While apartments located in unsafe neighborhoods may be relatively inexpensive, the safety of the neighborhood should be your primary concern when looking for an apartment. Westwood, and West LA in general, are safe areas but it is always good to be cautious.
Transportation and Proximity to Campus
If you do not plan to purchase a car, it is very important that the apartment have public transportation nearby. Please see the “Transportation” webpage for more information.
Utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water and trash may be included in the price of the apartment. If the utilities are not included in the rent it is a good idea to ask the landlord how much the utilities usually cost per month. It is typical that water and trash will be included in your rent but usually gas, electricity, television and internet typically will not be included.
Terms of the Lease
A lease is a contract granting use or occupation of a property. Be sure to read everything before you sign a lease! Typically leases are 12 months in length but this is sometimes negotiable with the landlord. When you sign a lease, you are agreeing that you are responsible for the rent payments for the ENTIRE lease term. If you are a UCLA student the Student Legal Services will review your lease with you BEFORE you sign. Also please see the Student Legal Services website for more information about roommate agreements, terminating your tenancy in an apartment, etc.
Most landlords will require a security deposit which usually runs the same as one month rent, although they do vary. If your rent is $900/month then it is likely your deposit will be an additional $900 in addition to your first month’s rent. Some landlords will allow you to break your deposit into payments (over 2 to 3 months) but you have to request it. Legally, you should receive your remaining deposit back within 21 days of leaving your apartment unless there is more damage to the apartment than basic wear and tear. Again, Student Legal Services is there to help you with any issues you have with landlords, security deposits, etc. so please contact them with any questions or to make an appointment.
Due to the high cost of living in Westwood, and LA in general, it is very common that students share rooms or at least have another roommate to share the cost of the apartment and utilities. Be selective when choosing your roommates since you will be living with them for a while – make sure you learn as much as you can about their lifestyle and habits (waking time, sleeping time, alcohol, smoking, cleanliness, party/study habits, etc.) and your adjustment to living with roommates will be a lot easier.
UCLA offers a range of student housing for both undergraduate and graduate students. These housing options include on-campus dormitories (primarily undergraduate students) and off-campus university apartments (primarily graduate students), all of which are usually furnished.
On-campus housing (residential halls) includes a meal plan option. UCLA housing also offers university apartments that are located throughout the surrounding Westwood apartment area and are in walking distance from the campus. Please see www.housing.ucla.edu for more information.
*If you are planning to arrive to UCLA before your scheduled move-in date and you are attending iSTART@UCLA and UCLA New Student Orientation, you are eligible to move into the residence halls early. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Graduate housing is generally located off-campus, either in Westwood or in the Palms area. Graduates who live off-campus are still eligible for on-campus dining at an extra cost. Please see https://housing.ucla.edu for more information on eligibility and rates.
*If you are planning to arrive to UCLA before your scheduled move-in date to attend iSTART@UCLA, you are eligible to change your lease start date. Contact the UCLA Housing Office (310) 206-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org to change your move-in date.
There are many options for off-campus housing near campus. The UCLA International Student Ambassadors compiled this list of off-campus housing. You can reach out to one of our Ambassadors to get their personal experience with a housing company, but as the Dashew Center we cannot recommend any one company at this time.
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