While most large cities in the US tend to grow in height, with office and apartment buildings soaring skywards, Los Angeles has grown in reach instead. Scores of unique neighbourhoods and eclectic communities spread out from its centre. Due to its extensive area, the best place for a house hunter to find accommodation in Los Angeles is largely dependent on proximity to their workplace, as congestion can cause treacherous commutes.

Most new arrivals to LA opt to rent property rather than buy. Furthermore, there are still some rent-controlled apartments in LA, where yearly increases are limited to a certain percentage. This can be a great help in keeping costs down in a city that, by and large, is an expensive place to live.

Neighbourhoods in Los Angeles

Silver Lake

For families, Pasadena and San Fernando Valley offer a blend of suburban tranquillity, quality education and accessible amenities, making them top picks for those prioritising a balanced lifestyle. Pasadena charms with its pedestrian-friendly Old Town and cultural institutions, while the Valley caters to those seeking a mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options.

The young and hip are drawn to Silver Lake and Culver City, where the vibe is electric and creativity flows. Silver Lake, with its art scene and coffee culture, is a magnet for creatives, while Culver City's dynamic developments make it a hotspot for those who thrive on innovation. For those seeking luxury, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood stand out.

See our guide to the Best (and Worst) Neighbourhoods in Los Angeles.

Types of accommodation in Los Angeles

As one of the most populous cities in America, LA has a large and varied assortment of accommodation options available to suit almost any budget and personal preference. Minute apartments, massive hillside mansions, beachfront palaces and typical two-storey brick American homes are all on offer in the city and surrounds. Furthermore, both furnished and unfurnished housing is available.

In a metropolis that considers shopping and interior design staples of a good life, there are plenty of places to find and buy furniture if newcomers decide on unfurnished accommodation.

Finding accommodation in Los Angeles

Regardless of which avenue an individual wishes to pursue – buying or renting – choosing a neighbourhood can be dizzying in a city with so many areas and suburbs. Proximity to one's workplace is generally a priority when choosing housing, while other considerations include cost, crime rates, proximity to school (if applicable), and the demographics of the surrounding community.

Once prospective residents have narrowed down which neighbourhoods align with their personal preferences, it's best to hire a real estate agent to find accommodation. These professionals are familiar with their area and can better assess which housing options would suit an individual's needs. 

Alternatively, online listings are also good resources for finding housing. Zillow and Zumper are key property portals, and Westside Rentals provides a more curated experience. On the other end of the spectrum, Craigslist offers some hidden gems for the discerning buyer.

Useful links

Renting accommodation in Los Angeles

While renting accommodation in Los Angeles is becoming increasingly expensive, the rental markets are still not as competitive as those of New York City and Boston. Those looking for rental accommodation in Los Angeles should find plenty of options available to them, though they can be snapped up quickly.

Making an application

Prospective tenants will be asked to fill out an application form along with references and proof of their ability to pay the rent, such as proof of employment. Applicants may also be subject to background and credit checks.

Leases, costs and fees

Most rental contracts in Los Angeles require tenants to make a year-long commitment. Those dealing with the landlord directly, however, may be able to negotiate a shorter lease.

Applicants should be prepared to pay at least a month's rent upfront, as well as one or two months' rent as a security deposit.

For more detailed information, have a look at our comprehensive guide to Renting Accommodation in the USA.

Utilities in Los Angeles

If renting in Los Angeles, accommodation normally includes the cost of water and refuse services, though this isn't always the case. Tenants should anticipate paying electricity and gas costs themselves.

The tenant also pays for extras like internet, cable television, and telephone lines. Some complexes may charge extra for off-street or undercover parking.

Electricity and water

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) plays a crucial role in ensuring residents have access to essential utilities. As the largest municipal utility in the country, LADWP provides both electricity and water. 

Paying for these services is made convenient with multiple payment options including online, via automatic bank drafts, or in person at a Customer Service Center. The cost of electricity varies, influenced by factors such as time of day, season, and the choice between tiered and time-of-use rate plans. 

Despite Los Angeles' arid climate, LADWP ensures the supply of water is robust and reliable, drawing from a mix of surface, groundwater, and recycled sources. The quality of tap water in Los Angeles is high, meeting or exceeding all regulatory standards.


The warmth of homes and the success of many businesses in Los Angeles rely heavily on natural gas, piped directly into the city by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). This vital utility powers everything from residential heating and cooking appliances to commercial and industrial operations, underpinning the energy needs of America's second-largest city.

SoCalGas provides a seamless experience with various payment options to suit every preference, including online transactions, automatic bank drafts, or in-person visits to a customer service centre. Importantly, a deposit may be required to initiate service, with the amount based on location and certain customer details.

Bins and recycling

Navigating the intricacies of recycling and waste management in Los Angeles is made easier with a trio of bins at your disposal. The city's commitment to environmental stewardship is reflected in its colour-coded bin system: blue bins for recyclables such as paper, glass, and plastic; green bins dedicated to yard waste; and black bins for general waste.

As part of the city's progressive approach to waste management, the Bureau of Sanitation has laid plans to significantly expand food waste recycling to serve over 180,000 homes. This initiative is complemented by composting solutions available to both residents and businesses, with home pick-up services offered for a nominal fee.


Staying connected in LA has never been easier, thanks to a range of home internet providers including AT&T Fiber, Spectrum and T-Mobile. With fibre internet's footprint covering more than one-third of the city and offering speeds up to 1 Gbps in select areas, high-speed connectivity is a reality for many. Meanwhile, 5G home internet boasts impressive coverage of over 90 percent of Los Angeles.

For new residents, it's crucial to verify that your dwelling is within the service area of your preferred provider. Not every provider extends their services to every neighbourhood, so a quick address check on the provider's website is essential before making any commitments. 

When choosing an internet service, consider not just the type of connection — whether fibre, cable, DSL, or satellite — but also the quality of service, including speed, data caps, and customer support. 

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Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

  • Comprehensive Family coverage, wherever you go
  • Paediatric coverage for well-child visits & immunizations
  • Access to dental and orthodontic care
  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global

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