My suggestions to find a legit rental:
1. Contact a Realtor to look up in the MLS any homes for rent (most owners don't post their homes for rent in the MLS though.
2. Contact many different property mgmt companies (however they will only want to show you rentals they personally manage)
3. If you know specific neighborhoods you would want to rent in, go drive through those areas & look for Home Depot type, generic "For Rent" signs at major intersections & call them.
Shoot me an email directly if you'd like to talk about this further, I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.
Emily S. Knell
Realtor Since 1996
Realty ONE Group
Short Sale Specialist - 100% success rate
Get yourself a realtor who works with renters. The market has changed. With so many people looking to rent, the scam artists are out in full force.
If you have a realtor working for you, you will not have to do the leg work.
Kawain Payne, Realtor
You will know they are legit because a professional will be registered with the state of CA.
If the agent you call does not handle rentals, the agent will refer you to another agent within the office who does. Repeat the process until you connect.
NOTICE: Do no use the 'contact' button or Trulia email. CALL!