Travel Nurse housing is a very common concern, especially for the new travel nurse. There are multiple options to consider when asking the question Where am I going to live?
The most common option for travel nurse housing is Company provided housing . However, there are actually a few options when it comes to travel nurse housing. Although many travel nurses utilize the benefit of agency arranged housing, there are some that prefer to accept a ‘housing stipend’ and arrange housing on their own. The third option that many choose is to carry their home with them in the form of an RV. There are advantages and disadvantage to each of the options listed.
This is Part 1 in a series of 3 to address this common question of:
“Where am I going to Live?”
Lets start with agency arranged housing, since this is the most common. It’s important to understand that you must have a valid tax-home in order to be able to obtain ‘free’ housing. If you do not have a tax-home, your housing cost’s should be taxed as income. Many agencies will not tell you this. With agency provided housing, the agency takes care of everything for you. From deposits (excluding any pet deposits), utilities, and furnishing. All you should have to do is show up. Most company provided housing does not include any internet or cable TV, you will have to arrange this on your own if you need/want it. Ask the agency if this is included.
If your taking company provided housing, it’s important to know what is actually included in the companies description of ‘furnished’. I discussed the importance of clarifying what is ‘furnished’ in a previous post so I won’t re-hash it here.
In addition to knowing what is furnished in your company provided housing, here is a list of other questions that I have found helpful over the years.
- What amenities does the apartment/housing offer? Ie fitness center, pool, business center (fax, copy, print).
- Is parking provided? Is there a fee? Will the company cover?
- Time frame for move-in and move-out. Most companies will give you a day or two on both ends of the contract.
- Contact information for housing.
- Microwave, TV, Vacuum, provided? (don’t assume that your housing will include these items)
- Address of the housing?
The following is a “To Do” list to help you ease into your housing smoothly:
- Obtain the address and contact information of the housing and call them yourself to confirm your arrival date and time.
- Research the area prior to your move. Use the internet. There are a ton of internet resources to check on crime rates, locations, police blotters, etc. Use these resources and if you find any information that might be concerning to you, notify your recruiter and request a different housing assignment if appropriate.
- On arrival to the location, drive around the neighborhood and assess the safety. Does it appear to be a safe neighborhood?
- Obtain a copy of the lease.
- Obtain the after-hours maintenance/emergency contact information. (Sometimes this is included in your lease)
- If you travel with a pet; request a copy of the pet rules. (You may have to sign a pet waiver).
- Make sure to do a pre-inspection of the apartment as soon as you arrive. I would suggest that you also take photos of any damages and make sure that the manager is made aware and it is noted on your lease.
- Check that all windows and doors latch and lock securely.
Remember to assess you housing situation prior to moving any of your personal items into the housing. If there is anything that you feel is unacceptable, inform the apartment manager and see if it can be fixed. If it cannot be fixed and you feel it is an unsafe situation, notify your recruiter and DO NOT accept a move-in to the housing. Once you have accepted a move-in, it is impossible for the company to move you without penalties or additional costs.