With its excellent education system for students – from kindergarten through graduate school – combined with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Wisconsin is attracting the attention of workers interested in living in the cheese state.
Moving to Wisconsin will require these workers to find housing, both on a temporary and – eventually – permanent basis.
Here are some tips for renting apartments in Wisconsin:
- Research the community. Wisconsin’s cities are great about posting available units for rent online, complete with dimensions, photos and rent fees. If you’re moving to a smaller community that might have limited postings online, call the local chamber of commerce to ask about available listings. Also ask your human resources department if they have connections with information about available housing.
- Research your own rental history. Once you start applying for these apartments, landlords are going to start researching you to determine if you’re a good tenant candidate. Get a copy of your rental history report so you can check it for accuracy. This report provides landlords with everything from your credit rating to your criminal history, and you don’t want inaccurate information ruining your chances of finding housing.
- Set a budget. As mentioned earlier, you should be able to find notification of what rent will be, but also check on additional fees like a security deposit, utility costs for the unit, parking fees and renter’s insurance costs. Keep in mind you may have some room for negotiation, depending on how competitive the market is in the community in which you want to rent. Larger cities – especially those with a University of Wisconsin campus – tend to have more competitive markets. If a landlord determines you’re a good candidate, you may be able to negotiate paying a lower security deposit or waiving a pet fee. Once you know all these costs, compare them with your budget to determine if you can afford to live in that location.
- Purchase renter’s insurance. Wisconsin can experience severe weather that could affect an apartment, resulting in damage to your belongings inside. Tornadoes and severe storms are frequent in the summer, while snowstorms can dump heavy amounts of snow in the winter, causing structural damage to buildings and trees. Renter’s insurance helps you financially recover from your personal belongings being damaged inside your apartment due to a natural disaster.
See a sample of your personal rental history and eviction report.
It’s good know what landlords will see and make sure there are no errors on your record; otherwise you may waste application fees and not know why you were rejected.