There are a variety of apartments available for rent in Santa Monica and surrounding neighborhoods. Free lists may be found in local newspapers, on the internet, or at the IECC. Please note that Santa Monica College provides general information regarding accommodations that have been successful for international students for your convenience only. The College makes no representation as to the condition or suitability of any of the listed resources, nor does it assume responsibility for their condition or reliability, or for any agreements you enter into with them. SMC is under no obligation to provide organizations or businesses space on our webpages.
Useful Tips to Keep in Mind When Selecting Your Accommodations
What to expect
When renting an apartment, be prepared to fill out a background check, which usually requires bank account information, previous addresses, and personal and professional references. Often, landlords will also request a Social Security Number to check on your financial history. If you do not have a Social Security Number, please visit the IECC and you will be given a letter for your landlord stating that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card unless you work as Student Help at SMC. It is normal for a landlord to require first and last month's rent, and a damage deposit. Utilities (water, gas, electricity) may or may not be included in the rental amount. This information will be contained in your lease; this is a legally binding agreement, so make sure to read it carefully before signing.
Landlords are looking for responsible, financially secure tenants; they usually prefer to have local references. It is best to be prepared, so before looking for an apartment to rent or lease be sure to download a copy of your financial statement from your on-line application. As explained above, the International Education Counseling Center will also be happy to provide you with a verification letter that many landlords will accept in lieu of local references.
When you find the apartment of your choice, make sure you receive a lease agreement. All rental agreements or leases should be in writing. Read it thoroughly and make sure you understand it completely. If there is any language you do not understand, ask a reliable person to explain it to you. If your landlord does not give you a copy, it is important to request one; your lease is the only evidence of your legal tenancy and is designed to protect both parties' rights.
At a minimum, a lease or rental agreement should include the following:
required damage deposit
length of occupancy
Some questions you may want to ask include:
what is the amount of rent
what is included in the rent (i.e., gas, electric, water, parking, laundry, etc.)
how many people may occupy the apartment
when and how must rent be paid each month
if roommates share the apartment, who is responsible if one should leave
under what conditions is the damage deposit refundable
what is the length of occupancy
what is the landlord's right-of-entry
what is the sub-let policy
what is the guest policy
what are the rules concerning pets, conduct, and use of recreational facilities
If corrections or repairs are needed before you move in, make the rental agreement contingent upon these corrections and agree upon a completion date. This agreement should be in writing, dated and signed by both parties.
It is always good to pay rent and other payments by check, not cash. Write the purpose on the face of the check (example: "April rent for Apt. #1, 123 Elm Street"). If you must pay in cash, get a signed and dated receipt from the landlord.
For information on leases, please visit: Leases
Leasing versus Month-to-Month Renting
Most apartments are rented under either a lease agreement or a month-to-month rental agreement. A lease agreement is usually for a one-year term. Remember that you will be responsible for the rent for the entire lease period, even if you wish to move out. Before you sign a lease agreement, make sure that you are completely satisfied with the accommodations, and that you like the landlord.
Some landlords allow month-to-month rental agreements. This type of arrangement allows you and the landlord to have more flexibility. The negative side of this arrangement is that the landlord may decide not to renew your rental agreement, and you will be forced to relocate at the end of one month.
For information on month to month rentals, please visit: Month to Month Rentals
Protect yourself from false accusations of damage by going through the apartment with the manager before you move in. Make a list of existing damages, paying attention to appliances, cracked plaster, draperies, carpets, lighting fixtures, etc. Ask the manager to sign this list and date it. Sign it yourself, and make copies for both to keep. Should you damage the premises, you are responsible for making repairs. You are expected to leave the premises in the same condition as when rented, reasonable wear-and-tear excepted.
If, for any reason, you need to leave before your lease expires, some landlords will allow you to sub-let to another tenant. You would most often do this if you want to travel during school breaks, but do not wish to lose the right to live in that apartment after returning. Sub-letting is only allowed with the landlord's permission, and some landlords do not permit it. Keep in mind, that even if you have permission to sub-let, you are responsible for the rent payment each month, whether or not you have collected it from the sub-tenant. Be very careful when you choose your sub-tenant and have him or her sign an agreement which states the amount of rent, the dates of occupancy, and a statement that all damages caused during your absence will be fixed. It is wise to get information about the sub-tenant's family, workplace, and any thing else that might be helpful in case you return to find that he or she has disappeared and left you with unexpected expenses.
