Tenant tips: Finding good rentals offline

While apartments are frequently listed online by landlords and property managers, Craigslist postings are not the only way to find a good rental. One method that may work is to reverse the process, according to MSN Real Estate. Rather than looking for advertisements, renters may want to post an ad describing their household and what they are looking for in terms of location, rent and other characteristics.

Some landlords prefer not to post ads and cope with the many responses they receive, and a "housing wanted" post can attract them. Landlords may give a better rate for tenants who are quieter or more responsible, among other factors, and this can allow landlords to find the sort of renters they prefer.

Another method is to simply walk through neighborhoods. Prospective renters may want to take a camera, notebook or other items with them to record any attractive locations. Arriving in person rather than contacting a landlord over the phone or by email can result in a better deal, one renter told the source.

It may also mean hearing about a vacancy before it is widely advertised, and offer the opportunity to fill out applications immediately. Establishing contact with a landlord in person may give one a leg up over other prospective tenants, since the landlord can put a face to the name on the application.