Friday, December 4, 2009

H1B 雇員你會住在有契約限制的公寓嗎?

最近有台灣的朋友問我一些美國租公寓的問題,這些問題對住在美國的華人應該都是基本常識。但對於那些沒有到美國居住的人,情況可能不是很清楚。因此我花一些時間將我看到的情況做個回想。我的答案僅作參考。

在美國租公寓大致有二種。一種是所有公寓均在一個社區,一定會有 Leasing Office 管理所有公寓。一種是房東本身有公寓要出租。很多公寓都是採取沒有附家具的方式出租。公寓中的基本配備一定會有廚房,冰箱。好一點的公寓是每一間都有洗衣機和烘衣機。我住過的公寓也有洗衣機和烘衣機是放在社區中的某一個地方,讓大家投硬幣使用!

美國的法律是很注重房客的權益。如果有一天房客付不起房租,賴著不走,房東如何將房客逐出 (Evict) 公寓也是一門學問,難怪這類的書也充斥著市場。由鑑與此,若房客想要租公寓。很多 Leasing Offices 規定要審核房客的信用分數,這時你要有社會安全號碼才行。每個 Leasing Office 規定的信用分數標準不同。房客需繳交審核費用,費用大約在U SD 25-35 之間。若信用分數沒達到標準,房客根本沒辦法居住在公寓內。若租公寓時, Leasing Office 會和你簽定契約文件,請記得詳讀文件內的內容。

第一次住公寓的人不要忘記下列事情:

1. 假設你住的公寓契約 6 個月,若你沒住滿 6 個月想搬走,罰金多少你要仔細研究清楚。

2. 記得搬走前,不要忘記詢問如何付清水電費? 否則搬走後,你沒接到帳單,等於欠了一筆債。等水電公司將你欠的金額轉到討債公司 (Collection Agent) 後,你就準備荷包失血了。

3. 你要搬走時,Leasing Office 會清理你住的公寓,他們會向你收清潔費,金額多少你要仔細研究清楚,因為金額取決於每個 Leasing Office 的規定。

你也許認為上述第一項不太可能發生。對於 H1B 雇員來說,這種情況比比皆是。舉例而言,若你剛住進公寓,結果不久後,便遭到公司裁員。公司也把被裁員工的資料送給移民局,你便會遇到上述的第一項。新蛋科技在 2005 年 11 月份時進行大裁員後,恰巧本人剛搬進去公寓才 1.5個月,契約還有4.5個月。我相信其他被新蛋科技裁員的員工也遇到此情況。如果你是我 (H1B雇員),接下來你會如何和 Leasing Office 討論 4.5個月契約的事情呢?

經過此件事情後, 我認為身為 H1B 雇員,最好不要住在有契約限制的公寓。若我一定要住在公寓時,我便會和 Leasing Office 的人討價還價。後來我認識的 H1B 朋友,有不少人覺得他們工作很安全,因而簽了一年契約的公寓(買 12 月送 1 月或其他促銷方式),但是做了 3 個月便被公司裁員。他們都怨恨為何還有 9 個月的房租。

H1B 雇員被公司裁員已經夠不幸了,還要面臨剩下的房租,接下來你會如何處理呢?

H1B 雇員你會住在有契約限制的公寓嗎?

延伸閱讀:
美國職場裁員現形記
不向 collection agent 屈服
對新蛋科技 (newegg.com) 感到失望
持 H1B 工作簽證的華人要比別人工作更加努力

23 comments:

Kenny Hsu said...

這是合約工作者的痛... 有時候房租合約以6個月為一期,但是工作合約卻是8個月,那該怎麼辦?所以後來我都是找分租的去租,可以省去上述問題,不過和人合租也是會有其他們問題產生。

Anonymous said...

I think if your lease is 6 months, after 6 months you can still rent based on month by month...

Ray said...

Kenny,
沒錯,所以很討厭這種情況!

Anonymous,
It really depends on the policy of leasing offices.

Kenny Hsu said...

To Anonymous:
基本上你如果是直接向leasing office承租的,那不太可能讓你所謂的6個月之後就讓你month by month,6個月只是基本單位,他們合約寫得很清楚,而且絕對按照合約來。要繼續待就再簽1個unit。
如果是和人分租、合租、向二房東租的都有商量的餘地,可以month by month after contract。
以上都是親身經歷。

Ray said...

Gill,
Do you live in the USA?

If you want to rent out your house, you can ask real estate agents to help you definitely. But for the apartments, leasing offices will take care of everything. Why do Leasing offices need real estate agent?

