West Los Angeles is densely populated, so you’ll find a mix of high rise and midrise apartment complexes in addition to rental houses and condos. Some of the most expensive rentals in West Los Angeles are in the northeast part of the neighborhood as you approach Beverly Hills. However, rents on the West LA side of Santa Monica Blvd. are still more reasonable than their Westwood and Beverly Hills counterparts. If you look around Santa Monica Blvd. and S. Beverly Glen, you’ll find a nice mix of townhomes, condos, and rental houses. If you’re a north/south commuter, there are many luxury apartment complexes just west of the 405 that offer easy freeway access.
If you’re a light sleeper, try to visit the actual unit you’ll be renting to see if freeway noise is an issue. If you prefer walking and biking, renting an apartment or house off of Pico Boulevard offers the most walkable lifestyle in West LA. It’s an emerging area that’s close to Trader Joe’s, Ralphs, and the popular Japanese markets and restaurants on Sawtelle Blvd. Parking on Sawtelle is nearly impossible anyway, so it’s probably best to walk from your apartment.
All of the Westside is known for bad traffic, and West Los Angeles is no exception. There’s easy highway access to both the 10 and the 405, but many other commuters drive through West LA to access these freeways as well. You can walk to many shops and restaurants from your West Los Angeles apartment, but you’ll still need a car to get to the beach or other parts of the city. The brand new extension of the Expo Line of the Metro Light Rail should help alleviate traffic. The line now connects Downtown LA to Santa Monica. West LA renters can hop on at the Expo/Sepulveda or Expo/Bundy stations. If you’re looking to spend a day outside without fighting beach traffic, head to Stoner Recreation Center. There’s a playground and water slides for kids plus a skate park and athletic facilities, and there’s even a small Japanese garden if you need a place to enjoy some solitude.
The rental market in West Los Angeles is competitive. There are far more renters than homeowners, and renting in West Los Angeles is typically more affordable than the affluent neighborhoods to the north. It’s a convenient choice for nearby UCLA students and also popular among young people who want to be a part of the trendy Westside lifestyle. West Los Angeles rentals are popular year-round, but expect an extra surge of UCLA renters in August and September. In any season, have your deposit and paperwork ready to go, as most West LA apartments are rented in a matter of days. Your diligent apartment hunting will pay off though once you’ve secured a budget-friendly rental in one of LA’s most popular urban neighborhoods.