There are many things that can make or break a travel assignment…
Don’t let bad housing be the reason.
… and one of the biggest obstacles to a great assignment is housing!
You absolutely NEED to make sure that you’re in a safe area, have a habitable place to live, and aren’t overpaying for the place you’ll be spending a good amount of time in outside of work for the coming months.
Below are five great housing tips when you’re trying to secure the best housing for your assignment!
Housing Tip #1
Get a hotel or AirBnB for the first week or two.
This is a great practice to follow if you’re going to a location you’ve never been before.
It gives you a chance to get into the area, check out some neighborhoods in the evenings and on weekends, and get a feel for the overall vibe of the city.
Another benefit to this tactic is you can view the apartments you want to rent BEFORE you make a decision to move in. Therefore, you’ll be avoiding dirty rentals, unsafe neighborhoods, and scams if you follow this simple practice!
Housing Tip #2
Never, ever transfer money or sign documents UNTIL you see the physical property.
Pictures tell a story that’s often far from the truth. Those beautiful photos you saw online could be from years ago!
That apartment complex that you saw great reviews for on Google… Well, maybe it’s under new management now and they aren’t keeping up on repairs.
You have to protect yourself from bad housing because once you’re in a contract it is very difficult to get out of. Do you due diligence up front!
Housing Tip #3
Check out some crime maps of the area you’re interested in!
Crime Grade is a site that I like to check because there is a color gradient they use to represent neighborhood safety. It makes it really easy to spot unsafe neighborhoods!
Of course, its always a good idea to check a few crime maps, and even the local police station for the area may have an interactive crime map to check out. Google is your friend here!
Pro Tip: An additional way to find safe neighborhoods is to look up the city you’re going to on Reddit and search “neighborhoods” in that city’s subreddit to see what the community has to recommend!
Housing Tip #4
Look up property records.
You can see who owns that AirBnB or Furnished Finder apartment you’ll be renting.
Every city will be different in how they manage their property records so I recommend google searching “property records [city, state]” and input the address that you are thinking of staying at.
You can then look at who owns the property, past city complaints, updates, and property details for the home.
Housing Tip #5
Ask for a rental agreement outside of AirBnB!
AirBnB is GREAT, however, it isn’t as affordable as it once was because of the FEES. You may be able to negotiate to rent the property outside of the AirBnB platform to save on all the fees that AirBnB tacks onto your stay.
Note: If you try this and your host declines due to INSURANCE reasons politely ask them to do a one month trial period and then move off of the AirBnB platform after the first month if you meet their standards!
Pro Tip: If you are able to negotiate outside of the AirBnB platform MAKE SURE you have a written rental agreement for your protection.
Check Out Our Companion Post
Want to put these housing tips in action? Check out the companion post: How to Find Excellent Housing as a Travel Tech!
New to Travel Work?
Visit our entire travel work series here.
What other tips do you use when looking for housing as a traveler? Let me know in the comments below!