Ask a Travel Nurse Housing Expert Question:
I don’t know if my agency is being honest or fair with me in terms of their housing costs. They list a property at one price in the contract but I found it on Craigslist at another price. I don’t completely trust my recruiter and so I don’t know where to turn for advice. Do you have any suggestions as to who I can contact outside of the agency to discuss this situation and, if it turns out they are being unethical, report the agency?
Ask a Travel Nurse Housing Expert Answer:
First, I would speak with your recruiter and ask for a breakdown of housing charges. There are other factors with housing besides just the rent: move in fees, cleaning fees at move out, deposits to be paid, etc. Without knowing those items specific to this contract it’s hard for me to tell, but knowing the business, it usually all evens out in the wash. So maybe they are making a little on housing, but they are paying your insurance, or they are paying you more hourly, etc. I am not sure what your contract looks like but again, if you take the housing stipend going forward you will be in control of what you make, but you take on the headache of setting up your housing. It just depends on what you have time for and if it’s worth your time!
I suggest in the future if you want to make the most money while traveling and know down to the penny what is spent on housing you should think about taking the housing stipend. That way you know exactly how much you are getting and paying out for housing. Remember when taking the stipend, that you are responsible for deposits, cleaning fees, move in fees, furniture delivery fees, utilities, and if traveling with a pet there are lots of fees involved with that. It’s not just the monthly rent when you figure in your costs.
I also recommend maybe looking in to other companies and especially a different recruiter. There are recruiters out there who are upfront and honest, and you will find one that’s the right fit for you. Once you find that person you won’t have to worry about anything and traveling will be fun and exciting — just as it should be! In the meantime, I think contacting an attorney is a good first step if you really do believe something unethical is occurring and you’ve exhausted your possibilities of getting help from within the agency.
I hope this helps!