Send me your email address and I can send you some rentals that are out there. Be very careful about Craigslist and Renting.com. I have had clients send me ad to verify and I found out it was a scam. IF anyone is asking for you to send them money and they will send you keys, that is a scam. Some people are finding homes for sale and putting them up as rentals when they have no ties to the home. Good Luck and I hope to hear from you.
Raschel Kloos, Realtor
You can research yourself on several websites like Trulia and Zilow whether a property has a notice of default which indicates you need to have a discussion with your landlord about what is going on with the property which could affect you.
In CA, 1 year leases are standard, but lots of portfolio investors like a long term tenant. If a landlord is in default on their mortgage this should be public record. I have a way of looking this up on Realist tax records. I don't know if you would have any access, but you can look it up. http://www.sandicor.com/support/realist-tax/