Get informed

As we mentioned in the previous sections, information is critical for negotiating with landlords. That includes knowing rent prices and special deals in a neighborhood -- and having a solid grasp of strategies to strike deals. Here are resources for you.

For researching rents and offers, go to apartment listing websites such as,, and, among others.

For strategies, there are numerous articles: "How to Negotiate Your Rent" by Trulia, "Renegotiating Rent Can Be Tricky" by the Los Angeles Times, "How to Negotiate Rent (and Why You Should Always Do it)" by Zumper, "Can You Negotiate Rent? How to Haggle with a Landlord and Win" by Realtor, "Can You Negotiate Rent? Tips for Lowering Rent" by Apartment List, and "Are You a Renter in California? Here are New Trends You'll Want to Know" by Housing Is A Human Right.

There are also a number of California cities that have rent control or rent stabilization, but that protection only applies to buildings constructed during a certain period of time. In Los Angeles, for example, apartments built in 1978 or earlier are protected by the city’s rent stabilization ordinance. Anything built in 1979 or later is not covered.

So find out if your city has rent control or rent stabilization by searching a city’s website or contacting a local tenants union. Prospective renters in L.A., San Francisco, and other cities often narrow their apartment search to only buildings that are protected by rent control or rent stabilization.

And current tenants should also know if he or she lives in a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized building — because a landlord of that apartment complex should not dramatically raise rent each year.

Lastly, Housing Is A Human Right offers an extensive Resources page at its website for both English and Spanish speakers. It provides helpful information about eviction laws, financial assistance, food assistance, and other topics. When it comes to dealing with landlords, knowledge is power.