Renting in California is very similar to renting apartments in other states. But there is a service available that might be very attractive to individuals or families who don’t have time or the ability to look for an apartment to rent. This service is called a prepaid rental listing service, and allows you to pay a company to do the apartment search for you.
Businesses that sell lists of available rental units are regulated by the California Department of Real Estate. This means you can check the status of any business claiming to be a prepay rental company. You will also be given a contract, describing the services that will be done, as well as a description from you on what kind of apartment you’re looking for.
Contracts can only last for up to 90 days, but the service is required by law to give you a list of at least three currently available rental units within five days of signing the contract. This contract can be cancelled, although there are circumstances where you might still have to pay some or the entire fee agreed upon to the service.
Of course, once you find the perfect apartment to match your lifestyle, you’ll still need to go through the rental application process with the landlord, and if everything is approved on both sides, eventually settle on a rental agreement.
This service can come in handy when time is of the essence, because you’ll know that the apartments being presented to you are currently available and match your description for what you will need in your future home.