Rent to travel nurses
Do you need a reliable source of income to fund your adventures while you’re traveling the world? Would you like to know about an amazing way to generate monthly revenue while you’re relaxing on the beaches of South East Asia or hiking the Camino de Santiago? Let me tell you about a lucrative concept I stumbled upon when I was traveling full-time and renting my apartment in Denver to travelers…renting my property to travel nurses!
I only learned about renting to travel nurses a few years ago and it’s totally changed my world. It has been the perfect solution for me and my lifestyle since I travel for three to five months at a time. I now rent my one-bedroom apartment to a travel nurse, or a travel nurse and their significant other, while I’m traveling the world. For those who are looking to travel for longer than six months at a time or looking to move abroad, check out this piece on what to do with your apartment or home.
If you have a larger apartment or home you can even rent to two or more nurses, thereby increasing your profit. Most travel nurses are paid very well and can afford rent above market price and are willing to pay for a “turnkey” home that is fully-furnished—from the teacups to the towels! Keep reading to learn how you too can rent to travel nurses!
What is a travel nurse?
A travel nurse is a medical professional such as a registered nurse, doctor, physical therapist, or radiologist who is a contract worker that works in healthcare facilities (hospitals and clinics) around the U.S and even around the world. Travel nurses work with agencies who help fill nursing shortage gaps around the country. They get placed in temporary positions of approximately twelve weeks in one healthcare facility and then move on to the next assignment in another location.
Is it a good idea to rent to travel nurses?
Now that you know a bit more about renting to travel nurses, you may be wondering if it’s a good idea to rent to travel nurses. Or if it’s any different than renting on Airbnb?
Here are four reasons why renting to travel nurses is a great idea:
1. Generate income
I’m a huge fan of making money; who’s not? I would not want my biggest asset—my home—to sit empty for months on end while I travel the world. I am able to make a profit ($700 each month) and cover my mortgage by renting to travel nurses.
I have no problem with someone sleeping in my bed and using my couch and fridge while I’m off gallivanting on my global adventures. Some people cringe at the idea of someone else being in their home, touching their stuff; I get it…but I definitely prefer funding my travels with passive income while someone is using my shower rather than leave my home vacant. Besides, what if no one was there and the toilet leaked for days? What if the pipes froze while I was gone?
2. Less turnover
Travel nurses are looking for a fully-furnished place to call home for ten to fourteen weeks. A huge perk is that this means very little turnover—and less work for you as the landlord—versus the revolving door of short-term Airbnb rentals and cleaning, changing sheets, restocking between guests every few days. You have peace of mind knowing that these nurses are staying for a few months at a time.
3. Reliable renters
By renting to travel nurses, I know that they are using my apartment as a home, not as a vacation rental or a party house…which isn’t unheard of when you Airbnb. You can make some assumptions that since they are specialists with a career, they’ve been working consistently and have reliable income. As a medical professional they have passed hospital background checks, so you can be fairly well-assured they’re good citizens, not just good tenants. You should also run a credit/background check of your own – more on that in a minute.
4. Like-minded individuals
As a world traveler, I love that travel nurses are fellow vagabonds just like me! Travel nursing isn’t for everyone, so this means that someone who is attracted to traveling for work is probably fun, flexible, open-minded and has been to interesting places which makes them great to chat with.
What you need to know about travel nurse housing
If I’ve got you considering renting to travel nurses there are a few things you need to consider before putting your home up for rent. First, you need to know if you can even rent out your place.
This may depend if you are a homeowner or a tenant. It certainly helps if you own your place rather than rent from someone. If you are the owner you’ll need to check with your Homeowner’s Association (HOA)—if your property is part of an HOA—to verify if short-term rentals are allowed. I have the good fortune to own rental properties with several apartments in each of them, and I am not a part of an HOA so I am able to rent my units short-term without restrictions nor having to get external permission.
If you’re a renter of an apartment or a house, you’ll need to check your lease to see if subletting is permitted. Sometimes subletting is allowed as long as you receive permission from the owner, but often it is prohibited. If it isn’t allowed per the lease (which is often a standard, boiler-plate document that landlords use for all renters and which does not usually allow subletting) you can certainly ask your landlord if they might allow it.
They may not have even been aware of the subletting clause in the contract they provided to you. If you have a good relationship with the property-owner, you may be able to come to an agreement. Keep in mind that you will still be responsible for monthly rent payments while a travel nurse is living in your place. You’ll act as the intermediary and will continue to pay your landlord while the travel nurse pays you the monthly rent.
If you are a homeowner or renter you should call your property insurance agent to see what provisions or coverage you have, or need to add, to cover any mishaps when renting to others. You’ll want to be sure that you’re covered for fire, theft, major breakage or damage to your place.
How to rent to travel nurses
So now that you’re interested in renting to traveling nurses and you’ve confirmed whether you’re able to rent your space, next it’s important to consider what travel nurses are looking for and how you can connect with and advertise to them.
What are travel nurses looking for?
Location is key. If you’re located near a major hospital, your property is going to be more desirable than if you’re in the middle of nowhere. My apartments are within walking distance of perhaps four large hospitals and within a fifteen-minute drive to three or four more major medical centers. This makes for a very advantageous location. However, if your property isn’t located next to a hospital don’t fret, many nurses are willing to drive and will post their distance requirements in their profiles (more on where to find travel nurses below).
