Students from around the world choose Milwaukee as their destination to study and live. The Neighborhood Housing Office hopes to assist these students in their search for off-campus homes. Below are some tips on how to successfully rent to international students in Milwaukee.
|THINGS TO AVOID:||THINGS TO DO:|
|Requiring a credit check - Most students do not have established credit in the U.S. Unless they are employed, students also do not have social security information.||Rather than a credit check, adopt a double security deposit policy for tenants.|
|Exclusively verbal communication - Language can be a barrier while contacting international student tenants.||Write down all communication with students to minimize confusion and track conversations.|
|Requiring a cosigner –Most students do not have someone in the U.S. that can cosign.||Ask the student to provide information similar to that already given to the university (e.g. identification, proof of funding or bank statement, etc.)|
|Mailing a security deposit to students –Many students leave the U.S. after vacating a unit and mailing a check internationally can be difficult.||Conduct a walk-through during move-out with the students, calculate a total for deductions, and return the remaining deposit in person.|
|Creating an ad without images of the unit – Many students begin their housing search online before they enter the U.S.||Provide photos, video, and clear description of the unit’s amenities and features that students can use to make their housing arrangement decisions.|
|Explaining tenancy expectations solely through a lease – Students can find lease structures confusing, especially in a second language such as English.||Clearly express your expectations of tenants verbally or through email.|
|Making assumptions about a student’s rental or living experience in or out of the U.S.||Ask questions throughout the student’s application, occupancy, and move-out stages.|
Be patient. It can be stressful renting in a foreign country. Keep in mind that many countries don’t take leases as seriously as the U.S.