I would like to say that Kenny is right, yours is just an ideal theory. It is common to see a 6-month new contract coming in the apartments. There is no negotiation in most apartments.

If you want to rent out your house, people can negotiate with you too.

For those people with low credit score, leasing offices will reject their application.

Kenny Hsu said...

Ray說得真是貼切,Leasing Office姿態真的是很高。

之前在德州靠近Dell那附近找,除了要高額的Deposit外,還要問你是哪間公司、有沒有保證人、還要繳一筆不小的錢給他們當作Credit Check + Application Fee(忘記多少了,只記得不低於100,而這筆錢是不退還的)。
不符合先決條件的連申請表你都看不到,更別說和他們談合約的長短。其實之前和他們談過,不過得到的答案清一色都是說他們一切照合約來,不可能為了個人而更改制式合約。

剛到一個新的地方(剛接到新的project)首先要搞定的我想就是房事的問題,白天上班、晚上開車到處找房子,那還真的不是普通的操。

Malkovich said...

Actually it's possible to rent month by month after 6 months contract expired. Usually it's a bit more expensive than the old rate.

A negotiation expert will say Everything Is Negotiable:
http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Negotiable-Best-Deal-Every/dp/1847940013

Ray said...

Malkovich,
Hmmm. Eveything is negotiable, but it depends on the luck. haha

You are an expert, right??

Anonymous said...

I had living in the USA for almost 20 years and had rent many differnt apartments from many different cities in the USA. My experience was that every time when the leasing contract was going to expire, the leasing office would offer different leasing lengh contracts for tenants to choose, including the month by month one. Of course, the month-by-month will be siginificantly higher than the 12 month lease. For example, a 2 bed room, if rented month-by-month, will cost $1,800 while the 12 month contract will be $1,300. It is no wonder why we will choose the 12 month, but still, if you want the 1 monht, you can get it without any problem.

This is my 2 cents.

Kenny Hsu said...

原來是要先住下去之後才有機會討論到之後的合約問題,受教了!

Ray said...

I will say:
1. It really depends on the policy of leasing offices. Different offices have the different policy.

2. After the contract, you can negotiate your contract with leasing offices.

But be attention to my post:
If you don't fufill the terms and conditions of your 6-month contract when you get laid off, what would you do? :)

Anonymous said...

So the contracts are probably negotiable, only case by case. But still strangely enough, the leasing offices really know how to get best deals on behalf of the homeowners by exploiting tenants of dilemma. And to be honest the tactics of their marketing seems to be brutal.

Gill

ICE said...

sorry i found your blog through yahoo..got a Q^^i am taiwanes going to seattle on 13..wonder which restaurant is the best for taiwanese food?

Ray said...

ICE, it really depends. Please see this link

http://raylinusa.blogspot.com/2008/06/blog-post_8842.html

Ray said...

Gill,
Thanks for sharing.

Irene said...

Hey Ray. 你了解東邊的話住在哪邊比較好嗎
我可能快要搬去了喔 但是因為傢具太多考慮要租House
希望離市區不要太遠 然後治安好的區 謝謝啦 住Bellevue downtown那邊如何哩

KK said...

在下還買了房子 最近律師跟我說第二個H1b 就是renew 三年的 是有可能被reject的. 那我如果真的在一月被reject我的房子怎麼辦...

Ray said...

Irene,
Why do you want to live there? Is it because of your work? II think Bellevue downtown is a very good area.

KK,
Why does your attorney say it is possible to get rejected for your H1B renewal?

When did you submit your H1B renewal? It usually takes 3-4 months to get the final result unless you use premium processing. During this time, you can think of another immigration status if you really get rejected.

No Chinese keyboard.

Irene said...

Just want to try urban living life style. 又因為每次去我都在Bellevue downtown逛街 所以對其他地方也不熟啦 沒有一定要住在downtown啦 只是想說生活機能好像比較方便 想問問你有沒有idea:)

Ray said...

Irene,
住Seattle 的人都知道 Bellevue 是一個好學區及好地方!

Kenny Hsu said...

同意Ray。
之前就住過Bellevue,真是環境優美、治安不錯的好地方,那邊還有一間蠻不錯的中式糕點麵包店(好像還兼賣餐)。很懷念之前在那邊的生活。

稚齡姐姐 said...

就是因為這樣,有時候才會想買房子的事情,不過話說現在景氣這麼差,工作也不是很 promising 的狀態之下,買房子想必要承擔的風險更大呢。

Ray said...

稚齡姐姐
買房子的確是風險很大,至少它可抵稅,可分租,有時候買房子不見得不好,但是要仔細評估!

看到你工作漸入佳境,為你高興,繼續努力喲!

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