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Temporary Living Must-Do’s

We’ve talked a lot about the real estate market lately and it’s no secret that rental prices are skyrocketing. Given this trend, and my own experience in temporary living, I thought it was due time for a post about what transferees (and companies) should know about temporary living.

As we know, temporary living is one of the bigger line items in the relocation budget.  Employers, capped-budget Temporary Living Must Dostransferees, and even those who really do care how much their move costs their company (yes, some really do!) can find themselves sticker shocked from temporary living totals. In my situation, my temporary living rates are nearly double the annual leases and it’s frustrating.

But, there are many factors that go into one month of temporary living verses an apartment for rent that drive the expense. Further, there are general things all transferees and relocation managers should be aware of when working with a temp living provider. Please see our temporary living must do’s below:

Terms:  Temporary living often comes in increments of 30 days, whereas a regular apartment lease usually has a minimum period of one year.  The longer lease terms helps ensure that landlords will receive continual income throughout the year as well as less wear and tear from revolving tenants. The apartment complex is not willing to rent out month to month, therefore, a temporary living company must sign a year lease and hope they can recoup that cost with enough tenants throughout the course of the year. In my experience, I was surprised to find out today that they wanted me to give a 60 day exit notice, even though the terms of my lease are clear as day. While I have not yet learned why this is necessary, it’s another harsh reminder to read all terms, no matter how nonsensical they may be.

Furnishings:  Regular apartments are bare shells that a tenant must furnish with furniture, linens, window treatments, appliances, pots and pans and every other creature comfort.  In a temporary living situation, there are no furnishings. As such, the apartment complex, or the relocation provider, must arrange rental furniture – at great expense.

Utilities: Think of all the arrangements and expense associated with getting power, cable and internet set up in an apartment.  With temporary housing, the set up and, in many cases, all or part of the charges are inclusive in the cost.  Additionally, if you are only staying for a month or two, setting up these services as a traditional renter would be even more costly.

Service: What happens if something goes wrong with your refrigerator or other appliance in the night or weekend?  In a traditional apartment lease, if these are your items you are on your own.  For most cases in temporary living, a reputable agency will provide 24/7 assistance and, if the fix is possible and economically feasible, they will move forward with the solution.

Large Families: Most employers encourage employees to use temporary quarters suitable for one or two people until their family can reunite in their future permanent residence.  Accommodating a family of four or more is very difficult without using additional resources, such as property management or real estate agencies.

Pets: While many temporary living locations will not allow pets, those that do will often place size, breed and a number restrictions on the property. In my case, I pay a separate fee for each one of my cats per month, as well as a deposit in case of damage.

Length of lease:  Sometimes temporary living is not so temporary.  When you know up front that accommodations are needed beyond the typical 1-3 months, you should weight the cost of using a temporary agency firm or just managing the lease, furnishings and utilities yourself (or through your relocation provider).

Insurance: Many temporary living companies will require that transferees have renter’s insurance. This is not a huge cost, but it does add to the bottom line. Transferees who have pets, like myself, would be wise to take additional insurance out in case of damage.

A few of notes of caution:

  • Not all providers are the same. Temporary living providers should be chosen based on the cost, quality and amenities that best meet the company’s culture.
  • When reaching out to multiple vendors in a search, you may find duplicates between the various vendors, each with a different rate. In some instances, when a provider does not have a viable option of their own, they will sublet a unit from another provider and tack a fee on top.
  • Rates have increased in many areas over the past year. Price is a function of supply and demand.  With more people renting than in years past, lease rates have gone up all around.
  • Read, read and read some more. Lease terms can be hidden and temporary living moves fast. I would have had to give my 60 day termination notice two weeks after my move in date. Who knew?!

Do you have any temporary living suggestions? Please share below.

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VP, Client Services

VP of Business Development Northeast Region


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