Finding A Place
The following resources may be valuable in your apartment search:
433 Midvale Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310) 824-1737
Description: 433 Midvale offers student housing in Westwood, right next to UCLA and within an easy thirty to forty minutes by Big Blue Bus to SMC. The property includes fully furnished apartments that are leased individually per person and they will be happy to roommate match. Double or triple occupancies are available and the rent per person will vary accordingly.
Apartment & Homestay - Universal Student Housing (USH)
424 Kelton Avenue, #514
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310) 824-4908
Fax: (310) 824-2412
Description: Your family in the USA! Students share an apartment with one to five other students. USH offers airport pick-up, telephone and answering machines in each apartment, free incoming fax service, tour packages, and weekly grocery shopping trips. All rooms are fully furnished; the building offers controlled access, a pool, laundry facilities, and is located near a bus stop.
Come home to the premier Playa Vista luxury apartments and townhomes near Marina Del Rey where we offer upscale modern living in a relaxed urban setting. Living here puts you in the heart of Silicon Beach, within blocks of the finest shopping, dining, and entertainment. Our one, two, and three bedroom floor plans are some of the most sought after apartments in all of Los Angeles. Enjoy chef-inspired kitchens, high-end wood style flooring, granite countertops, and spa-inspired baths. Come home to lavish luxury today!
AO Santa Monica
2200 Colorado Avenue | Santa Monica, CA 90404
o 310.586.0709 | f 310.586.7509 | L2.AO@greystar.com
AOSantaMonica.com Proudly managed by Greystar®
Description:Living at AO is about making a personal choice- a choice to live in a community of like-minded people who love Santa Monica, seek social encounters and try to live their lives aware of the environment around them, while also finding time to have fun and be active. AO is a residential community that gives you the freedom to walk a few blocks to the SMC campus, hop in a $5 Lyft, borrow a Zip Car from the ground level of our parking structure or valet your own car. We’re all about the access. We’re all about the ease. We are all about authenticity. AO has with hardwood floors though-out, hotel inspired bathrooms with beautiful lighting, and six open floor plans to choose from. You can focus on transitioning into Santa Monica College, let us manage your hassle free move in. We can even help you find the furniture you’ll need for your new apartment! Call us to schedule your tour today! (310) 586-0709 www.aosantamonica.com #LiveAO #LiveFun #SiliconBeachLA #AoisMe
In center of West L.A., unprecedented luxury awaits! Everything has been thought of in this beautiful apartment community that gives you the peace to work, while still offering exceptional access to the city, the beach, and the best shopping and nightlife Los Angeles has to offer. Enjoy a great walk score and a brief commute to school. Tuck yourself away to study in our beautiful clubhouse, or relax by the pool and soak in the hot tub after exams. You can even lose your gym membership bill and take advantage of our state of the art fitness center and dry sauna! All apartments feature wood and tile flooring and top of the line GE™ appliances, including a washer and dryer. Come look, love, and LEASE with us today! Ask about our low move-in specials for Fall/Winter!
The Gibson Santa Monica
1317 7th Street
Santa Monica, CA. 90401
The Gibson Santa Monica provides amenities and spaces which create the perfect spots to relax. Living The Gibson Life means loving your private new home while also enjoying the fresh sea breeze, warm sunny days and cool summer nights. Our residents sip on complimentary Starbucks Coffee and Tea throughout the day in our comforting lounge with a 60" TV and two desk top mac computers available for resident use. Close to the SMC campus, students that live with us have the ability to study close to the university and excel academically. The Gibson is settled in the heart of Santa Monica and is located just blocks from the beach, 3rd street promenade, countless restaurants, bars and the new Metro station. When not studying, enjoy the best that Santa Monica has to offer on one of our complementary beach cruisers. Built only two years ago, our property is ultra-high tech with Bluetooth speakers and USB ports in all our units. Limited availability. Call today to set up a tour!! Come discover life at The Gibson.
