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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Los Angeles can be a tough city to find a good rental. And often when you do find that perfect rental, there are a ton of other applicants who want it just as bad. That is why it is so important to really impress the landlord upfront by submitting a complete application. You need to stand out of the crowd and make sure you get that perfect rental.
How exactly do you do this?
Keep reading for tips on how to increase your chances in getting your dream place:
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Everyone is trying to find that perfect rental. You know, that cute secluded bungalow with a yard and parking and laundry and loads of charm. You search and search for it but all that comes up are these boring white boxes with no character and no outdoor space. You think you have a good price range, but yet you can’t find a decent rental! We hear this from renters all the time. Every renter wants a charming apartment with a yard, a parking space and a garbage disposal at an affordable rate. But these perfect rentals are hard to come by.
When this perfect home and rent cannot be found, depression sinks in and the renter starts feeling hopeless . . . and angry. All this sadness and anger have me wondering: why isn’t anyone helping these people? That is when I decided to write this post. Let me explain it to you all.
“There is more to life than where you live.” -The Rental Girl
When you have searched for weeks, toured hundreds of homes, viewed thousand of online ads, and are still homeless – don’t panic. It is not the end of the world. You do not have a home, but you still have a life. And you sure as heck have a cell phone. So call a friend. Take a bike ride down the Los Angeles River. Head up Vermont Avenue and hike for a couple hours up to Dante’s Peak in Griffith Park. Grab a blanket and have lunch up in Elysian Park. Read a book at the Japanese Gardens behind the Grace E. Simons Lodge. Watch the sun setting over Hollywood at the Barnsdall Art Park. Sit at a cafe on Sunset and people watch. Pick up some beer and burgers and BBQ at your friends house. Catch a movie at the Vista. Spend the day at the beach. Go whale watching in San Pedro. Take the Metro to Olvera Street. When I started this paragraph you thought I was joking. But I am serious! Get out and enjoy Los Angeles. Period.
Now that you are under control, let’s get back to business. Here are the most important things you need to look for when choosing your future affordable home: Read the rest of this entry »