Carina Martin recently spent hours wandering around Westwood searching for the perfect apartment.
The second-year psychology student called a number of landlords of building complexes to request a time to visit. More than half of them still have not called her back, she said.
Today, the Undergraduate Students Association Council will host its first Apartment Fair, which aims to help students like Martin by relieving the stress of apartment hunting.
Attendees will be able to meet with a group of local landlords from about 15 complexes. The event, which will take place in the Ackerman second floor lounge from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., is being organized by General Representative Gatsby Miller and his office.
Miller’s campaign platform during last spring’s election emphasized helping students through the process of finding off-campus housing.
“Searching for an apartment in Westwood is a complete pain. I realized that if we could get interested students and landlords together in one centralized location it would make the process much easier,” Miller said.
At the fair, landlords will display photos and blueprints of apartments for students to look at, in addition to discussing possible contracts, said Samantha Campbell, director of the Apartment Fair.
“The fair is great because it means students like me don’t have to chase up landlords. Instead, they come to us,” Martin said.
Students will receive a “Bruin Apartment Guide” that contains a list of tips on apartment living, such as how to stock a kitchen. It also contains a timeline of the search process that recommends students start looking for apartments in mid-January to early February. The application process can start as early as February but will vary with each landlord.
“As someone who has lived on campus for the past two years, I have no idea how the whole apartment process works. I’m so glad I’ll be able to talk to people who can address my specific questions about things like payment methods and subletting,” Martin said.
UCLA Student Legal Services will also be available to talk to students to address any concerns they might have about signing a renter’s contract.
Next year, third-year sociology student Katherine Taylor will make the switch from her sorority house to an apartment. Taylor said she has high hopes that the advice she’ll receive at the fair will make the transition smoother.
“Living in an apartment definitely requires a lot more personal responsibility. I love that the fair will help make the process so accessible, because apartment-hunting can be a pretty daunting task,” Taylor said.
Campbell said she hopes the fair becomes a UCLA tradition.