Renting a property in San Francisco

You just moved or are considering moving soon to San Francisco? Your first item on your to do list is to try and find a place to call home. But where to start...

While some real estate companies specialise in rentals, the best place to start looking and getting a feeling of the rental market is on Craigslist. You will have the opportunity to browse listings for apartments, sublets, roommate situations etc.

However, in order to start browsing, you should already have narrowed down choices by answering the following questions:
  • Do you want to live alone or with roommates?
  • Which neighbourhood do you want to live in?
  • What is your budget?
  • What amenities do you absolutely need?
  • Are you going to use public transportations or are you relying on your car?
Once you have found listings online that you are interested in, contact the landlord to schedule a visit. Once done, if you are interested in renting the property, be prepared to the following requests from the landlord:
  • Fill out a rental application which generally requests information about yourself (ie, name, past and present employment, previous housing, references, income); 
  • Pay a credit report fee for the landlord to verify the information you provided in your rental application;
  • The landlord will get back to you within a couple of days and let you know if he has selected your application. If he did, then be prepared to sign a one year lease and pay a security deposit that will amount to a maximum of two months' rent (three months in the case of a furnished apartment). Most of the time, the rent covers water and garbage but this is not mandatory so don’t forget to ask.
Once signed, you are now a San Francisco resident.

Our San Francisco Expert

Nicholas's picture
Paris, France
San Francisco
European Real Estate Broker, living and working in San Francisco. My fluency in French and Italian have enabled me to help...

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