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Expats and apartment rental

Expats and apartment rental

Old Aug 14th 2015, 3:08 am
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Default Expats and apartment rental

Hi all, I´m moving to the US and was looking at studio rentals when was informed no one would rent me an apartment for being a foreigner, meaning having no credit check there yet, and that I´ll have to rent a room for a good while first.
This was not in my plans and I wonder if some of you that have been in the same situation can give me any tips on how to go about this? I need to move soon.

Thank you so much!
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 3:42 am
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

Originally Posted by Expatshelp View Post
Hi all, I´m moving to the US and was looking at studio rentals when was informed no one would rent me an apartment for being a foreigner, meaning having no credit check there yet, ......
Whoever informed you of that was an idiot. It might be more difficult to rent, but some "corporate" apartments (big landlords with multiple large apartment buildings) will rent to new immigrants, though additional deposit may be required. Conversely, private landlords are often willing to "work with" tenants who don't have a conventional credit history.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 3:43 am
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

Find rentals by owner, rather than big apartment complexes. Look on Craigslist.

Rene
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

I can only speak to my own experience, which is limited to NYC in 2010. I was moving here and looking to rent an apt, as you note, the issue is not really being a foreigner, its having no credit history.

The first place I found and liked would not rent to me unless I paid 12 month + deposit upfront because I did not have a guarantor. My company was willing to write me a letter, which the owner would not accept and I offered to pay for this: Rental Guarantor & Lease Cosign Company in Boston, Chicago, DC & NYC - Insurent Lease Guaranty and they also would not take that.

I ended up finding a owner with multiple buildings who rented direct to tenants. Again they had the same objections / requirements. The difference was that they also offered short term rentals, so I signed a 3 month lease and prepaid 3 months rent + 1 months deposit. when it was close to 3 months I renewed my lease for another 9 months (they increased my rent about 10%), apparently they were happy with my record of not paying my rent late which they knew from day 1 since I prepaid it all....

This was in a weak rental market in March 2010, so is it impossible no, will it be harder, maybe depending where you are looking, and what the market is like at the time.

Last edited by tht; Aug 14th 2015 at 1:15 pm.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

It's all about protection. Also some states its illegal to discriminate, so depends where you live. Most people that I know on L1s that rent dont have a problem and just prepay rent. The other thing that may help is if you send a copy of your UK credit report. Craigslist is probably the best place to look for rentals. I am able to process all my tenants online and can accept online payments. My rentals normally take a day to fill, it can be a tough market for renters.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

Are you moving because of employment? A letter from your employer stating that you are gainfully employed and receiving a regular salary might be a good thing to have on hand to present to prospective landlords. Note that even US citizens with a good credit record will, in many cities, be required to pay first and last month's rent, plus a security deposit.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
It's all about protection. Also some states its illegal to discriminate, so depends where you live. Most people that I know on L1s that rent dont have a problem and just prepay rent. The other thing that may help is if you send a copy of your UK credit report. Craigslist is probably the best place to look for rentals. I am able to process all my tenants online and can accept online payments. My rentals normally take a day to fill, it can be a tough market for renters.
1 landlord wanted me to prepay to an LLC when I moved on an L1, the problem is that at that point the whole risk flips. I said fine if I can see the LLC's financials or put the money in escrow, and have it be released month by month, but they would not accept that. You could pay money in to an LLC, for a building that is being foreclosed on and find yourself with no home and out of pocket for a years rent... and be left to sue a bankrupt LLC...
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

I totally agree with your comment. It used to be the same in the UK until they set up the Deposit Protection Scheme. There is not much you can do. the one thing you can do is look for reviews. You can check the property records to see if there are liens on the property. Look on the business registry to see if the owner has multiple LLCs and has a history of bankruptcy.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

When I rented in nyc, my deposit was held in an escrow account. They even sent us an interest statement each year for our taxes.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

You may want to google nolo and security deposit if you want more information. You may have more luck with a month to month lease but these are getting more difficult to find
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

The renter has many rights here, which means its a lot of effort to evict a non-paying tenant. However, it's America; everything is negotiable! We were in the same position at first - our realtor helped negotiate with the building for 6 months rent in advance. This was held in escrow with our deposit and half of that was returned when we renewed our lease after a year.

Insurent is another option; along with some of the bigger rental buildings that have a glut of inventory will bend the rules - especially if you meet with them..
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

Originally Posted by jaffy23 View Post
The renter has many rights here, which means its a lot of effort to evict a non-paying tenant. However, it's America; everything is negotiable! We were in the same position at first - our realtor helped negotiate with the building for 6 months rent in advance. This was held in escrow with our deposit and half of that was returned when we renewed our lease after a year.

Insurent is another option; along with some of the bigger rental buildings that have a glut of inventory will bend the rules - especially if you meet with them..
fair housing violation fines can run into hundreds of thousands , so most decent landlords abide by the rules.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

I meant if you meet with them and talk through your financial history, life story, UK rental/mortgage history - nothing unethical! The best thing about the rental building where I live now is how friendly and amenable the office and maintenance staff are.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 6:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jaffy23 View Post
I meant if you meet with them and talk through your financial history, life story, UK rental/mortgage history - nothing unethical! The best thing about the rental building where I live now is how friendly and amenable the office and maintenance staff are.
Another good indication of whether a landlord has good finances, look at the building maintenance or lack of.
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Old Aug 14th 2015, 7:07 pm
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Default Re: Expats and apartment rental

We've literally just signed a lease for an apartment (whilst still in UK). Sent them a copy of husband's offer letter. Not asked for a guarantor and only 1 month's rent as security deposit.
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