From the Los Angeles Sunday Times, Nov. 21, 1886.
Houses for rent, which have been by no means plentiful during the past six months, have now become almost as scarce as the mythical hen's teeth. It may be stated as an incontrovertible fact that there is not a single house for rent today, at a moderate price, in a desirable locality, and within, say, a mile of the Temple block. . . .
The unfortunate paterfamilias, just arrived here from a distance, with a fair-sized family on his hands, and no shelter secured for them, is most sincerely to be pitied. All unconscious of what trouble is in store for him, he starts out from his lodging house, shortly after his arrival, full of energy, for a tour around the real estate offices. After a long search, he may, if he is in luck, find one or two houses which he thinks might suit him, although the rents asked make him open his eyes. He has been assured, by the loquacious dealers in semitropical reality, that the most distant of these houses is not more than five minutes' walk from the post-office. After riding for about fifteen minutes in a car toward the nearest on his list, the stranger begins to realize that, either the citizens of Los Angeles must be phenomenal walkers or the real estate agents prodigious liars. Arrived at the house and after an examination, he is informed in an incidental manner that in order to be allowed the privilege of paying $25 a month for a four-roomed cottage, on an ungraded street, two miles from the business center, he must first fork over the trifle of $500 for the "furniture" in this "desirable villa residence." . . . After three of four days' experience of this sort the stranger within our gates perhaps stumbles upon a house where they do not ask more than 10 per cent of its value as monthly rental, and where, marvelous to relate, there is no furniture for sale. "Eureka!" cries the weary man, and he hunts up the landlord and is about to pay over a month's rent, when the more or less bloated property owner inquires: