The Rental Girl’s “Top 10 Tips” are a series of blog posts we have written to address common questions we receive from renters throughout our work week.
1. First and foremost, when to start looking: Start inquiring on rentals about a month and a half before you need to move
Don’t over do it. Many renters feel like they need months to find a rental. In L.A., the average vacancy is filled in less than a month. Tenants only need to give 30 days notice (per the average contract) to move out. If you are looking months in advance, there is no magic 8 ball that can look into the future and possibly know all the vacancies that will be available by the time you are ready to move. Furthermore, millions of people move each year. L.A. is a busy rental market. Vacancy rate is less than 5%. Rentals move quickly. If it’s taken you over a month to locate a property, you may need to broaden your criteria: area, price range and/or amenities. We have written more about when to start looking for a rental here.
2. Second of all, narrow down your search. Pick an area, a neighborhood. And while you’re at it, narrow down your budget and amenity must haves
This is especially true if you are moving here from out of town (and if that is the case, make sure you read our post specifically for out-of-towners). You also need to know what your budget is and what amenities you absolutely have to have and which ones you can live without. Read our post about Choosing a Rental here for more info.
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I was walking my dog around our Los Feliz neighborhood last night passing one tiny bungalow after another, I started thinking about how this neighborhood was developed. The developers/city planners sure did a good job packing one home in after another, accommodating the herds of people moving to Los Angeles in the 1900′s – seeking fame and Southern California Sunlight. They were probably more concerned about where these people would sleep than where they would play. It is true, land is hard to come by in this town. It is hard enough to find a decent apartment/home – and what of an apartment/home with a yard? A difficult feat. So as I am walking my dog down a Los Feliz Village street I am thinking about how many renters I meet looking for “some kind of outdoor space” and how little space there is in this town to go around – there is truly not enough space for us all – and that is when I spotted a group of guys playing a make shift ball game in the Enterprise parking lot. It was after hours, the agency was closed, the rental cars had all be rented for the day and the lot was empty. Flat, empty space, well lit outdoor area – “hmm,” I think to myself “these guys are on to something.” Read the rest of this entry »