Before renting a house in the U.S., read this.
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Before renting a house in the U.S., read this.

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Table of Contents

When you move to the U.S., an essential item on your checklist is finding a place to stay. This piece tells you everything you need to know about rents in different parts of the U.S., documents required for tenants, U.S. rental rules, what to look for in a U.S. rental contract, and other related matters.

What documents do you require before taking a house for rent?

Your landlord will require the following documents from you as a prospective tenant:

Passport:

You'll need a  passport that is valid for at least six months from your date of entry into the U.S.

Employment proof:

As a tenant, you will need to provide proof of employment. A valid document is an H-1B visa, a permit that foreign workers need to work in the U.S.

You need to be sponsored by an American Company to apply for an H-1B visa. It has a 3-year validity and can be extended up to 6 years. You can read more about the H1B visa here.

Financial status details:

You will need your latest bank statement and other proof of financial support when applying as a tenant. You won't require a social security number (SSN) or U.S. credit report as you are new to the country.

Essential things to check in the rental contract

Before you rent a house in the U.S., here are some things to check in the contract:

  • Duration of the contract
  • Obligations at the end of the contract
  • Security deposit
  • Mode of payment
  • Due date of rent
  • Payment of utilities
  • Responsibility of maintenance

Check your tenancy rights from the Fair Housing Act. You are protected under the federal and state housing anti-discrimination laws, and these laws are generally pro-tenant.

You can read more about how security deposits defer from state to state here.

Short-Term Rentals

You need fewer documents for short-term rentals compared to long-term rentals; if you want to take a house for rent for a short term, your I.D. proof is sufficient. You can also rent a house in the U.S. for a week before you decide to go in for a long-term contract. However, if you choose to do this, the rent will be higher. Not all states allow you to take a house for rent for a short term. If that's the case, you can always stay in a hotel.

Additional expenses you need to factor in when taking a house for rent include application fees, pet deposit (if you have a pet), utility deposit, and parking deposit.

What to consider before renting a house

The points you need to consider when renting are:

  • The neighborhood where you want to stay
  • Whether you want a furnished or unfurnished apartment
  • Whether you prefer to stay in the city or the suburbs
  • How far the house is from your office
  • Local transport systems in that area

If you don't have time, it makes sense to engage a relocation expert or real estate agent. If you want to search for a rental property yourself, you can check out a list of apps that can help you here.

Average Rentals in the U.S.

According to worldpopulationreview.com, these are the average rent:

Here are the 10 states with the highest average rent:

  1. Hawaii ($1,617)
  2. California ($1,503)
  3. Maryland ($1,392)
  4. New Jersey ($1,334)
  5. Massachusetts ($1,282)
  6. New York ($1,280)
  7. Colorado ($1,271)
  8. Washington ($1,258)
  9. Alaska ($1,244)
  10. Virginia ($1,234)

Final Thoughts

Many landlords look at your credit score before giving a house for rent. Zolve allows you to apply for a U.S. Credit Card and Bank Account from your home country. The application process takes 5 minutes, and you can start building your credit score from the moment you land in the U.S.