Apartment hunting can be easy breezy if you’ve got an open mind and access to Craigslist, but that strategy might not yield the best outcome. While searching for your next love shack, there are many things to consider other than the obvious factors such as distance from campus, size and rent. It is a good idea to talk to the landlord before signing the lease to make clear a few important details.
Costs: Another than the monthly rent, there are many things that may increase the cost of living in the apartment. You should ask the landlord about utilities (water, electricity, trash, etc.), parking and furnishings. Additional fees may be charged at the end of the lease if the apartment is excessively dirty or if furniture is damaged, so make sure that these possibilities are addressed with the landlord before you sign a lease.
Noise: There are quite a few apartments that host, or at least are near, a lot of parties. You should consider whether you want a quiet place to study and sleep or like the fact that a great party could be only a few steps away. Knock on the door of a potential future neighbor and ask them for the lowdown on the building.
Roommates: Obviously, you and your roommates should get along and have compatible lifestyles, but there’s more to consider when it comes to apartments. You should have a trustworthy, reliable roommate who will ensure rent is paid on time, dishes are washed regularly and the apartment is cleaned every now and then.
Policies: Make sure to ask the landlord about policies regarding noise, pets, smoking, etc. You would not want to get fined for minor issues such as these so it’s best to know the landlord’s rules about them before you sign a lease.
- UCLA Community Housing – This site contains several links that will help you find available Westwood apartments, sublets and potential roommates.
- BruinWalk – Click on the “Apartments” tab at the top of the page and type in any address to find out the reputation of your potential home sweet home from your fellow students.
- Bruin Living – This site contains public posts from people offering or requesting roommates, so if you’re in desparate need of a fourth roommate you may be able to find one here.
- UCLA Uloop – Like Bruin Living, this site also contains a list of people offering or searching for housing.
Have any other tips? Comment below or tweet us @dbmojo.