3 Travel Nurse Housing Options
Agency Provided Housing
Securing your own travel nurse housing with a ‘stipend’
Travel in an RV
Travel Nurse Housing Tax Implications
It’s important to understand that no matter which housing option you opt for, you must have a valid tax-home to obtain ‘free’ housing. If you do not have a tax-home, your housing costs should be taxed as income. Many agencies will not tell you this.
PART I: Agency Provided Housing
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. Your housing should be ‘move-in ready.’ Sometimes the internet or cable TV are not included. You may have to arrange this on your own if you need/want it. Ask the agency if this is included. Many Agencies provide housing in hotels, motels, and extended stay type properties. These can vary greatly. It’s important to ask what type of housing and where and do your research.
Additionally, if you are taking company-provided housing, it’s important to know what is actually included in the companies description of ‘furnished.’ ‘Furnished’ can mean a wide variety of different things to different people. I discussed the importance of clarifying what is ‘furnished’ in a previous post, so I won’t rehash it here.
Questions to Ask about your Travel Nurse Housing
In addition to knowing what is furnished in your company provided housing, here is a list of other questions about housing that you might find helpful.
- What type of property do you provide? Apartment. Hotel. Etc.
- What amenities does the apartment/housing offer? I.e., fitness center, pool, business center (fax, copy, print).
- Is parking provided? Is there a fee? Will the company cover?
- The 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?
To-Do Before You Move Into your Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing
The following is a “To Do” list to help you ease into your agency provided travel nurse housing smoothly:
- Obtain the housing’s address and contact information and call them yourself to confirm your arrival date and time.
- Research the area before your move. Use the internet. There are many 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 at 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 aware of and noted on your lease.
- Check that all windows and doors latch and lock securely.
- Most importantly, see this full list of what to check on arrival at your travel nurse housing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Agency Provided Travel Nurse Housing
- You don’t have to spend countless hours trying to find adequate and affordable travel nurse housing.
- The lease is not in your name, so there are no credit checks required from the accommodation (*usually).
- Many times you are actually treated better by the apartment staff when going through a large company. (They want you happy so they can get long-term business).
- You are not responsible for monthly payments.
- If housing is limited in the area, you might actually get better housing using the agency’s resources.
- You have little to no control over the location and type of housing provided.