Cómo arrendar en los Estados Unidos

¿Necesita arrendar un apartamento o una casa?

Renting as a beginner tenant in the United States can be a daunting process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can be a smooth and successful experience.  

Before renting an apartment, make sure your language skills are sufficient to ask questions and understand your lease terms. If you need assistance, seek support from a community organization in your area that can help you understand all documents, fees and timelines associated with your lease.  

How to find an apartment  

Determine your budget and needs: Before you start searching for an apartment, figure out how much rent you can afford and what you need in an apartment, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, outdoor space for pets, floor level and stairs involved, etc.  

Use our guide for creating a budget to better understand how much to allocate towards your monthly rent payment.  

You need to take into consideration the distance between your potential place of living and your work. In between the areas, are there enough supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, schools, points of access like subways and main roads, or even shops and restaurants where to socialize? When considering a neighborhood, use online search tools, like Google maps, to better understand how long your commutes may be and what you will find in your surrounding area if you rent there.  

Sometimes living outside of a main city can mean cheaper prices in rents, but you still need to confirm you will have enough access to transportation to reach your job, school, and other needs or responsibilities without any issues.  

Search for apartments: You can search for apartments on various online platforms, such as Craigslist, Zillow, or You can also work with a real estate agent who can help you find apartments that meet your needs. Real estate agents do charge a “broker’s fee,” so it is best to know how much you will be expected to pay an agent before starting a process with them.  

In your online search, use a website's filters to specify what you are looking for. Include your maximum price for rent, how many bedrooms you're looking for, whether you need a parking place or what appliances you want. Each website is different, but you can make appointments to view apartments directly from most apartment search sites.  

Protect Yourself  

Be aware of scams: No landlord, real estate agent, or reputable apartment search service will ask you to pay or share personal information before viewing an apartment and applying to lease it. Do not send any money, personal documents, or bank account information to anyone until you are signing a lease agreement. You may be asked to pay for a credit check report, but it varies per state and type of apartment you are leasing. A lease agreement is also signed by the landlord, or management company, so if anything happens to the apartment you leased this is the document you will use to get your security deposit back or get assistance in case of an emergency.  

Your lease is a very important document: A lease includes information such as the rent price, length of the lease, late payment fees, and the landlord's and tenant's responsibilities. Read your lease, be aware of what your responsibilities as a tenant are and the rules of the building. Equally, read what are the responsibilities of the landlord. Will they take out the garbage? What utilities are included on the lease? Do they clear the trash, leaves or snow from the sidewalk? Who cleans the common areas? How can you get something repaired? All of this information must be explained in your lease and if you have questions, it is your right to have your lease reviewed by a legal expert or a nonprofit organization that supports tenant rights

Choose an Apartment  

View apartments: After you contact a landlord, property manager or real estate agent to schedule a viewing, you will visit the apartment. You can ask questions about the apartment, such as the utilities and pet policies, check for any damages or defects, such as leaky faucets or cracks in the walls, that all appliances work, that the apartment is clean or will be delivered empty and clean, that all doors and windows work and that there is nothing broken in the apartment that could be discounted from your security deposit once you move out. A security deposit is used by landlords to cover any damages caused by a tenant. If you don’t take care of the apartment, you will not receive your security deposit back when you move out. This security deposit is generally the amount of one month’s rent.  

Sign a lease: If you decide to move forward with renting the apartment you viewed, you will need to fill out a rental application. This application typically asks for your personal information, employment status, income, rental history, and references. You will also need to provide certain documents, such as a photo ID, proof of income (e.g., pay stubs or tax returns), and a credit report. A landlord reserves the right to turn your application down if another applicant is better qualified than you. However, you cannot be turned down based on your family size, racial background, language spoken or gender, for example.  

Your rights and responsibilities  

Your rights and responsibilities as a tenant include: 

  • The right to a safe and habitable apartment 
  • The right to privacy 
  • The right to have repairs made in a timely manner 
  • The responsibility to pay rent on time 
  • The responsibility to keep the apartment clean and in good condition 
  • The responsibility to follow the terms of the lease agreement 

Here are additional resources to better understand your rights as a tenant:

Costs: Once your rental application is approved, you will need to pay a security deposit and the first month's rent. Some landlords may also request last month’s rent. Be prepared to pay three times your anticipated rent amount to be able to sign the lease. In addition, you will have moving costs, so consider all of this when making your budget.  


By following these steps and being aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, you can successfully rent an apartment in the United States. Remember that there are various community organization offering guidance and support to new tenants. Use their help if you need assistance.  

La información que figura en tiene únicamente fines informativos generales. No debe tomarse como asesoramiento profesional ni reemplazar la orientación de un profesional.

Invirtiendo en todos

Su apoyo financiero ayudará a que la obtención de la ciudadanía sea más económica para millones de futuros estadounidenses.

Invierta hoy