The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of daily life, including the process of finding housing. Los Angeles, one of the largest and most populous cities in the United States, has been particularly affected by the pandemic.
Packing, apartment-hunting, and moving is stressful normally. So trying to find housing or moving during the pandemic can seem overwhelming and almost impossible. Although thankfully, I have some good news, it is not as hard as you might think to find housing in LA during quarantine.
With lockdowns and restrictions in place, finding housing in Los Angeles during quarantine can be a daunting task. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the steps you can take to find housing in Los Angeles during quarantine.
Your apartment hunt in LA can start from the comfort of your own home. Begin your search online with sites like Apartments.com, Facebook, Zillow and more. Searching for an apartment on a legitimate listing site like Apartments.com is not only safer during quarantine but easier since you can easily compare rental listings at the same time.
You can also use social media sites like Facebook to jump start your search. Not only will people post listings for housing in Los Angeles on Facebook or in specific Facebook groups, but you can also find roommates through these social channels that have similar interests or career paths.
Ask for a virtual tour of the rental places you’d like to see! Most rental properties have a virtual tour available, particularly since everyone is practicing social distancing. Virtual tours may vary though. Some sites have 3D virtual tours that allow you to explore properties room by room.
Others will have a property manager or real estate agent available to do a walk-through Zoom or FaceTime. Then some are pre-recorded video tours of the apartment and amenities you can request to be emailed to you. Either way, most property management companies will allow you to view the property before signing on the dotted line.
It can be lonely living alone, especially during quarantine, when the usual entertainment options are off the table. Loneliness has been on the rise during the pandemic. Sharing your space with a roommate or friend can help combat this popular problem. Consider living with roommates and opt for co-living.
This will not only help you save money (something more important than ever with many people experiencing reduced income or unemployment) but will also help you feel less isolated during quarantine. You can have a small community to quarantine with through co-living options.
Researching neighborhoods is the first step in finding housing in Los Angeles. Consider factors such as proximity to work or school, transportation options, and amenities like grocery stores and restaurants.
Once you have identified your preferred neighborhoods, determine your budget and rental requirements. This includes the maximum rent you are willing to pay, the size of the property you need, and any specific features or amenities you require.
Deciding on the type of housing you want is another important consideration. You can choose from apartments, houses, or shared living spaces, depending on your budget and lifestyle.
Virtual tours have become increasingly popular during the pandemic, allowing you to view properties from the comfort of your own home. Many property managers and landlords now offer virtual tours, which can be accessed online or through video conferencing platforms.
You can also search for housing online, using popular rental websites and apps like Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist.
When contacting landlords and property managers, it is important to use the best means of communication during quarantine. Email, phone calls, and video conferencing are all viable options. Be sure to ask questions about the property and the rental agreement, including the terms of the lease, any fees or deposits required, and the move-in process.
You should also inquire about any COVID-19-related policies or procedures that are in place, such as cleaning protocols or restrictions on visitors.
Before moving into your new home, it is important to understand the lease agreement and what it entails. You should also conduct a thorough move-in inspection to ensure that the property is in good condition and to document any existing damage or issues.
Finally, make sure to prepare for the move itself by packing in advance and arranging for any necessary services, such as movers or storage facilities.
Regardless of why you’re moving — stay-at-home orders, finances, or a need for more space — the earlier you start your apartment search, the less stressful it will be. If possible, give yourself a couple months to search for housing in Los Angeles. This gives you time to look for the best places on the rental market.
If you need to give yourself more time to search for the perfect place, you could even ask your landlord for a short-term extension. Some landlords are more willing than ever to do short-term extensions on leases, as they don’t want to lose regular tenant income during these times.
One of the simplest ways to search for housing in Los Angeles is also incredibly easy: simply drive or walk around the neighborhood. Taking a socially distanced walk will give you a pandemic-proof way to exercise and get fresh air while familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood and its available perks: nearby public transit, businesses, parks, and more.
Driving around the neighborhood is also a safe way to scope out potential apartments.
Living in Los Angeles during quarantine requires following social distancing guidelines and taking appropriate safety precautions. Fortunately, there are still many things to do and see in the city while adhering to these guidelines.
Popular outdoor activities include hiking, cycling, and visiting parks and beaches. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the city's transportation options and any changes or restrictions in place due to the pandemic.
If traditional housing options are not feasible for you, there are alternative options available. Short-term and month-to-month rentals can offer flexibility and affordability, while co-living and shared living spaces can provide a sense of community and socialization.
Subletting and subleasing are also viable options, although it is important to ensure that these arrangements are legal and in compliance with local regulations.
There are many resources and support groups available to assist with finding housing in Los Angeles during quarantine. Housing assistance programs can provide financial support and other resources for those in need, while legal resources and tenant rights organizations can offer guidance and support on legal matters.
Online communities and support groups can also provide valuable information and advice.
Finding housing in Los Angeles during quarantine can be a challenging and overwhelming process. However, by following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can make the process smoother and more manageable.
Remember to research neighborhoods, determine your budget and rental requirements, and decide on the type of housing you want. Utilize virtual tours and online searches to view properties, and contact landlords and property managers using safe communication methods.
Be prepared for the move-in process by understanding the lease agreement, conducting a thorough move-in inspection, and packing in advance. Finally, make sure to stay safe and adhere to social distancing guidelines while enjoying all that Los Angeles has to offer.
Can I still move during the pandemic?
Yes, moving is considered an essential activity and is permitted during the pandemic. However, it is important to take appropriate safety precautions and follow social distancing guidelines.
What should I do if I can't afford rent due to COVID-19?
There are several resources available to assist those who are unable to afford rent due to COVID-19. Contact your local housing authority or non-profit organizations for assistance.
How do I know if a property is safe to visit during the pandemic?
Ask landlords and property managers about any COVID-19-related policies or procedures that are in place, such as cleaning protocols or restrictions on visitors. You can also conduct virtual tours or arrange for safe in-person viewings while following social distancing guidelines.
What are my rights as a tenant during the pandemic?
Tenants have the right to safe and habitable living conditions, as well as protections against eviction and rent increases in certain circumstances. Familiarize yourself with local tenant rights and legal resources for more information.