Harlow Culver City
9901 Washington Blvd, Culver City CA 90232
P: 310.845.9455 |
Life at Harlow Culver City is all about comfort, cool lifestyles and effortless connections to whatever you need. With a WALKSCORE of 96, you’ll have everything you need right at your doorstep! Walk across the street and take in beautiful Downtown Culver City’s shops, night life and entertainment, or hop on your bike and travel to the coast down the West Los Angeles bike path! The Metro Expo is also right around the corner and will take you from Santa Monica to mid-city L.A.! At Harlow Culver City, you’ll have life at your fingertips! Plus our brand-new apartments offer a modern appeal that embraces classic silver screen elegance. Never run out of things to do, whether you're taking in the view from our open-air terrace or satisfying a cuisine craving in a unique café; a home here offers endless opportunities for a life in motion. Are you ready for a vibrant, urban-inspired life in “The Heart of Screenland?” Join us at Harlow Culver City.
Home Away From Home
15th & Arizona
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: (310) 454-5048; (310) 359-3585
Long and Short Term Accommodations. Individual furnished one and two bedroom apartments with private kitchen, living room, bedroom & bath. North of Santa Monica Boulevard and 15th Street. Beach and SMC close. International students welcome!
Description: Students and faculty alike may find the perfect home in or around the Santa Monica area through this easy to use list of local properties.
Jefferson at Marina del Rey
3221 Carter Ave.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: (310) 822-8600
Jefferson at Marina del Rey apartments are nestled in an amazing location by the beautiful waters of Marina del Rey, with easy access to the Lincoln freeway and I-90, and within walking distance to great night life, the Marina Marketplace shopping center, and a choice of restaurants and theaters. Residents will feel right at home in our luxurious apartments. Enjoy a lagoon-inspired pool and spa, outdoor grilling areas, 24-hour fitness center, clubhouse, business center, and free Wi-Fi in public spaces. Inside, your home is spacious with a modern kitchen including all kitchen appliances, in home washer and dryer, walk in closets; ceiling fans, central heating and cooling. Come see these luxurious apartments for yourself by scheduling an appointment today. I-20 accepted.
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 237-5000
Description: NMS Apartments offers both luxury and affordable rentals of one month or more in the Santa Monica and West Los Angeles area. Each NMS apartment features the finest, modern finishes throughout and allows residents to take advantage of urban living at their doorstep, with popular shops and restaurants just a short walk away! NMS Apartments offers exceptional service to residents with onsite property managers providing residents with an unparalleled apartment living experience.
Pico Lanai Apartments
2501 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: (877) 350-1209
Description: Pico Lanai Apartments is 2 blocks away from SMC. We have newly renovated one bedroom apartments available with new stainless appliances, flooring, carpet, cabinets, ceiling fans, garbage disposal, microwave, dishwasher, stove and a refrigerator. Our community offers two beautiful swimming pools, fitness center, three laundry facilities, courtyard areas, On-Site bike racks, BBQ grills and parking. WE ACCEPT I-20 students.
Pacific Ocean Apartments
1920 6th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone: (855) 763-2521
Description: All freshly remodeled! Flooring: Dark Wood Tone Vinyl; BRAND NEW Wall to Wall Carpet (IN Bdrm ONLY); Stainless Steel Appliances (energy-saving fridge, stove/oven, microwave, & dishwasher); Luxury Granite Counter Tops - spacious counter fantastic for cooking and entertaining!; A/C wall unit; Large Balcony; 3 closets; Covered Parking Garage; Pool & Spa (Jacuzzi has bubbles!) - heated year-round; Spacious courtyard and pool area; Laundry On-Site; Fine details: Dimmer switches, track lighting in kitchen, large custom bathroom mirror, brand new light fixtures, mirrored sliding door closets, curved shower curtain rod; GREAT VALUE - RENT CONTROLLED - Santa Monica Rent Control is one of the strictest in the city - rental rates can only change 1x per year, and is dictated by the city. As an example last year they allowed an increase of only 1% - Online Rental Payment & Services; Dog and cat friendly; Walking Distance to Future Metro Light Rail; Walk/Bike/Environmentally friendly lifestyle
Six blocks from the beach! 4 blocks to Main Street! 2 blocks from the 10 freeway, 10 blocks from Santa Monica College and 4 miles from UCLA; Application criteria: Credit, proof of income (3x the rent per month OR 12x the rent in savings), and positive rental history/employment verification.
