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How to rent apartments in LA

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The LA Times business section has a nice little basic primer on one of LA's favorite pastimes, finding an apartment in Los Angeles. It includes one of the best and overlooked tips ever:

You'll want to find a place where you feel safe and at ease. [Mark] Verge [owner of Westside Rentals] recommends driving by a potential apartment multiple times -- on different days, at different hours -- to scope out the neighborhood. "That is one thing that drives me crazy; these kids only look at these places during the day," he said.

"No matter what you rent -- I don't care what it looks like during the day -- go with your parents at night."

The drive-by approach can also clue you in to potential traffic and parking problems. Is the apartment close to shopping? The freeway? Public transportation? These are things to check out before you sign a lease.

Thank you Mr. Verge! We can't tell you how many times we hear people complain after they move in about the terrible parking situation at night. If you're going to invest hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars a month, you might want to do a little more field research.

photo by Omar Omar via Flickr