Housing Support

Getting Started

What to know with the business of renting, and living in the Santa Monica area.

Start the process of looking for and renting your new apartment by using the following information to prepare yourself and your finances for a smooth experience. 

Prepare Yourself

Securing housing is a big responsibility, and it is important to be prepared for the task. The following steps will help you complete the process:

  • Start the process at least a month in advance
  • Open a local bank account
  • Decide how much you can afford to pay
  • Prepare to pay application fees, first and last month’s rent and security deposit
  • Write down features that are important to you such as security, parking, laundry, pets, etc.
  • Gather web, newspaper and other listings
  • Call for availability and viewing appointment
  • Inspect the properties carefully
  • Fill out an application and be prepared to supply credit information and references
  • Establish a move-in date
  • Sign a lease or contract and get a copy.

House Hunting

Questions to ask a landlord, leases vs. month-to-month, and legal questions.


Please see below for a list of local neighborhoods close to Santa Monica. Areas are listed in distance to Santa Monica College

Sharing a House or Apartment

Having roommates can save you money and build relationships. The Welcome Center keeps a list of students looking to share the expense of living. If you are an international student, please check with the International Education Center.

If you are not used to living with others, below is a list of things to help you navigate sharing a living space.


There are a variety of options for getting to Santa Monica College and getting around the Los Angeles area. Walking, biking, driving, or taking public transportation. (The Big Blue Bus and the LA Metro system are free to all SMC students.)

More information can be found on the SMC Transportation website.