Renting a Property in the USA? Things to Consider for Expats

24th May 2018
Renting a Property in the USA? Things to Consider for Expats

If you are moving to the USA to live and work, renting a property initially is a sensible plan. You’ll find a good choice of properties and apartments to rent in America as 35.8 percent of the population rents a home rather than buying, according to the U.S/ Census Bureau. As you will discover, there are some important differences between renting a property in the USA compared to Europe.

What’s included in the rental agreement?

You need to check exactly what’s included in your rental agreement before signing the lease. In the USA, property rental prices may appear high, but they do include property taxes and, if applicable, condo maintenance fees.

Condos (condominiums) are usually high-rise buildings that offer private home ownership with a monthly fee payable to the association to take care of maintenance, insurance and cleaning of common areas, pool, gardens etc. Condos fees can range from a few hundred dollars to well over US$1000 a month, depending on the age of the property and the services offered. This fee is included in your rent and therefore this should be taken into account when looking at the price of rental apartments in America.

International Furniture Removal or Storage?

If you are moving to the USA permanently, you will probably want to bring most of your prized possessions and furniture with you. You should remember that European electrical appliances are not compatible with the 110v power and 2-pin outlets so you should leave these behind or sell them before moving.

You’ll find many apartments for rent in America are fully furnished. Even those that are unfurnished usually have a fridge-freezer, washing machine and tumble drier included. We provide a host of specialist services for those who are relocating to America, from planning, packing, transport and customs to handling specialised artworks, wine collections and more.

If your move to America is short-term, you may want to save on moving costs by putting your bulky items and vehicle in storage. Either way, CadoganTate can offer the very best services for your international relocation.

Long-term lease or month-by-month?

Property rentals in the USA typically run for a 12-month period. However, you can consider taking out a month-to-month lease with no end date if you are not sure how long you will be staying in one place. The terms will determine the required notice: 30, 60 or 90 days’ notice by either party is typical.

Breaking the lease is not advisable as any signed lease agreement is a legally binding document. The downside of a month-by-month lease is that you are likely to pay more and you forfeit the security that a longer term lease provides.

It’s worth looking at new condos as they are often bought off-plan by investors and landlords. Once the project is completed, there is a glut of brand new apartments to rent and prices can be competitive.

You can always make an offer on any rental property in America, or negotiate better terms, such as the inclusion of a pool service or garden maintenance in the monthly rental fee.

If you’re moving to the USA, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.

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