It is important to know some of your rights as a tenant. It is always best to have a written lease so all the terms are understood by both parties. California protects its renters through a series of laws and it is important to know the basics so your rights are protected. For example, you may be entitled to interest on your security deposit and you may also be entitled to withhold rent if repairs aren't made in a timely manner. Always try to read and understand every aspect of the lease because later misunderstandings can be costly.
Los Angeles's beautiful beach side location and top attractions draw people from all over the world. However, living in Los Angeles can be complicated by its large size and that it is a city that has cities within cities. In the city of Los Angeles, the median cost for apartment rentals is $883 per month. You can pay less in some areas such as the San Fernando Valley, but expect to pay even more for apartments in other upscale communities. A good one-bedroom on the west side of Los Angeles can go for $1200 per month or more. Prices of real estate are high in California in general, but some of this cost can be abated by looking at the different neighborhoods of Los Angeles. To get a better understanding of the neighborhoods and get a concept of how difficult it will be to move around the city get a Thomas Guide. The Thomas Guide is the definitive guide to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, with extremely detailed maps of everything in the area.
In general, there is a basic principle that west of Fairfax (a major street which runs north/south) is good, while east of Fairfax is bad. There are a few exceptions: (1) the "bad" line is much further east when you are north of Beverly Boulevard (2) in Hollywood there is not a strict eastern boundary on the "nice" area, and (3) "bad" does not mean dangerous, just less attractive.
For a very brief overview of some areas of LA with their pros and cons:
Beverly Hills- the ritziest neighborhood with the most famous address (90210) is mostly inhabited by real life movie stars and millionaires with most of the homes guarded by walls and security
Brentwood- This neighborhoods central location makes a bit expensive
Fairfax- Jewish Quarter and has historic "Kosher Canyon Farmer's Market"
Griffith Park- One of the biggest city parks of the nation, lies east toward the mountains and offers the Zoo and Griffith Observatory
Pasadena- This area is a bit warmer, but farther east out of town. The 1st highway in California was built here in 1940.
San Fernando Valley- Commonly called "the Valley", the area is actually made up of some smaller cities such as Burbank, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Reseda, Tarzana, Van Nuys, Northridge, Granada Hills, Thousand Oaks, and Woodland Hills. Most places are fairly pretty, very safe, and rent is cheaper then most other areas. The downside is that the temperatures can get much higher then closer to the beach and without transportation life in the Valley can be a bit slow.
Santa Monica- To be in this beautiful and touristy area you must pay higher prices
South Central- A diverse area originally filled by the black community, it is now 70% Latino
West Hollywood- Currently the hip/trendy/gay area, but prices remain reasonable
Westwood- UCLA's location within the district mean many college-age residents with decent housing and living costs
To get up-to-date info on what is happening in specific neighborhoods, LA neighborhood event guides offer a detailed event calendar.
Looking for cheap accommodation in Los Angeles isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.
The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.
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