small gym. The first two points are invaluable for spending time with friends.
3. In a good house, all household problems - from a power outage to an elevator breakdown - are most often solved very quickly. Plus the association carries out cleaning on the floors and on the territory.
As a result, on the fourth day of searching in the thematic group of the social network, an unknown person wrote to me, throwing off the contacts of the “excellent” Russian realtor. I called him and he offered to see one version that evening. The apartment was located in the area of Hollywood, in a high-rise condominium.
We immediately fell in love with his offer - a furnished two-bedroom apartment, large, clean and bright, for $ 1200 per month. And most importantly - it was possible to move in tomorrow. The realtor offered to enter the apartment as relatives of the owner and deal with the documents already along the way. We had a presentiment of a trick, but we were bribed by the presence of furniture and only two payments (the first month and a deposit against three ordinary payments - the first and last months plus a deposit).
I remember at night I checked the realtor on the site MyFloridaLicense using the Verifymylicense option (the license must be active) and, satisfied with what was found, fell asleep blissfully.
The next day we transported things, met the owner of the apartment and went around all the rooms, photographing broken or damaged things so that after the end of the contract we did not deduct the amount from the deposit for their repair or replacement.
I highly recommend doing this bypass before concluding a contract and along the way asking the owner or realtor a lot of questions. Check the plumbing - try turning all the taps on and off; look under the sink in the kitchen (are there any small pests in the house); turn on the air conditioning system and check how the room cools; specify what is the audibility of what is happening on the street; find out what kind of Internet is held in the apartment; discuss what you can and cannot change (for example, can the walls be painted), and so on. Be curious. After all, you are renting a home for a long time and have the right to know all the disadvantages of the proposed option.
However, quietly live in this apartment, we could not for long. A month later we received a letter from the association that we were not approved as tenants and we need to leave the living space within a week. The reason is that the building in which we live belongs to the “55 +” category, that is, at least one elderly person is obliged to live in the apartment. We wrote a letter to the owner of the apartment, and he reassured us, promising to solve everything.
"Solve" the situation turned out for another two months, and then the association, threatening the owner with a court, forced him to evict us urgently. The landlord, in spite of everything, behaved very decently, returned the deposit, and even helped us with moving to a new home.
Since we had no more than a week to search for the next apartment, we settled in the first apartment, which we liked, and where the association did not require approval. We found it completely by accident.
Мы We met a real estate girl whose friends just bought apartments in a simple condo in North Miami. We rented them. For $ 1250 per month, we received a one-room apartment with two toilets and one shower room, fairly old fixtures and a kitchen, but with a delightful view of the lake and Sunny Isles district. The view more than pays for the many shortcomings of these apartments.
We live in an open-type house, without a foyer, and this has its drawbacks - no one really bothers with cleaning the territory, and some tenants leave much to be desired. Several times we have already called the police to calm down the gay Mexican, who throws a loud party "for friends" at his house every Friday.
Looking back, I understand that after arriving we had to rent a room for one or two months (such options can be found in the thematic groups) and during that time find accommodation and quietly pass an association test. But I hope my experience is useful to others.
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