10 Tips for Finding a Los Angeles Home Rental

Are you looking for a Los Angeles home rental?   If you have been following the Los Angeles real estate market then you will know that sales inventory is low.  It is the same for Los Angeles rentals also.

Leasing a home in Los Angeles

Here are some tips for finding a Los Angeles home rental in this competitive market:

  1. If you are looking for a rental under $3,000 use apartments.com. That site is part of a syndication that will show all of the homes listed by Realtors® plus those listed privately. Or drive around and watch for “For Lease” signs.  You will get the most choice this way. Beware of scams, especially on sites like Craigslist. If it sounds too good to be true then you can be sure it is.
  2. Over $3,000 it will probably pay to use the services of a Los Angeles Realtor®.  This will save you a lot of time and the frustration of trying to coordinate numerous showings.  You will also be updated of new listings immediately they come on the market, and hopefully be able to beat the crowd.
  3. Get all your ducks in a row.  In order to make an offer on a rental you will need all or some of the following:
    1. Run a full credit report on all three bureaus (freecreditreport.com and annualcreditreport.com are good ones to use. You are also entitled to one free credit report a year.
    2. If your credit is not good then you may need to find a guarantor or cosigner for the lease.  The other option, if you can afford it, is to offer to pay several months rent up front.
    3. Fill out an application which your Realtor® will provide you.  Have all the necessary information at hand such as:  work information and references, residence history and references, personal contacts and references.
    4. Some landlords require that both tenants fill out the application.  Be prepared.
    5. You may need to show proof of funds. Generally a landlord will want to see that you can cover at least one year’s rental payments.
    6. Many, if not most landlords require two months’ security to paid, together with the first month’s rent.  So you will need to have the funds to pay 3 months up front.
    7. You may be asked to get probably be asked to get Tenants’ Insurance which covers damage to the property. This will be the case for the higher-riced leases. You should most definitely take out Renters’ Insurance which may also be required.
    8. If you are a non-resident of the U.S. it will be a little more difficult. You may have to pay one year up front or find a guarantor for the lease.

Having a pet, especially a larger dog or multiple pets, will limit your options, especially in larger condominium buildings which have a pet policy. In this case you may want to be a little flexible in your requirements. Something may have to give:  the hardwood floors, inside laundry, view, etc.

Be ready to view the property and make the offer.  If you have an interest I guarantee you many others will too. This is definitely a case of the early bird…..

You may want to add an incentive to your offer. Maybe sign a two year lease if you feel you will be there for a while. Of course you would have to negotiate the lease rate for the second year, or you can request a second year option to be exercised before the expiry of the first year’s term.

Like buying a home, you may receive a counter on your offer.  This is a good thing.  It means you are being considered.  So don’t be offended, and if it is something you can work with it might be worth accepting.

Above all, don’t be discouraged.  You might consider looking for a Los Angeles home rental early.  If you find something you may have to pay a couple of extra weeks before you move, but it will be better than finding yourself without a place when you are ready to move.

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