LA Rental Agencies – watch out, folks!

This afternoon, I heard an argument outside my apartment.

My apartment manager was trying to get a woman from Westside Rentals to take down the sign she was busy zip-tying to the gate of our apartment building.

She was on her way out before I managed to find my cell phone, which was buried in my bed somewhere, and take a picture.

I went out to listen. He’s a calm kinda guy, a part-time DJ who’s used to dealing with nutcases, so he just stood there nodding. The agent from Westside Rentals said something along the lines of this (and imagine she just kept talking, no gaps, for five minutes):

“Well we get requests all the time and we thought that if we brought you clients then it would be fine but I’ll take it down if you want. But we put up our signs when we get requests at a property because we can facilitate the rentals for you and the clients have requested that we do and we… [bla bla bla].”

He just stood there nodding politely until she said again: “But I can take it down if you want”. He nodded again. He waited as she cut it off. He went back inside.

There’s a fine line between scams and reality and realtors in California, and particularly in LA. For example, you’ll drive around and see WESTSIDE RENTALS signs with that inviting red key all over properties in LA, and you’ll go to their websites and find listings for properties all over LA – but not for the property that drew you in. Friends have complained that they signed up, risked their credit rating (which declines with every request) and then had no luck with big companies like Westside Rentals, which is now apparently linked with as advertised by Jeff Goldblum. Most of them really find their places through friends, or facebook groups, or sometimes Craigslist.

Rental Agencies in LA act like used car dealerships – who often advertise impossibly great deals or cars they don’t actually have on their lot to lure you in.

This is a blog about signs. Just because it’s written on a sign, doesn’t mean it’s true. So before calling Westside Rentals (even if they have their sign up legally), google the block and see if you can go directly to the rental management company.

You may be saving yourself a few hundred dollars, and a lot of disappointment, as well as damage to your credit rating.




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