Hills, CA 91364
Description: Rentspree LLC is a Los Angeles-based company, providing student housing services. The company helps both domestic and international students to find housing when moving to the Santa Monica area. International Students may provide their F-1 Visa if they do not have a Social Security Number. Rentspree has business relationships with large apartment complexes and there is a standard process to apply; all the services are completely free of charge.
Tierra del Rey
4250 Glencoe Ave.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: (310) 306-7979
Tierra del Rey luxury apartment homes is located just a few steps away from AMC Dine-In Theaters, RA Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Jamba Juice, Yard house, Pavilion's Grocery Store, Ralph's Supermarket, Gelsons, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Settebello Pizzeria, East Coast Bagel, J-Nichols Restaurant, Tender Greens, Le Pain Quotidien, Coffee Bean, Panda Express, Fat burger, Baja Fresh, Starbucks, Rubios, Maria's Italian Kitchen and more! In addition, we are within a 5 minute walk to the beautiful Marina waters. Approximately 1 mile away is the famous Venice Beach which will be sure to entertain you for many summer days and nights. Our apartments feature tall ceilings, private balconies or patios, and large walk-in closets greet you when you walk through the front door. A luxurious pool area and a comfortable community clubhouse will be sure to capture your attention and impress visiting friends and family. Pet friendly apartments and a dog run on the property make sure your furry best friend is impressed too! Come see these luxurious apartments for yourself by scheduling an appointment today. Short term leases available. 1-20 accepted.
4108 Del Rey Ave.
Marina Del Rey, Ca. 90292
Tel: (310) 582-5100
Fax: (310) 582-5109
Description: Tribeca Urban is brand new unsurpassed luxury living. Have your choice of thoughtful and incredibly spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom residences in a relaxing boutique enclave. Each light-filled apartment is fully appointed with designer finishes, unique touches and modern appliance packages that you’ll adore. And with an impressive 95 Walk Score, this intimate community is close to everything you want, yet feels away from it all. Living on the Westside is so much better when you live urban – Tribeca Urban.
Description: Trulia is a free resource for students looking for housing. The company is part of Zillow Group, which has about 30 million rental visitors each month. Trulia allows international students to connect with verified landlords and property management companies and is especially useful for students who are looking for a single room to rent, something small just for themselves.
Westerly on Lincoln
13603 Marina Pointe Dr.
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: (310) 822-6807
Description: The Westerly offers residents upscale coastal apartment living in Westside. Our Marina del Rey apartments are near sand and surf, making this a true Californian lifestyle. Take advantage of community amenities, designed for our residents ultimate satisfaction: a heated saltwater pool with relaxing outdoor lounge, 24 hour access fitness center, gorgeously tranquil clubhouse, BBQ’s and concierge services available to all our residents. Named Community of the Year by the National Association of Homebuilders, The Westerly on Lincoln is the epitome of coastal luxurious apartment living. Come see our community for yourself by scheduling an appointment today. Our apartments features upgraded kitchens with granite counter tops, sleek black or stainless steel appliances, dark wood flooring and custom cabinets. Bathrooms are remodeled with granite, wood flooring, custom closets, high end nickel brushed light fixtures and faucets, roman style bathtubs, private balcony or patio and a cozy fireplace in select apartments. Come see these luxurious apartments for yourself by scheduling an appointment today. I-20 accepted.
Westwood Collection Luxury Apartments
527 Midvale Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Tel: (310) 208-4868
Description: Welcome to the Westwood Collection!! Our properties are within an easy commute by bus to SMC, and walking distance of the UCLA campus and Westwood Village shopping and entertainment district. All units come with refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, garbage disposal, private patios or balconies and our 2 bedroom 2 bathroom spacious floor plan can accommodate up to 5 students. Our communities offer gated entry, gated parking structures, pool and jacuzzi, study lounge with free Wi-Fi access, security cameras, 24-hour fitness center, management and maintenance on site.
