A PROJECT OF THE County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency

Finding a Place to Live

Here are some ideas for finding a place to live.

  • Newspaper ads
  • San Diego Union Tribune
  • San Diego Reader
  • Craigslist
  • Real estate agencies
  • College or university housing offices
  • Drive around an area you would like to live and look for rental signs – many landlords do not advertise.
  • Management companies – look under “apartments” or “real estate management” in the yellow pages.
  • Bulletin boards in cafes, Laundromats, etc.

A place is available.  Now what?

Call the landlord or manager to arrange a time to look at the unit. Show up for the appointment on time (sometimes there are many people applying for the apartment, and you want to give the landlord the impression that you are responsible). As you walk through the unit use the checklist “What to Look for When Checking Out Rental Units” (see below). Before signing a contract/lease, make sure you know what it says and what your responsibilities are. If you do not understand, ask questions! Make sure all the blank lines in the contract/lease are filled in. When you sign a contract/lease, make sure you write a list (or fill out a form if the landlord has one) of everything that is damaged, dirty or missing in the unit. Have the landlord sign and date it. Ask for a photocopy of the list. Keep a copy of the signed rental agreement/lease.