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Other platforms: traveling nurses

OK, we are Airbnb hosts but some of us advertised on other platforms as well and I ocassionally answered questions related to other platforms.

So here’s my question: since I dont have any more reservations untill the end of the year and I dont want to go full LTR I’m thinking to advertise on the platform for nurses. The thing is they (the owners of the website) do not get any commission and it’s up to the host to have a rental agreement etc. The question is: do I ask for security deposit? In many ways renting to nurses is like LTR, which it kind of is because they come for at least 90 days or more… Do I do background check? Do I charge for cleaning?

I’m thinking I shouldn’t because nurses are dedicated and selfless human beings, clean and nice and by requesting this I might put them off.

But my terrible experience as a landlord of many years ago tells me no, you should protect yourself as much as you can.

I’d welcome any comments if any of you had experience with traveling nurses.

Yes, yes and it’s up to you. Well, when I say it’s up to you I’d have a once a week or once every two weeks cleaning of the place built into the price so that I could check it over.

I know that we are all inclined to think at the moment that nurses are brilliant - and they mostly are - but you’ve got to protect your own interests.

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I’m going to start with the positive: Many nurses are dedicated, selfless, and passionate about patient care. They travel to not only fill needs in certain areas but also to increase their knowledge and value in their profession. Many of them are clean, responsible, and great tenants. I’d love to have a travel nurse here for 3 months and am willing to offer competitive rates.

They aren’t the ones that trolled my listings and tried to scam me.

Also, long term hotels with kitchenettes are lowering their prices considerably for travel nurses. I did the math and their numbers didn’t work for me.

Back story: I spent my $90 for a year on that site and follow their Facebook groups (there are multiple) as well. I got ZERO nurses from their site who were coming to my area even though there are 5 hospitals within 20 minutes of my home. I responded to every request and only 2 ever replied.

Also, the nurses want cheap rent because most of them are still paying their bills back home and need to show a profit. They get paid on a scale for the area, so if FL nurses aren’t paid well, they won’t pay much in rent. Many travel with pets and/or family. And that family or pet stays home all day - they’re not working.

When lurking on the FB pages, I’ve read horror stories about filthy nurses and scamming landlords.

Since I’m an in-home host with a pet, I couldn’t accept the requests for fiances and husbands who wouldn’t be working - they liked my place so “Joe can hang at the pool all day” and if traveling with pets “Fido is well-behaved and doesn’t need a crate/needs a crate and never cries, but you can let him out in the yard, right?”

I work from home, so I don’t want someone around 24/7 who will be watching TV. And I’m not a pet sitter. A dog will cry if they know someone is around.

Scam request: “I get paid 2 weeks after I show up. I’ll pay you the 1st month, last month after my daughter leaves in 10 days after I move in.” Yeah, nope. Got 3 of those from my FB post about my listing.

The 1 nurse whose criteria matched with my home told me she got multiple offers from people and the costs kept going down because landlords wanted her.

I’d charge 1st month and a security deposit in advance. You’ll get push back on the deposits and up front payments as nurses will want to check out your place first. If I were to do it again, I’d put a listing in FF and on FB and do a special 2 week rate on Air to get used to each other.

Good luck and check the Facebook pages. There is a wealth of information there.

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this is what I thought.

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For anything more than 30 days do a real lease that is legal in your locality. Definitely charge a security deposit, everyone is prone to taking more care when they have some skin in the game. Besides, I have a ton of friends who are nurses because I work in healthcare and while they are all wonderful people, some of them are not very good (or clean) tenants (e.g. there is no correlation between being a nurse and being a good tenant, it’s as random as anyone). Truthfully some of them are not very good nurses either, but I digress :wink: And there are nurses I wouldn’t be friends with either for that matter. My point being is that a nurse as a tenant should be treated as any other tenant for your sake.

I don’t usually do background or credit checks but have on occasion. I prefer to call employers and references, specifically past landlords. And I verify the information of the references to make sure that they are who the potential tenant says they are (real references vs. friends giving a reference).

I wouldn’t charge for cleaning for a 30+ day tenant. They are owed a clean apartment upon moving in as part of the lease agreement and they are responsible for leaving the apartment clean upon moving out. If they don’t leave it clean, then you deduct from the security deposit.

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Yes, for MTR/LTR require a deposit and background check, regardless of your tenant. I use RentPrep for all of my background checks. I never offered cleaning w/ my units while they were occupied. I didn’t want to get into the middle of a theft claim if something went missing. I offered the name of several reputable cleaning people, but took myself out of the middle of it. I also included all of the cleaning tools/supplies w/ my units. In my lease I gave them the option of having the place cleaned to the point of moving another tenant in or a basic cleaning fee of $300. Even when they opted to clean themselves, we always went in behind them and cleaned again.

