- Attend Private Rental Brief at Housing Office: If you’re eligible for private housing, the Housing Rep at CPF will schedule you for a Private Rental Brief at Housing (off- post) to learn about the private rental process. Soldiers must be in civilian clothes when off-post.
- Search for a Private Rental: Use the website www.homes.mil. Create an account and search daily for private rental listings extensively vetted and approved by Housing.
TIP: Can’t find a house to fit your family? The Housing Office may authorize reimbursement of realtor fees if you use one of their recommended realtors!
- Search for a Private Rental via a Realtor: While a realtor may offer more selection, remember that they probably don’t vet homes as thoroughly as the Housing Office and ALL REALTOR FEES are at your own expense (usually 1 month’s rent + 22% tax). When you find a home through a realtor, Housing will help you negotiate and finalize your rental contract.
- Housing Recommended Realtor: Landlord can request 1 month’s rent. You pay realtor fees.
- Private Realtor: The landlord can request up to 3 months’ rent in advance. You pay realtor fees.
If you find a home through a realtor, ask if Housing has it on file to read comments from previous tenants.
- House Viewing: To view a home from homes.mil, you must make requests in-person at the Housing Office. Each requested home is put on hold (max of 2 homes at a time), meaning nobody else can view it.
- A taxi interpreter will pick you up at Housing or ACS to see your requested homes. You must provide car seats for kids. Need a seat? Borrow one from the ACS Lending Closet.
- You may see up to 5 homes with an interpreter.
If you have a car, ask a Housing Office staff member for the addresses of homes you’re interested in. Then you can pass by the homes to see if you’d actually like to visit them with an interpreter.
- Considerations before Choosing a Home: Don’t take the first thing you see, but don’t pass up a good thing either. Notify housing within 24 hours of viewing a home that you would like to rent it; otherwise it goes back on the market.
- Negotiating and Signing a Lease: Make all the necessary preparations before walking into your contract negotiation and lease signing.
Searching for housing can be a lengthy process. Don’t rush. Be patient. It’s worth taking time to find a home your family can enjoy while in Italy.
Private Housing Considerations
When you’re looking at private rentals, read through the lists below to make sure you don’t overlook anything.
What to Consider Before Leasing
- Is a school transportation stop close to the home?
- Have any tenants had problems with the landlord?
- Are the AC units cleaned and maintained yearly?
- Are there sufficient AC units?
- Are there hookups for U.S. washer and dryers?
- Ask to see previous years electric, gas, water bills.
- Is home part of a co-op with central heat/air? If so, you can’t use UTEP program to reduce heating bills.
- Is there city electricity and gas (cheaper)?
- Is there space for pets (inside and outside)?
- Is garage height and width sufficient for your car?
- Have allergies? Are there many farms nearby?
- Is the garage door and property gate electric? Is it also manual in case of power outages?
- What is the home’s Energy Rating? Scale is A-G. A is excellent, G is poor. Better grades are more energy efficient and you’ll pay less to heat/cool a home. Older homes: ~E; Newer homes: ~B. Homes rated “A” likely have solar panels. Choose wisely.
Before negotiations, ask Housing for the comments left by previous tenants about the landlord and the home.
What to Negotiate into your Contract
- Additional electrical outlets & Italian appliances
- Updated cabinets and countertops
- Window/door screens*
- Ceiling fans and curtains
- Additional AC units & AC cleanings (specify schedule)
- Extra closets or wardrobes
- Italian washer & dryer (better than temp. furniture units)
- Smoke, Natural Gas, and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- AFN satellite installation and maintenance
- Additional locks or safety features
- Size of electric meter (determines electrical output)
- Pets (include permission to have pets in your lease)
- Lawn/tree/hedge cut (specify schedule)
- Mosquito sprayings (specify schedule)
- Fencing (for the benefit of kids or pets)
- Electric/manual property gate
*Mosquitoes, esp. the Asian Tiger, are rampant in Italy during warm months. Screens are a must where possible.
Private Housing Lease Negotiation
Once you decide on a rental, call or visit Housing as soon as possible to start the negotiation and lease process.
- Phone Negotiation Appointment: Housing will set up a time and date for you to meet with a bilingual staff member versed in rental contract negotiations. With you present, Housing staff will negotiate your contract over the phone with the Italian landlord. If everyone agrees to the conditions of the contract, all parties will come back to sign the lease.
- Come prepared! Bring your home repair or update requests with you. If it is not in your contract, it might be hard to change it later.
- Lease Signing: After negotiations, you will come back to Housing, usually within a week, to meet with your Housing negotiator and landlord. This will be a 2-3 hour meeting to review and sign the final lease agreement.
- Utilities & Temporary Furniture: On the day you sign the lease contract, Housing will make appointments for you to set up gas, water, and electric. You’ll also select temporary furniture (warehouse at VPC Inspection facility) to use while you wait for your HHG to arrive.
- Home Inspection: After signing your contract, a Housing interpreter will drive you to the rental home one more time to complete a home inspection with the landlord. You’ll receive house keys that day, but you won’t be able to move in yet.
- Read before signing! Make sure any problems, malfunctioning equipment (confirm A/C units run cold, etc.), and damage to property (flooring, walls, appliances, etc.) are noted on the inspection paperwork before you sign it.
- Deposit: Prior to moving in you must pay the landlord a deposit, usually equal to one month’s rent. Submit a copy of your deposit payment to Housing.
- Move in! Delivery of Temp Furniture: On your move-in day, your requested temporary furniture, including any necessary appliances, will be delivered by an Italian moving company, with at least one English speaker.
- HHG Arrival & Pick up of Temp Furniture: Call the Furniture Warehouse (at the VPC) at least 4-5 days in advance of HHG arrival to set a date for temporary furniture pick up. Movers will come one other time to pick up your appliances prior to moving out.