FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS – TEMPORARY HOUSING
What if the family will be out of their home for more than a few weeks?
For shorter-term needs the policyholder will probably stay in the hotel the entire time. If you think the stay will be extended longer-term (over a month), please talk with your Housing HQ rep about moving to a single-family home, apartment, or other more permanent stay. Hotels can be very convenient and even comfortable for the short-term, but usually they can get old fast! If it is approved by the adjuster, Housing HQ will look for a temporary home for the family. Depending on specific needs—Pets? Accessibility issues? School district requirements? Commuter routes?—as well as policy coverages, we may look at single-family homes, apartments, townhomes, corporate housing facilities, mobile homes and/or travel trailers.
How does Housing HQ find potential rental homes?
As soon as we know a temporary home is needed, we hit the Internet and the phones! We have a huge database of landlords willing to rent short-term, we have access to numerous websites where we search for properties, and we will comb the newspapers and call realtors in the area. Using the list of the POLICYHOLDER’S requirements (such as: at least 2 bedrooms, pet-friendly, within the school district, etc.) and the requirements of the INSURANCE COMPANY (such as: starting with a 3-month lease and able to extend month-to-month after that, meeting certain pricing requirements based on the policy, etc.), we talk to landlords and locate housing options for the family. We typically have at least one potential option for the family to consider within a day or two of being assigned to the file. We will provide options until we find a home in which the family will be comfortable and meets any policy limits and “like kind and quality” parameters dictated by their insurance policy. Keep in mind, however, that rental properties can be hard to find – and rental properties that will allow short-term rentals of under a year are even tougher! We work hard to find something that meets all of your requirements, but compromises may have to be made if homes are simply not available in the exact location the family prefers.
What if the family has their own realtor?
No problem! We can work with any realtor the family wants to use. We are not realtors and we do not get paid commissions on the rental of the property. It is important to know, though, that most landlords are quite hesitant to pay realtor commissions on short-term leases. We can discuss this with your realtor if needed.
Are the homes furnished?
Most rental homes are NOT furnished by the landlord. Housing HQ, however, has relationships with vendors that can provide short-term furniture rentals. We also have the ability to rent appliances (washers, dryers, microwaves, etc.) and housewares, such as shower curtains, bath items, silverware, plates, bowls and cookware. After the family has selected a rental home, the relocation specialist will work with them to develop a list of furnishings and appliances needed.
What is rental furniture like?
In general, rental furniture is similar to what you would expect to find in a normal hotel or corporate rental apartment. It is usually decent, neutral-toned, basic furniture. Typically, there are specific packages of furniture available and deviating from the package results in higher costs.
What if the family has special needs or requests?
In cases of special needs, we can rent and setup such items as chair lifts, wheelchair ramps and more. If a family needs custom pieces that are not part of a normal package (baby equipment, recliners, bunk beds), the family might have to purchase those directly simply because rental of these items may be too expensive to be practical. In some states, rental of items such as bunk beds may not even be allowed.
What paperwork does my policyholder have to sign?
The policyholder is responsible for signing the landlord’s residential lease for the temporary property. Whenever possible, our relocation specialists first read it over to make sure it meets your requirements for lease length, approved costs, and ability to extend. Your policyholder also signs an agreement to utilize Housing HQs’ services for their housing and furnishing needs, and an authorization allowing you to pay us directly for their temporary relocation expenses.
How do you handle Security Deposits?
We prefer to not expose the insurance company to possible loss from unreturned security deposit amounts. Whenever possible, we ask that you advance the funds for security deposits from your policyholder’s contents or other portion of their claim. This allows us to quickly and efficiently move the family into their temporary housing. It also encourages your policyholders to take good care of the temporary property and furnishings so that the deposits are returned in full. If this is not possible, we will work with you and your policyholder on other arrangements for deposit payments.
What if I need you to extend the lease?
We will contact you two weeks before notice is due to have you approve either the extension or termination of the lease. If the lease needs to be extended, we will make the arrangements with the landlord. If the lease needs to be terminated, we will handle the move-out procedures.
What long-term customer service does Housing HQ provide?
Once the family moves into the rental home, they are assigned a dedicated Customer Service Rep (CSR). To make the process as easy as possible for the family, the CSR will:
- Coordinate furniture, appliance & housewares delivery, exchanges, and requests
- Monitor the stay via regular follow-up calls
- Conduct lease extensions or terminations, per adjuster direction
- Assist with any maintenance needs or other problems at the temporary home
- Coordinate final inspection walk-through of rental property
- Mediate rental property and furniture deposit disputes
What about home maintenance or other issues while at the temporary home?
We’re there with the family throughout their stay. Should some problem occur, such as the rental home’s furnace dies or there is a plumbing problem, one of our team members will work with the family and landlord to resolve the problem. If the family needs custom pieces that are not part of a normal package (baby equipment, recliners, bunk beds), the family might have to purchase those directly simply because rental of these items may be too expensive to be practical. In some states, rental of items such as bunk beds may not even be allowed.
HOUSING HEADQUARTERS • NATIONAL. PROFESSIONAL. DEPENDABLE. PERSONAL.