Houston - House rent
Apartments - Lease are normally for no longer than a year, and it is not uncommon to have to vacate the property when the year is up. Longer terms can be negotiated, up to three year. There are locations that will allow a month to month lease but are not very common, in general a minimum of three months lease is expected and then a month to month lease is accepted but beware that the rate will change.
These apartments can be fully furnished, if so make sure it will include laundry machine and dryer, as well as the kitchen equipment (microwave and smaller appliances like toaster coffee maker and blender).
In general apartments are part of complex with a common areas like swimming pool, gym, social club etc. amenities can vary and of course impact on the cost of rent.
You should expect to sign a lease on any property you rent. Read leases clauses carefully as there are no standard contracts, only guidelines.
Check how much advance notice you must give before moving out.
You should stipulate that no more than 30 days notice is required to vacate without penalty.
Look for security deposit refund restrictions, require an apartment owner obligation to make needed repairs.
Check on prohibitions against keeping pets.
Make sure you carry out an inspection of the property priotr taking hold of the property and to have written down all the dysfucntion or damages. Another inspection when leaving the property will be required by the owner.
Houses - Renting in the Great Houston area is not as popular as buying, due to the affordable price of properties. Therefore, finding a home for rent may be harder than finding one to buy and could be at times very difficult and very expensive, especially in certain areas of town (like for example Memorial, Sugar Land, Rice Village).
As a rule of thumb the cost of rent is roughly equivalent to 10% of the property value.