Accommodation in Miami is as diverse as the city itself. Art Deco apartments on palm-lined streets, gentrified lofts and Mission-style housing all play their part in shaping the city’s landscape.

While Miami is one of the most popular destinations for British expats buying property in the USA, many new arrivals prefer renting at first to get a better sense of their new surroundings. New arrivals and expats to the city should note that finding accommodation in Miami can be challenging due to the supply issues the city is experiencing.

Areas and suburbs in Miami

Housing in Miami by Alina Skazaka from Pexels

The biggest thing that’ll guide a newcomer’s decisions when looking for housing in Miami is whether they’re moving with a family. Miami is great for singles, but those with families may not appreciate the party atmosphere of certain neighbourhoods.

Young families and professionals looking for a more quiet residential area will love the waterfront neighbourhoods of Edgewater and Wynwood. These neighbourhoods boast access to both outdoor and nightlife amenities, making it the perfect base for both children and parents to enjoy their lifestyles.

Professionals and single new arrivals who want to enjoy Miami’s nightlife, exotic beaches and wonderful culinary scenes can check out neighbourhoods such as Coconut Grove, Brickell and Downtown Miami. Nature-loving youngsters who have a bit of leeway in their budgets will find Key Biscayne perfectly suited to their lifestyles, as the suburb offers access to waterfront parks, a golf course and the Miami Seaquarium. 

As is the case when moving to any city, the distance to work and school, pricing and the accessibility of public transport should be primary concerns. Areas like South Beach make it convenient to commute around the city centre, although the price is a hindrance to many prospective residents.

Areas further away from the city centre usually offer larger and more affordable accommodation, but access to public transport is more restricted, often making a car a necessary purchase. Many of these areas do have reputable schools, however, making them quite popular among families.

Read Areas and Suburbs in Miami for more on the city’s different neighbourhoods.

Types of accommodation in Miami

Miami offers its residents a wide range of accommodation options, and these include Conch-style homes, apartments, bungalows, high-rise condos and Art Deco homes. Conch-style or Bahamian homes are largely built out of wood and are set atop piers, with many of these homes concentrated in Coconut Grove or Overtown. 

Art Deco homes typically include everything from freestanding homes to condos, and these are mainly in the Art Deco District. There are limitations to the number of Art Deco properties that can be sold as a result of preservation efforts. High-rise condos are the heart and soul of Miami, and these properties usually include luxury amenities such as gyms, swimming pools and lifestyle centres. 

Finding accommodation in Miami

Property viewing stock image by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

New arrivals who are house-hunting in the city would do well first to get to know the different areas and suburbs in Miami. Physically exploring a neighbourhood has the added advantage of seeing properties for sale or for rent that may not be listed elsewhere. Another alternative for finding accommodation in the city is by searching online classifieds and in the property sections of local newspapers. 

A less time-consuming option is hiring a real estate agent or contacting a property management company. The one downside of this is that some agents are more scrupulous than others. A good way to minimise risks is to go by word of mouth and ensure that the agent belongs to a reputable realtors’ organisation. Another option for newly arrived expats is to join expat social media groups, which typically feature listings from other expats who may be leaving the city. 

Useful links

  • New arrivals looking to purchase a home can check out the Florida Is Home property portal, and those looking to rent have access to sites such as
  • Miami British Expats is a fantastic example of an expat social media group offering word-of-mouth rental listings. 

Renting accommodation in Miami

Whether negotiating with an individual owner, a real estate company or a condominium’s board of trustees, newcomers should be aware of the processes and costs attached to renting in Miami. Renting a condo in Miami often involves more bureaucratic processes than dealing directly with an owner and can entail extra fees for things like registration, parking spots or even owning pets. Realtors are also likely to charge agent fees.

Leases, costs and fees

A rental lease in Miami can be written or verbal, but most agreements are in writing, as verbal agreements can be misunderstood. The written lease can be anything from a formal contract to a simple letter stating the landlord and tenant’s rights and obligations. Leases are generally for a fixed term, which is typically a year. If a lease doesn’t say what the duration of the contract is, the duration is determined by the period in which the tenant pays their rent – for example, weekly or monthly.

Landlords in Miami tend to charge a security deposit of one to two months’ rent upfront, as well as the first and the last month’s rent. That said, new arrivals shouldn’t be afraid to negotiate, since many landlords are willing to make some kind of concession when it comes to the security deposit.

Read Accommodation in the USA for more on national rental processes. 


Typically, tenants in Miami are responsible for paying for their own utilities, but they should check with their landlord whether it’s their responsibility to set these services up or not. In some cases, utilities like gas and electricity will be paid for by the landlord; however, this can lead to a higher rental fee.

Electricity and gas

The electricity and gas markets in Miami are deregulated, meaning new arrivals can compare prices and choose their providers. If one already has an existing account with a gas and electricity provider and wants to continue their relationship with the specific provider, the connection process becomes simpler. New arrivals looking to transfer their account can simply call their provider to have them turn off their connection at their current address and turn it on at their new address. It’s recommended to do this at least a week before moving to avoid having to go without electricity and natural gas at any point. 

To set up a new service, new arrivals can use the online service of their chosen provider or call or visit a branch to arrange a connection date. This involves providing the new address, proof of identification, social security number, employment information and bank account details. It’s essential for newcomers to verify that the company has the correct connection start date to ensure they have electricity and gas upon moving in. 


Miami’s drinking water supply comes entirely from groundwater wells and is supplied by the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department. Landlords are typically responsible for the water bill in Miami. New arrivals purchasing or renting a freestanding home may need to start a service with the Water and Sewer Department, and this can be done online, in person or via telephone. 

Newcomers should be prepared to pay an initial deposit to start the service and a non-refundable service charge. The deposit is refundable at termination of service or if the account remains in good standing for two years. Similar to electricity and gas, they must provide the department with their new address, social security number, proof of identification and bank account details. 

Bins and recycling

Both the rubbish removal and recycling collection schedules can be checked on the city’s official website. Residents are required to put their bins outside 12 to 24 hours before the removal day. The city has strict rules when it comes to what can and can’t be recycled, and recyclable items are collected from single-family homes biweekly. Apartment complexes and multifamily buildings are legally mandated to provide recycling programmes for their residents.  

Things like paper, plastic and unbroken glass can all be recycled. On the other hand, electronic waste, medical waste and batteries are non-recyclable items. Those moving into newly constructed homes must order a recycling cart from the Miami-Dade County Solid Waste Management Department and create an account with the department. 


Those moving to Miami will need to conduct some research on the different internet service providers (ISPs) available in their different areas and suburbs. It’s recommended to speak with neighbours about their experiences with different ISPs to find the most reliable and cost-effective one. It is also possible to connect cable TV, and some apartments will come ‘cable ready’. If the cable connection is not already set up, newcomers must get permission from their landlord, as this often involves drilling holes. 

Useful links

Expat Health Insurance

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