Housing and Meals
The Los Angeles campus of the Longy School of Music of Bard College MAT Program is uniquely integrated with the campus of Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA). Many of the standard college facilities do not exist at the residency program site. There are no dormitories or dining halls. Graduate students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. Longy does not offer on-campus housing, but we help students connect with roommates and apartments.
Although Longy does not serve as an official roommate referral service for its students, we want to do everything we can to help you get settled in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Office would be happy to keep the following information on file for other students who might be looking for roommates. Please note that completing this form is optional and that by submitting it you are permitting us to share this information with other students. Longy has no responsibility for problems that may arise with roommates and living situations.
Many students have successfully found housing and/or roommates through Craigslist. Areas of Los Angeles you can begin your housing search include: Los Feliz, Silverlake, Echo Park, Mid-Wilshire and Koreatown. All of these locations are a short (15-25 minute) subway/bus ride.
LA Roommate Request Form (PDF)
Rents in Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding communities range from $700-1200/month for a studio; $900-1400/month for a one-bedroom; and $1,200+/month for a two-bedroom. It is recommended that you get a roommate. Contact Monique Van Willingh at 617-876-0956, x1761. Rents usually do not include utilities. It is common for landlords to require you to pay the first month’s rent, the last month’s rent, and a security deposit, which is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. Make sure you get a receipt for every payment made to the landlord. If there is no damage to the apartment while you are living there, the security deposit will be refunded to you when you move out. As a result, the initial costs of moving into an apartment are very high but become affordable after the initial deposit.
Arranging for Utilities
Often your apartment will only be set up for one provider of each type of utility, so be sure to check with your landlord as to which utility company you should use before contacting a company. Also, companies usually offer discounts for combined phone, cable, and internet services.
Electricity, Water & Gas
You may want to invest in an insurance policy that provides coverage for your personal property from loss due to theft, fire, or flooding. These policies are relatively inexpensive, especially considering how useful they can be in the event of a major misfortune. They also generally include protection from personal liability if a visitor is injured while in your apartment. We also recommend that you obtain a policy that provides coverage for your instrument(s).
Housing Rights & Responsibilities
Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs provides valuable information on tenant rights, laws, and protection (applicable only within Los Angeles County).
As a student you need to consider the following when deciding to rent an apartment or room:
- Distance of the apartment from Longy at HOLA
- Accessibility to public transportation
- Rent and other costs, such as security deposits and/or realtor fees
- Cost of utilities and whether heating is electric or gas (electric heat is far more expensive)
- Conditions of the lease that the landlord will require. These include time of payment, proper use of the apartment, maintenance and repair, subletting, and ending the lease
- Cost of furnishing the apartment in the way you prefer to live
- The Lease
Although it is possible to find apartments that are rented on a month-to-month basis, the vast majority of renters sign leases. The lease is a legal agreement between the tenant and the landlord that the tenant will stay in the apartment for a certain amount of time and pay the landlord a certain amount of money per month. It is meant to protect you as the renter as much as it is to protect the landlord, so make sure that everything that is agreed upon is in writing and that the landlord gives you a copy of the lease for your records. Also, be sure to read the lease thoroughly before signing it. If you would like to make any changes, discuss them with the landlord before you sign your name. The most common lease term is one year (12 months).
Follow these lease guidelines:
- Read everything carefully.
- Be sure the form is complete before signing.
- If you have made special lease agreements with the landlord, make sure they have been added and are signed by both you and the landlord.
- Find out how the lease can be renewed when the term is finished.
- Keep a copy of the lease signed by you and the landlord.
- Your lease should include:
- Beginning and ending dates of the contract
- Amount of the rent
- Security deposit cost and what it covers
- Furniture and appliances included with the apartment or house
- Procedures for subletting
- Party responsible for yard and shoveling of snow, trash removal, etc.
- Whether utilities are included in the rent
- Whether there is a parking space included
Common Lease Requirements
Amount of Rent – When you sign a lease you promise to pay the entire amount, not just the monthly amount. This means that if you leave the apartment before your lease expires, the landlord may require you, by law, to pay the rest of the rent due.
Amount of Security Deposit – The landlord is required to pay you interest on this amount. You should ask the landlord what the interest rate is equal to.
Rent Due Date – Rent is usually due on the first day of each month. If the rent is not paid on time, there is usually an extra charge you must pay.
Length of Lease – Most leases are for one year. You may be able to sign shorter leases at some apartments, although the rent may be higher.
Maintenance requirements – You are expected to keep the apartment clean and free of excess garbage. If you break anything in the apartment, you are expected to pay to have it repaired. Normal wear is expected. However, grease on kitchen walls, for example, is not considered normal wear and a landlord may deduct from your security deposit to have the walls painted.
Breaking the contract – If you leave the apartment before the end of the lease, you may still be required to pay the remaining months’ rent if you cannot find another renter.
Subletting – With many apartments, you will not be allowed to rent the apartment to another person without the owner’s written permission. Be sure that you understand this if you think you may want to leave before your lease ends.
Longy does not offer any on-campus parking options for students. The HOLA parking lot is reserved for HOLA staff at all times. Metered spaces are available on all major and side streets around HOLA and there are several parking facilities within walking distance of the campus.
To avoid the hassle and expensive of parking and maintaining a car, students are highly encouraged to use public transportation.