SEE UPDATED BLOG POST HERE. Finding a rental in LA is not easy. We hope this page helps. Eileen typically works with rentals over $4,500 per month. For lower price ranges, owners usually don’t hire Realtors to help. Your best bet is to use your own diligence in searching for a rental, and contact the owner or property manager directly. You may need to drive the areas you like and look for signs. We are happy to provide you with some tips and resources to assist you in your search. Remember LA is HUGE, so it is best to narrow down your search to individual neighborhoods.
Things to Consider
- Your Budget- What’s your price range?
- Deposit- You may be asked for a deposit plus first month’s rent and possibly last month’s rent. Landlords can only ask for 2 months security is unit is unfurnished.
- You should generally not spend more than 30 percent of your take home salary on rent. This, of course can vary based on your needs and circumstances.
- Commute- How far is your commute to work?
- Safety- The L.A. Times has a crime mapping tool that breaks down crime occurrences neighborhood by neighborhood so you can see exactly what you might be moving into.
- Schools – Search LA Schools
The Rental Application
Pretty much every rental application will ask you for some basic information including:
- Your full [legal] name
- Social security number
- Contact information (usually current address, phone number, and e-mail)
- A driver’s license number
- Former addresses of places you’ve lived.
- Proof of Employment, showing that you are financially secure and can pay the rent.
Common proofs of employment include:
- Pay stubs
- An offer letter
- W-2 form
- A workplace contact like a supervisor, boss, or HR at your place of employment.
- Credit History- including information on the credit accounts you have or have had in the past, any loans, and/or debts you have accumulated.
- Credit Score- Your Credit Score can separate you from your competition, so keep it above 700.
- Background Check/Criminal History- If a background check is required, then you will have to authorize the landlord to do so.
- Rental History
- Contact information on past landlords
- Letter of references from employers, professors, or anyone who can help attest to your responsibility.
An apartment can usually be leased for a term of one year or less. By signing a long-term lease, both you and the landlord are agreeing to your long-term occupancy.
Things to remember about a lease:
- It is a legally binding document
- Your landlord is required to give you a copy of the rental agreement.
- When you sign a lease, you agree to keep the home clean and in good shape.
- More info from the city