How to Stay Safe When Shopping for a Short Term Rental

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By Furnished Finder

August 26, 2020



How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Short Term Rentals

When it comes to planning your next travel nursing assignment, most of the work usually has to happen from a distance. Unless you are moving to a new job in the same city, travel nurses don’t have the advantage of actually laying eyes on a short term housing unit prior to actually moving in. As a result, it is imperative to know how to keep yourself safe when you are booking a short term rental, and when you arrive at your new home as well. 

Legitimate and Safe

First, make sure to verify the place you are renting is legitimate and safe. Furnished Finder actually has a great list of tips on how to do this. If you are feeling uneasy about doing this yourself, we will also verify the property for you, even if you are not booking through one of our platforms. We do this by checking the property address to verify ownership, and we also look into any foreclosures in the owner’s name. Do not be alarmed immediately if the records don’t match–sometimes a landlord is using an LLC or parent company to manage their rentals. Make sure and ask the person directly if there is a discrepancy in public records and what you are being told.

You can also do a quick Google maps search of the address to get a visual of the property. I also like to do this because you can sort of “explore” the neighborhood with the street view and get an idea of how well kept or safe it looks. 

Housing scams red flags

Also, make sure to know the basic red flags of housing scams. This topic could be a whole article in and of itself, but it was also a topic covered in the recent Gypsy Nurse Virtual Conference. The basics are that if you notice that a landlord is using bad grammar, pushing for a transfer of money ahead of time, or if the unit is priced below market value there is a good chance it is not a legitimate space and you may want to reconsider your housing options. 

Arrive a little early

Another option to make you feel more secure in your housing choice is to arrive at your assignment a few days early and stay in a hotel. This allows you to drive around your new location and shop for a short term rental in person. You may even be able to negotiate better if you can talk to a leasing manager face to face. At the very least, you have the ability to drive around different neighborhoods and get a feel for your comfort level in each area. The downside is that you may not have luck right away, so be prepared to pay the extra cost of staying in a hotel while you look around.

Let others know you are meeting someone.

Be mindful of the fact that when you are moving in or viewing potential rentals that you should take precautions when renting from an unverified landlord. Always, always let a friend or relative back home know if you are going to meet someone by yourself. If you are feeling uncomfortable about any part of the meetup, do not be afraid to cancel. Unfortunately, there are people who know travel nurses don’t usually have friends or family around and may try to take advantage of someone traveling alone. 

Take time to research

And the number one thing to remember when you are looking for housing in a new location is that no amount of money saved is worth your safety or comfort. Be sure to take the time to do your research and double-check anything that raises questions before ending up in an unsafe or undesirable housing situation. 

We hope you found these tips for staying safe while shopping for a short term rental helpful. Do you have any other tips to share? Comment them below.

If you are a travel nurse looking for housing for your next assignment, check out our Housing Page!

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