A turnkey accommodation is best. What does this mean? A turnkey accommodation means providing a home that is move-in ready. You’ll find that travel nurses are minimalists—after all, they move around…a lot. They show up at your door with laundry baskets full of clothes, their skis or bike, and a box or two of their own things, looking for a furnished place that is ready to roll!
Travel nurses love having a fully equipped kitchen: coffee maker, microwave, silverware, pots and pans, dishes, glasses, mugs, bowls, spatulas, corkscrews, and good knives. A comfy couch and a quality bed with sheets, comforter, blankets and pillows (although some may bring their own bedding) goes a long way. Onsite laundry and parking are huge perks. A television is a nice addition but I’ve rented apartments without a TV; most people have a tablet or laptop and their own subscription to streaming services.
Utilities and WiFi are included in the rent so make sure you factor in these costs when determining your price.
Tips for prepping your property: Before the travel nurse arrives, remove your personal belongings from your home: empty out your closet, dresser, medicine cabinet, pantry and fridge. I store my personal items in bins in the basement, but if you don’t have external storage space you can lock your things in a closet. I recommend removing anything that you would hate to lose—jewelry, crystal, valuable artwork, sports equipment (bikes, golf clubs, etc.), antiques, heirlooms.
Where and how to advertise to travel nurses
You may be wondering where and how you should advertise the space you’re renting to travel nurses. Two places to start looking for travel nurses and advertising your home or a room are:
- Facebook groups. There are numerous Facebook groups where you can connect with travel nurses looking for housing around the U.S. and list your property as well. Check out Gypsy Soul Travel Nurse Housing Options and also search for other Facebook groups that are localized for your city or state, for example Mile High City Healthcare Travelers for the Denver area.
- Furnished Finders. This is a website where you can advertise your home to travel nurses and medical professionals for a fee. I’ve never needed to use them, as I’ve had great luck finding travel nurses in the free Facebook groups.
When listing your home take a look at similar properties in your area to get an idea of rental prices to help you figure out your listing price. In addition to the rental price, be sure to include high quality photos of the space you’re renting, what is included in the price, what dates it is available, which hospitals are nearby and the distances, and if pets are allowed. Here’s an example of my last apartment advertisement:
City Park neighborhood
Entire private 1-bed apartment unit
Private bath and kitchen
$1650 -includes all utilities and WiFi
Available December 7
No pets allowed
Washer/dryer in building
Free off street parking
Walk to Saint Joe’s/Kaiser-read below for more.
Fully furnished adorable one-bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor in 4-unit Victorian building on a quiet residential street! Just a short walk to either City Park or Cheesman Park. After a tough shift, relax in the wicker rockers on the porch enjoying a cocktail or a coffee and watch the world go by from behind the morning glories blooming on the rails. Super convenient off street parking included and onsite free laundry available. Heat, electric, water, gas and WiFi included.
Walk to to Presbyterian/St Luke’s (PSL) and St Joseph’s, Kaiser, Rocky Mountain Children’s, Brethren. A short drive to Rose and Jewish National and about 20 minutes to Anschutz by car or take the Colfax bus.
We are located in City Park, a cool fun neighborhood – at the corner you’ll find Thai food, a fancy French bistro, a liquor store, a quirky bar called the Thin Man, and the infamous St. Mark’s coffeehouse; across the street from that are the best burgers and craft beer in Denver at Vine Street Brewpub. Tattered Cover, Denver’s iconic and amazing independent bookstore is a few blocks away, as is Pinche Tacos – ridiculously good street tacos. Nearly new rec center close by too!
Covering your bases when renting your home or renting rooms to traveling nurses
Once you have a travel nurse interested in renting your home or room you’ll want to discuss the basics: rental dates, rental price, pets, parking, etc. and then you’ll want to run a tenant screening report before signing a lease.
I use TransUnion Credit Bureau’s service called SmartMove. Through this website you’ll be able to send the interested travel nurse an electronic background check. They will need to complete the application and pay a fee ($40 at time of publication). Within minutes of completion you’ll receive a report that includes a credit check, criminal (I mostly see speeding tickets from 8 or 10 years ago!), eviction, and Income Insights reports. Based on this information, you can decide if they do or do not qualify your tenant requirements.
If you decide to move forward the next step is to create a rental contract. If you have not created a rental contract before you can find templates online that you can use.
Make sure you receive a security deposit at the time of signing to hold the apartment and if you’re allowing a pet, be sure you have an additional separate pet deposit. I never allow pets in my rentals– the potential for destruction of furnishings or the apartment is too risky for me–but you do what feels right for you!
Some landlords request a copy of the travel nurse’s hospital work contract, but I have never done that. It would behoove you to include some verbiage in your rental contract that addresses the possible scenario where their employment contract is cancelled before the lease start date and what, if any, penalties there will be. Will you keep a portion of the deposit for the inconvenience of having to find another tenant at the last minute? This did happen to me once or twice, but I was able to find another renter and did not keep the original travel nurse’s security deposit.
Housing traveling nurses
Now you have all the information you need to start marketing your rental to travel nurses! You are free to roam, knowing that your place will be looked after for ten to fourteen weeks—if your travels are shorter, you may have success renting in shorter increments if you can find a nurse who doesn’t need or want to spend the full ten to fourteen weeks of their contract in one home—and you’re making money along the way to help pay for your adventures! Plus you’ll meet some great folks who also love to travel.