For those that are contemplating making the move to LA, the only informing factor to all following decisions should be the fact that Los Angeles is gigantic, enormous, and huge. Besides being massive, LA is also at an average of $640,000 for a typical home, having a growing number of people unable to buy a home. The only resolve to their situation then becomes renting an apartment in Los Angeles. More than half the people in Los Angeles are renting properties, making it the fourth-highest percentage of renters in the nation.
Check out our Roomi rent report to find out more about average room prices in the U.S. in December 2020.
But what is the rental process like when you’re ready to make the move to LA? What are the steps following your decision to be renting in Los Angeles? What are some of the things you should consider when finding an apartment in the city of angels?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding your space in Los Angeles.
Questions to ask yourself when searching for an apartment to rent in Los Angeles.
What’s your budget?
Answer the defining questions first. By that we mean, try looking up the latest median costs for the apartment size that’s best for you.
For instance, Apartment List states the median rent for a one-bedroom in LA to be $1545 and $2027 for a two-bedroom.
Once you’ve decided on your budget, do not forget to take into account the security deposit, first (and probably last) month’s rent, and an application fee of up to $50. (Note: Some landlords demand that your income be thrice the amount of your total rent).
What neighborhood is best for me to be renting in Los Angeles?
The best bet you can make for (sort of ) easy living in an apartment in LA, is picking a house close to where you work. At peak rush hour, it takes over two hours on a bus to get from one end of the town to another. If you’re unable to find a neighborhood close to work, try looking for a neighborhood that falls close to a well-connected bus route. Additionally, it should also not be far enough to become an expensive cab ride on a tipsy night.
What are my options besides apartment finding websites?
With websites like Roomi, Zillow, and Zumper, you wouldn’t need to hire a realtor. But oftentimes, once you’ve left for a search in an area, it can be quite beneficial to search for other properties in that area, on foot. This is a method that has proved effective for numerous people. Since landlords prefer renting to locals, you’re more likely to stumble on a place that isn’t listed online.
How is renting an apartment in Los Angeles different from New York City?
While you probably wouldn’t have exhausted the same energy as you would when apartment hunting in New York. Be it a steeper budget or a coveted neighborhood, you might just find yourself unable to find your dream oasis, when renting an apartment in Los Angeles is your goal. And that’s okay. You might just need to manage your expectations better. Considering, well, the vacancy rate in LA is at 3.9% right now, and bidding wars for rentals don’t just get ugly on TV.
Several surveys indicate that tenants renting in Los Angeles have more leverage during the winter months – making them the ideal time to move. Fewer people are concerned with moving amidst cold or bad weather, so you are likely to find better deals when it’s cold outside.
Things to know when you’re visiting an apartment you could be potentially renting in Los Angeles.
When you’ve finally come across a couple or more apartments that you like, take a day out to review them in person. You’ll likely be dealing with the apartment manager, the landlord, or a management company.
Some things you should be on the lookout for are:
Holes in the corners of the room?!
These are common, and they most definitely indicate a bug infestation. Take this up with the building manager before you move in, and if you really like the place, request a deep clean and fixes.
Do not be alarmed if you don’t see a fridge or a stove!
Some landlords in LA just don’t provide one and you may need to bring your own.
Other questions you must ask when looking at the apartment you may be renting in Los Angeles.
Is the parking suitable for your needs? What about the place’s pet policy? Is there a pet deposit? Just some questions you don’t want to be looking for answers for after signing a lease.
If you’ve found an apartment in LA that you would like to rent, should you apply right away?
As mentioned before, the market is very tight. It is recommended that you submit an application the moment you find a place you like.
Getting your dream oasis, especially in Los Angeles often comes down to two things:
- Being the first one to apply.
- Having a good credit score.
Keeping your previous landlord’s info, employer’s reference and bank statements handy will also help you speed up the process.
What is Rent Control for apartments in Los Angeles like?
Rent Control essentially keeps a check on how much your rent is raised every year. Everyone calls it Rent Control, but the concept in itself is referred to as rent stabilization.
This basically means two things – one, over the longer term, tenants in rent-controlled units end up paying less, and two, these units come with protection measures for tenants who are evicted unfairly.
There is rent control in other cities of LA County as well. However, the measures might differ. Here’s where you can find more information on rent control in LA.
That’s all, folks! Happy hunting!
D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers find the right apartment to rent in Los Angeles? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!