Don’t rely on traveling nurses. In 5 years w/ 2 units I had one set. It was a couple who both were traveling medical professionals. Their agency contacted me. Perfectly lovely folks and their agency contacted me frequently after the stay, but our schedules never lined up. Contact specific agencies and find out if they have a lodging department.

Contact your local hospitals, especially rehab and cancer facilities. Families and patients need lodging as well. Check in w/ your local universities. They have graduate and sports programs and those folks need lodging. My largest group of MTRs was grandparents coming to see visit their grandchildren. Check w/ local high tech temp agencies. There are probably several realty companies in your area that specialize in renting MTRs, register w/ them - 2 of my longest tenants (11 months and 7 months) were folks relocating into the area and couldn’t find housing. There are realtors who specialize in relo. Expect a lot of down time, it’s difficult to fill in every week when you’re renting for months at a time. It’s a lot of footwork, networking and marketing for this type of rental, but it was a great business model for me.

I advertise on the nurses finder site that costs $99 a year and have miserable requests for my room upstairs. They want too much for too little. I’ve also gotten some non medical people (a writer, a person who needs a room while she looks around for a place to live) request and I simply cannot have them home all day. I will let that subscription lapse. I have had two medical renters from Air who were good - one is still a friend today on FB. I am also on the many FB groups for travellers, but nobody has lined up with my needs.

Ditto. That site is a nightmare and the people on it are useless.

We advertised on the nurse finder site (paid $99) in December 2019 and found a great three-month contract nurse. When (if) we’re ever back in the STR business, we would do that again for one of our rooms during the winter, which is usually our slow season. It took us just a week to find that tenant. Worked out very well. Happy tenant, happy us.

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i had two inquiries already. I have another question: when you say you verified references, what kind of reference were they? previous landlords? how do you know they were not friends?

One thing I’d ask for if I were rent privately or LT, is to get work history and employer references. It’s easier and safer to call a past or current employer to verify than to rely on a personal reference, which, as you say, could just be a friend or relative.

Previous landlords and current employers. Have them give phone, email and address information for these references. It’s easy enough to check property tax records or other lovely google information to make sure it matches up. For one example, if I say that I lived at 2132 E. 4th St, you can search and find out if the landlord actually owns that address. But it’s usually a property management office of some sort and they will just be listed online - you can compare the number you were given to the number listed for the company.

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This is funny. I’ve rented to tons of nurses and nursing students, including travel nurses. Probably 30 to 40, many long term. With some exceptions, they are Grade A whiners and in general, pretty sloppy ranging to extremely dirty. Their self-image is that they are “dedicated ands selfless” but it’s a hellacious career choice, even before the current moment, full of backstabbing, poor management and crybabies.

For a long time most of my best friends were nurses but eventually they wore me out with their INCESSANT complaints about where they work. Add to that their handsome compensation has drawn in a lot of buck-chasers who are taking down any shiny views of nurses yet another notch or two.

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well, I read the article. Right now i have a pharmacist as a tenant. So he has more schooling than a nurse and he keeps my house well organized. he’s more organized than myself i might say. so i think i’ll let him stay there as long as he wants

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And we get compensated very well for the relatively little education we have.

In the U.K. you need a degree to become a nurse, generally a four year course. It must be different in the U.S.

JF

You can become an RN with a 2-3 year associates degree though most get a BSN which is 4 years. However, there are also LVN/LPN which is like “nurses-light” who work under RNs and that only takes 1 year. And some nurses actually have additional Masters degrees too.

However, the point still stands. A nurse with even a 4-year degree is compensated very well compared to other careers that require only a 4-year degree.

Healthcare professionals in the US are highly compensated. Which I appreciate since I am a healthcare professional and it is very often a crap job. I once looked at moving to Canada but didn’t because I would have made only 30% of what I make in the US. Likewise, I turned down a travel offer to the UK because it was such low pay even with free housing. It’s just wildly different in the US. For better or worse, but probably worse :wink:

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I know others have commented on this, but I also believe this is a big generalization that may get you into trouble. I used to belong to several Facebook traveling nurse groups and stopped following them because of the high level of negativity, skirting around host rules, and anti-host behavior that was often promoted. There were frequent discussions about trying to make deals outside the AirBnB platform, asking for huge discounts, not following their hosts’ rules—especially when it comes to bringing overnight guests in a shared place, many thought they should be entitled to the same house access as the live-in host. I would never assume all nurses are selfless and clean. They are humans, and will all vary in their personalities and level of responsibility.

First and foremost, protect yourself and your property, get background checks, require a lease and deposits for anything long term, or even for short term if you’re not using AirBnB. I’ve heard about some hosts requiring a copy of the employment agreement or calling the hospital’s HR department to verify employment to prevent scammers. Sounds like you’ve been burned before as a landlord, so don’t let the idea of renting to nurses give you a false sense of security.

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