1020 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: (310) 395-7368
Description: This comprehensive list of apartments for rent is available for a fee and is updated every day at 4:00 pm. It may be picked up, faxed, e-mailed, or you can browse the web site once you have paid the fee. The list is available for 60 days and the company has five locations with free internet use for any member.
Westwood Villa Apartments
2901 Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Tel: (424) 292-6306
Fax: (310) 479-6899
Description: One block from major supermarket and drugstore and over 45 exciting shops and restaurants! SAVE GAS! Across the street from Public Transportation including bus stops to many parts of the city including UCLA, SMCC, Loyola Marymount , Otis, South Western Law School, West LA College and Antioch. Westwood Villa Apartments, a West Los Angeles landmark, is located near the intersection of the San Diego and Santa Monica freeways. This convenient freeway access allows a short commute by bus or car to LAX, the Westside Regional Malls, Beverly Hills, Century City, Santa Monica, and the beaches.
Apartment management companies:
Miller & Desatnik
3623 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Tel: (310) 838-1828
Fax: (310) 841-2161
RST & Associates
11866 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. #101
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 479-2565
Fax: (310) 478-5631
Web sites to visit for rental lists:
Things You Should Know After Your Move
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) provides water and electrical services for both Santa Monica and West Los Angeles. Water from faucets (indoors and out) has been purified and does not require boiling. Electricity for Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Culver City, and West Hollywood is handled by the DWP. Household current is 110 volts, AC 60 cycles. Foreign appliances without adapters will not work here. For more information, please call the DWP at 800-342-5397. For other cities and most parts of Santa Monica, Southern California Edison handles electricity. Please call them at 1-800-655-4555 for more information.
To establish gas service, contact the Southern California Gas Company at 800-427-2200. When the service representative comes to connect your gas, ask him or her to show you where the pilot lights for heater, stove, and water heater are located and how to turn them off in case of an emergency such as an earthquake.
Ask your landlord or building manager to show you how to use and clean your stove, oven, refrigerator, heater, air conditioner, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and other appliances which are included in your rent. Remember that gas stoves, if turned on but not lit, are dangerous because gas is poisonous and explosive. If you detect the smell of gas in your apartment and cannot determine why, call the gas company. They will send someone to check it for you. There is no fee for this service. Burners on electric stoves may be hot without appearing red in color. Electric burners will stay hot for some time after the control has been turned off.
To keep your refrigerator working properly, you may have to defrost the freezer compartment. Some refrigerators defrost automatically, others must be turned off for several hours until the ice melts naturally. Do not allow frozen foods to thaw while defrosting your refrigerator unless you plan to use them right away. It is a good idea to store them in a neighbor's freezer. If your frozen food thaws, do not refreeze it. This can be very dangerous to your health.
The landlord has a right to enter the premises at reasonable times to inspect the unit and make repairs. Your landlord should not enter your apartment without calling to ask permission or notifying you that there are repairs to be done. California law requires the landlord to obtain a court judgment before entering an apartment when the tenant has broken the lease and the landlord has a lien on the tenant's personal property.
Eviction: Regardless of whether or not you have a lease agreement, your landlord has the right to ask you to vacate the premises, with proper notice (usually 30 days). Keep in mind that without a lease, you have no extended right to remain in an apartment. Even with a lease agreement, you may still be evicted from your apartment if you engage in illegal activities or violate the rental agreement.
Turning Off Utilities
California law forbids a landlord who intends to evict a tenant to turn off water, electricity, or gas. When you vacate the premises, you must call each utility company and order the service disconnected. If you do not, you will be responsible for gas, electric, and telephone usage after you leave. You must give a forwarding address for final bills or go in person to close these accounts.
Giving Notice to Leave
To end your tenancy, write a dated letter to your landlord 30 days in advance of the date you plan to leave. Be sure to include your name, address, apartment number, and telephone number, as well as the date you wish to vacate the premises. Deliver the letter to the landlord in person and ask him or her to sign and date a copy for your records. At the time you vacate, do not leave anything behind and surrender your keys. If you leave any belongings behind or if you keep the keys in your possession, you have not legally vacated the premises and your landlord will be entitled to keep your damage deposit for every day that you do not comply with the terms of vacancy.