(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )
Some of my friends with less mileage on their odometers have been asking me about advice about the process of renting their own place for the first time. After listening to their questions, I realized it's not really all that simple setting out on your own in a city where rental occupancy is low and rent is depressingly high, and especially in the wide expanse known as Los Angeles.

A great resource for new and seasoned renters alike, the California Apartment Association site has a helpful selection of resources, including a Renter's User Manual, a Resident's Bill of Rights, checklists for before you rent and before you sign, rights and responsibilities of landlords, and information about moving out. According to the site, 43% of California's residents are renters (including myself), so it makes obvious sense to know what your rights and the responsibilities of your landlord are. Don't like reading? You can even watch the whole renters guide online in movie form.