When you have just been accepted at any of the fantastic universities across Los Angeles, we can only imagine how elated you must feel. And considering LA is a major cultural hub of the United States, we completely understand why everyone would choose this city. However, the challenge of finding suitable accommodation as a student can be very stressful. And with students from all over the world landing in LA, it makes finding the right housing even harder. To help you on this journey, we have put together a guide on how to find accommodation when you want to study in LA.

What Does Your Budget Allow?

First things first! Your finances will determine where you will stay. And if you are lucky enough to have been awarded some form of housing aid, you could have some leeway in your options.

But here is what you should do when you need to budget. Look at how much you want to spend per month on rent. Then, you must consider where you want to live, the proximity to your university and public transport, and any desired amenities such as parks, malls, etc. Assess your finances and set a realistic and manageable budget that includes your rent, living expenses, transport, entertainment, etc. Remember, unlike in the UK, in the USA, you have to add tax to the amount on the price label — so be sure to budget accordingly.

The important thing is that you are in a safe neighbourhood within close distance of the place you are studying. The secondary consideration, which is vital for your cultural exposure, is your financial capacity to move around the city and experience new things.

Research Neighbourhoods

Los Angeles is a massive city, so there are plenty of neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods for students — like Koreatown — offer many popular residential buildings for leasing, such as the Gemma Apartments or The Harper. Tools like Renty AI, an AI leasing agent, help reduce the stress of finding a property to lease. When you need to research the area you want to live in, Renty AI assists by providing you only with properties based on your preferences, thereby eliminating hours of searching. We know life as a student is already overwhelming, and these helpful AI tools can help reduce the stress of international housing admin.

When you are researching LA neighbourhoods, you should create a list of preferences. For example, do you want to live in a trendy area? Is it necessary that you live near a park? Do you require easy access to transport hubs? When looking into student housing off campus, these are the questions you should ask yourself, but you can also ask local residents to truly learn if your choice of the neighbourhood works for you.

How To Find Accommodation in LA

How To Find Accommodation in LA

Reach Out to Student Housing Services

If you need assistance finding accommodation, speaking to your university’s student housing services is a great place to start. While they might not necessarily offer you a place on campus, they can point you in the right direction. The housing officer at your university can more than likely provide the information you need while simultaneously offering you insights into off-campus housing listings, roommate matching services, and overall guidance on navigating this foreign market.

Consider Shared Accommodation

Co-living is one of the most in-demand lifestyles in the modern age. Students, young professionals, and just about anyone looking to save in their youth are making use of this trend. This has several benefits, including shared responsibilities, splitting rental costs, and building a community of friends — which is often a challenge for international students. Find groups on social media that can connect you with other students looking to house share.

Attend Housing Fairs

Another way to find suitable accommodation is to attend housing fairs. Your university or local organisations often host these events to aid students in their pursuit of a suitable place to stay. This opportunity allows you to interact with landlords, property managers, and fellow students seeking accommodation. These events are an excellent time to gain valuable real estate knowledge, so prepare your criteria in advance and ask as many questions as possible.

Review Your Lease Carefully

Once your property search is complete and you have found your dream location, you must thoroughly examine your lease. Read the terms and conditions carefully and flag anything you are unsure about. Pay close attention to clauses that speak to the rent, security deposit, maintenance responsibilities, and utilities. If you have the means, it can help to get some legal advice, too, so you don’t get tangled into something you don’t want later.

How To Find Accommodation in LA

How To Find Accommodation in LA

Conduct a Property Inspection

Before you finalise your new home, you should inspect the property first. Schedule some time with your landlord to conduct a proper walk-through. Make sure to point out anything you are unhappy with (like broken cupboard doors or a leaky tap) or if something differs from what you and your landlord agreed upon (which bedroom and amenities you will get). Examine the facilities and evaluate the overall security as well, and make sure you feel safe and comfortable in this new environment. Remember to document everything you and the landlord discussed and ensure it is worked into the lease agreement.

Plan for Alternatives

Anything can happen from when you sign your lease and move in. So, ensure you have a few backups lined up, just in case. And given that LA’s rental market is competitive, you might need a backup or two, so try to stay flexible and open-minded where possible.

Conclusion

Finding your student home doesn’t have to be difficult. Remember, before looking for apartments to rent in LA, consider your budget — ask yourself how much you can spend on rent and evaluate your monthly expenses. Do the relevant research about which neighbourhood suits your needs best. Look into co-living, as this has proved effective in finding a suitable place to stay while sharing responsibilities with others. Attend housing fairs and events to engage with property managers and students seeking accommodation.

And there you have it! A game plan for finding student accommodation in LA — happy house hunting!