Las Vegas Sun

April 24, 2014

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Relocation

Photo by R. MARSH STARKS

Houses under construction in the Mountain's Edge master planned community near Buffalo Drive and Cactus Avenue.

Moving Services

As if having to find a new home, job and life in a new city isn't stressful enough, trusting the majority of your belongings to a moving company can be dangerous and nerve-wrecking. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has written a brochure titled "Know Your Rights and Responsibilities Before Selecting a Mover." The brochure explains what information movers are required to provide consumers. People relocating should only use movers registered with FMCSA to engage in interstate transportation in order to avoid moving fraud by unlicensed movers.

The American Moving and Storage Association, a non-profit organization consisting of more than 3,500 moving companies, recommends using only companies they specially certify. These certified moving companies adhere to the industry's code of conduct when it comes to quality moves and answering customer complaints. Only 100 companies have volunteered to participate in the Certified Mover Program, making the companies an elite group of quality movers. At AMSA's Web site, individuals can search for certified movers, as well as download a consumer manual of helpful tips regarding moving.

Finding an apartment or house

Clark County has a population of approximately 2 million people, with 591,536 living in Las Vegas, according to demographics given by the City of Las Vegas. There are 227,862 recorded housing units. For more demographics on Las Vegas, visit LasVegasNevada.gov.

Individuals considering relocating to Las Vegas can research apartments for rent online at sites such as Rent.com or Apartments.com.

To avoid scams and streamline the process, potential home buyers should utilize a Realtor licensed by the state of Nevada. A searchable database of licensed Realtors is available at the National Association of Realtors' Web site.

If using a contractor for building or remodeling, the Nevada State Contractors Board urges consumers to consider only licensed contractors and research their record prior to hiring. Licenses can be checked at the NSCB Web site.

For eligible individuals and families, the Housing Authority of the County of Clark, Nevada provides affordable housing within Clark County, including the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area, Laughlin, Logandale, Overton, Sandy Valley and Mesquite. Their housing assistance office located at 5390 East Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Interested individuals may contact the housing authority via e-mail at [email protected] or phone at (702) 451-8041. For more information, visit their Web site.

For people looking for a roommate, there are various Web sites, such as Roommates.com or EasyRoommate.com, that can help them find someone else looking for a roommate. Additionally, these Web sites often containing listings of households renting out rooms.

Before being approved for a home loan, lenders will check an individual's credit score. Often, a potential renter's credit score is checked before being approved for an apartment. Therefore, it is important for those relocating to know their credit score and check their credit history. In the United States, there are three credit bureaus which issue credit scores: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Credit scores can vary slightly by bureau. Individuals can check their credit history and/or FICO score with one or all three credit bureaus through sites like Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

Information and tips on everything from finding to decorating an apartment can be found at Apartments.com.

New renters should consider renters insurance. Like home owners insurance, renters insurance provides security in the face of unforeseeable events such as natural disasters, fires and burglary. While landlords and associations have insurance to protect their building, renters insurance is designed to protect personal assests. Individuals can obtain quotes through various Web sites, including netQuote.

Pets

In the city of Las Vegas, any dog, cat or ferret more than four months old must be licensed. Prices depend on whether the animal is fertile or sterile. A license for a sterile dog or cat is $10, while a fertile dog is $25, annually. Seniors receive discounted prices. New residents must obtain a license for their pets within 30 days of moving to the state from the Lied Animal Shelter, 655 N Mojave Rd.

For North Las Vegas residents, a license is required for any dog, cat or ferret more than three months old. Residents can obtain the license from the Lied Animal Shelter for the same price as Las Vegas licenses.

Animal Control, the body that handles pet licensing, also handles all investigations into animal cruelty, regulation of pet shops and other animal-related businesses, control and quarantine of rabies cases and complaints about barking dogs, animals-at-large and animal-related sanitation.

Animal Control's 24-hour service request is (702) 229-6348. For a complete list of Animal Control services, as well as additional information on licensing and animal laws, visit their Web site.

For Henderson residents, dogs, cats and ferrets more than three months old must be licensed. Spayed and neutered animals may obtain a license for $6, while the charge for fertile animals is $20. Senior citizens get a half-price discount. Licenses can be purchased at the Henderson Animal Control Bureau, 300 E. Galleria, the finance department inside City Hall, 240 Water St, or the Multigenerational Center Utility Services, 250 S. Green Valley Pkwy.

Henderson's Animal Control Bureau's enforcement policies and procedures can be found on their Web site.

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