Where to look for an apartment in Los Angeles.
June 24, 2011 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Need to find an apartment in Los Angeles. Fast. What is a good way to go about this other than westsiderentals.com and craigslist?
posted by Charlie Lesoine to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pick your neighborhood, drive or walk around, call the numbers on the "vacancy" signs. In every neighborhood I am familiar with, buildings with vacancies display that pretty prominently, and on my street about a third of the buildings have signs up.

If you're not already in town, I don't know that there are any alternatives to those two websites however.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:08 PM on June 24, 2011


After seeing a lot of duds on Craigslist, I found my current place when I was just driving by and saw a APARTMENT FOR RENT sign.
posted by dhammond at 3:14 PM on June 24, 2011


While padmapper is essentially a search tool for craigslist, it does access some additional sources and makes the whole process a lot more elegant. It's how I located my current digs.
posted by qbject at 3:26 PM on June 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


As others have said, on foot is literally your best bet here. Assuming you can. There are tons of places but you have to scout them out.
posted by mykescipark at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2011


I just took a look for my block (less trendy part of Los Feliz) on Craigslist, and I'd say about one in five of the apartments advertised on the street are also on there. My own block has a studio and a two bedroom open, and the studio is on (huge waste of money) Westside Rentals but neither is on Craigslist at all. You would have so many options walking and calling here that you just wouldn't if you went off the websites. Of course, your neighborhood may vary.
posted by crabintheocean at 3:54 PM on June 24, 2011


There's also The Rental Girl. I found my loft by looking though the commercial section of CL.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:26 PM on June 24, 2011


Watch out for The Rental Girl(s). I haven't used their services, but I checked out their site after seeing a sign in my neighborhood (Westlake/MacArthur Park, not the best neighborhood, but adjacent to some hip/trendy places). Their ads and overall aesthetic are super hip and make it seem like all of their rentals are the same way. The apartment for rent in my hood definitely does not come across in person the way they make it seem in the ad.

You'll notice, of course, how I noticed the sign walking around my hood, so I'll go ahead and echo everyone above who recommended picking a neighborhood or area and spending an afternoon trawling it for yard signs. Other than that, my only rec is to check out the google maps overlay for real estate. You have to change some settings right off the bat (to make it not show real estate for sale, etc.), but it basically scrapes the most well-known ad sites and consolidates the results onto the map. Very useful!
posted by carsonb at 5:00 PM on June 24, 2011


Hotigloos.com

Disclaimer: it is run by a friend.
posted by dfriedman at 5:06 PM on June 24, 2011


Watch out for The Rental Girl(s). I haven't used their services, but I checked out their site after seeing a sign in my neighborhood (Westlake/MacArthur Park, not the best neighborhood, but adjacent to some hip/trendy places). Their ads and overall aesthetic are super hip and make it seem like all of their rentals are the same way. The apartment for rent in my hood definitely does not come across in person the way they make it seem in the ad.

I found my place in Silver Lake through them. It was as nice as it seemed in the ad, if not nicer. I suppose they are a little better at arty photography than the average CL schlub, but there was absolutely nothing dishonest or scammy about how it was portrayed.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:27 PM on June 24, 2011


I am definitely not going to sing westsiderental's praise. HOWEVER...

When I moved to LA, I used another less expensive service. It was supposed to be LIKE westsiderental, but less expensive. It turns out, they were just stealing WSR's listings and reposting them on their own site. I had to dispute the charges through my bank to get my money back. When I broke down, called westsiderentals, and told them my story, they credited me $10. That was nice of them (though I still think it's underhanded to charge for apartment listings when in other cities they're free).

I've tried going the non-WSR and non-Craigslist route to save the $60 of Westside Rentals. Even Craigslist is a crapshoot. Unfortunately, if you're looking for an apartment in LA fast that doesn't suck, the standard is West Side Rentals. Many, many landlords still list their listings with them. I don't like it, but after a week of searching through other methods you'll likely come to the same conclusion. And if you need an apartment FAST, you don't really have the luxury of driving around looking for 'For Rent' signs.

Also, your price range will be a huge determining factor. If you're looking to spend $1000 per month for a studio near downtown, you'll have plenty of choices. If you're looking for a 1 bedroom in Santa Monica for $1000, forget about it.

Of course, there are some management companies that have their own listings. You could contact them, however you didn't mention which part of town you're planning to look.
posted by rybreadmed at 10:03 PM on June 25, 2011


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