Home to the oldest and most dominant film industry globally, Hollywood, Los Angeles is a city many people dream to live in. If anything, there’s just one critical concern: the cost of living. That said, you should know that one of the best things about finding a rental property in LA is the range of rental prices it has to offer. Although neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Santa Monica tell us that it is an expensive city to live in, there are communities in Northeast and South Central LA that offer more affordable rental rooms. So, while thinking about the perfect area to live in the city, consider these 11 tips that tell you the steps that are essential to finding a cheap rental property in LA:
1. Have a budget in place
Renting a house or a room in any city requires a considerable amount of money, and Los Angeles is no exception. After all, it’s not just the rent you need to fork over. You have utilities, groceries, food, and entertainment expenses. Also, you might have monthly student loan payments to take care of. So, it makes sense to set a budget to know how much money you have and how much you can spend.
Additionally, it’s easier to know the amount you should set aside for rent if you follow the 30 percent rule. The rule states that renters should spend up to 30 percent of their income (minus taxes) on rent. Be sure to consider both recurring and nonrecurring expenses when calculating your budget so that it leaves room for you to save for future investments and emergencies.
2. Make a list of your wants and needs
Alongside creating a budget for your rent and other expenses, make a list of your needs and wants for your ideal room for rent in Los Angeles. In a city as expensive as LA, you might just be tempted to rent a property that comes with a pool or a gym, or both. The question is: Can you afford it? Therefore, your needs will tell you what is crucial for comfortable living, like a well-maintained bathroom and a kitchen with basic appliances. On the other hand, your wants will be a reality check about the amenities you desire but won’t determine the quality of your living.
In the end, remember that your needs will help you save enough money so that down the line, you can incorporate the ‘wants’ into your future home.
3. Research the local rental market and competition
Do some digging to determine the rental prices in and around the neighborhood or areas close by. While exploring the community and surrounding areas, see if you can strike up a conversation with some residents to find out about available rental properties and rents. If you happen to pass by any real estate offices in the area, seek information from them too.
The research into the local rental market and the competition level will give you the upper hand, especially if the area is prone to frequent vacancies. You can use this to your advantage to ask your landlord to lower the rent to a figure you’re both comfortable with. For landlords who’ve losing steady income due to vacant units, they will agree without much fuss and rent you the room of your choice at a much lower price!
4. Use rental apps and portals
Online tools make manual tasks easier and faster, and the same is the case with rental apps and portals, which are in abundance today.
Browse through rental portals or download apps and keep checking for rental listings regularly. Many apps have advanced features such as saving listings you’ve chosen or keeping an eye on their status, so make the most of it. It’ll save you time and effort.
Moreover, remember to activate the ‘notifications’ feature so that you’re informed of a listing the minute it’s put up on the app or site. In a competitive rental market, you can never be too early to apply for a house for rent in LA.
Finally, since we’re talking about rental apps and websites, be sure to explore Cirtru, the most reliable rental platform in the United States! Follow three easy steps while adding your lifestyle preferences concerning rental prices, pets, roommates, and the like, and you should find the perfect property rental in LA in no time!
5. Rent a property at the right time
Before you start your rental search in LA, consider the urgency of the situation. In other words, ask yourself whether you need to rent right away or can you wait for summer to run its course. Wondering why? The reason’s simple. The rental market’s far less competitive in the winter months because people are reluctant to move due to the cold weather. In a situation of less demand and more supply, landlords would be more than willing to negotiate with you and rent you a room at a win-win price.
To sum up, begin your rental search in December or January, and you’ll be happy you found a rental property in LA at a price you least expected!
6. Check for deals
If you’ve found a rental you like and are considering making it your home for a while, check with your landlord whether you can sign a long-term lease. That way, you can negotiate a lower rent with them for a longer lease. Seems like a sweet deal, doesn’t it?
7. Find a roommate
One of the easiest ways to reduce your rent and utilities is to find a roommate to share them with. The added benefit is not having to live alone and being able to reach out to someone should a situation arise.
At the same time, you must find a roommate you can get along with without driving each other up the wall. Connect with friends, extended family members, and acquaintances to dip into a wider network of potential roommates. Ask them if they can introduce you to people who might be looking for a roommate in LA. Although people believe that living with those known to you is a safer bet, it doesn’t always turn out that way. To make sure you have a comfortable living situation, ensure that you meet whoever you shortlist and ask them some basic questions to know them better. Discuss expectations, along with other responsibilities such as payment of rent and utilities, household chores, boundaries, and the like.
In the end, it’s advisable to make the discussion points part of a roommate agreement, clearly highlighting the payments and duties for each person to leave no room for confusion or misunderstanding. Both of you can sign it to seal the deal.
8. Be willing to pay more in advance for lower rent
Besides offering to sign a longer lease, there’s another way you can get your landlord to reduce your rent. Let them know that you’re willing to pay a couple of months’ rent beforehand. You could even pay a hefty security deposit. Wherever more money’s concerned, those in business, landlords, included, will find it difficult to refuse the offer. So, you won’t find it challenging to request them to lower the rent to a figure that works for both of you.
9. Offer to help out your landlord
Show your willingness to your landlord to help them out with some chores on the rental property as a quid pro quo for a lower rent. This is, of course, if your professional and personal commitments allow you to spare some time for tasks such as fixing stuff if you’re good at it. You could also volunteer to clean the area around the property or even dispose of the garbage for the entire property.
10. Share excellent references
Apart from the credit report, rental history, and income and employment history, landlords also require you to share reference letters from previous landlords, so make sure you share credible and perfect references. If you’ve been a great tenant throughout, it shouldn’t be difficult to request reference letters from them that highlight what a well-behaved tenant you’ve been, besides making timely rental payments.
In conclusion, use your communication skills to show your potential landlord that it’ll be their loss if they don’t take you on as a tenant.
11. Be careful when sharing information
You can never be too careful today as the world’s full of scammers and fraudsters lurking around the corner, waiting to dupe you for your money and personal information.
Therefore, when people posing as landlords or property managers request your social security number or ask you to wire money even before you’ve stepped foot on the property, you know you’re being taken for a ride. To be on the safe side, see if you can find anything questionable about your landlord before forking over money or signing a lease.
So, do you think you have enough information to start room-hunting in LA? Our fingers are crossed! If you carefully read the information here and follow the steps, you’re on your way to finding an ideal and most importantly, a rental room in LA per your budget! In the end, whatever you do, remember to be vigilant about what you share with who, to avoid any unexpected problems in the future.