10 Best Apartment Rental Sites
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Searching For The Best Apartment Rental Sites
Here’s a question that dates back to prehistoric times, “What are the best apartment rental sites?” Sure, cavemen didn’t have access to a computer and the internet was still a few thousand years away from its invention, but there aren’t any studies that prove cavemen weren’t thinking about where they could find affordable apartments online.
There are studies that show that 4/5 renters search for apartments online, indicating that the online market is huge and likely where you’ll find your next rental. As such, let’s look at the best apartment rental sites so you can waste less time searching and more time moving.
10 Best Apartment Rental Sites
Landing offers one of the simplest move-in processes from any of the best apartment rental sites. You don’t have to go through any third parties. All you need to do is receive approval from Landing, reserve your apartment, and move in. Landing covers the rest of the operation so that you can focus on moving.
How do they do this? Well, consider Landing to be closer to a hotel operation rather than a standard, long-term lease. You’ll have to sign up for a membership, which costs $199 annually, to enter their Landing network. From there, you can select any open apartment in as little as two weeks.
Landing fully furnishes all of their apartments and keeps them tidy. You’re also allowed to stay for as long or as little as you’d like. Their leases are flexible so you can move whenever—and wherever—you need to. They also have a huge selection of cities, offering apartments in New York, Orlando, and Chicago (among others).
Landing also offers a 7-day guarantee in case you are not satisfied with your new home. If there is any problem, the Landing will be responsible for resolving it as quickly as possible, in addition to offering alternatives to move to another Landing or even a full refund.
All this paints Landing as one of the best apartment rental sites for digital nomads since the company handles the upkeep of all their apartments. Renters don’t need to worry about landlords, long-term contracts, or even security deposits.
- Available in more than 375 cities
- No security deposits or application fees
- Easy sign-up and reservation process
- Membership-based program
- 7-Day Guarantee to find satisfied home or get full refund
PadMapper aggregates property listings from various sites like AirBnb and ForRent into a customizable interface. As the service’s name suggests, users can visualize the apartments’ locations on a map and filter through the results. They can modify their listings using the following filters:
- Lease length
- Number of bedrooms
- Rental type
- Number of bathrooms
They can also sift through older and newer listings, meaning they can catch new deals without having to stalk the service day and night. The robust filters help declutter what would be an otherwise overwhelming number of search results. However, when it comes to housing options, it’s better to have too many rather than too few.
- Available in the United States and Canada
- Robust filter options
- Huge selection of apartments
If you’re looking for the best apartment rental sites then you’ve likely already heard of Zillow. The site is arguably the most popular place for rental properties (aside from the next entry on my list) because it features more listings than any other single rental site. It pulls this information from real estate agents, listing databases, and property management companies along with individual sellers.
Zillow also spoils customers with virtual tours, high-quality photos of most locations, and a price history, which shows how a property’s value has increased over time.
Most important is the Zestimate feature. This automated valuation tool calculates an estimate of a property’s worth based on various factors such as location, historical sales data, and market trends.
- Most listings of all rental sites
- Offers information on listings that other sites do not
- Handy Zestimate tool
You’ll either feel instantly ostracized or gleefully greeted when looking at CraigsList’s sparse, forum-based webpage. Some people will say it’s dated, but others will praise the site’s layout that hasn’t changed much since Y2K.
There’s a reason Craigslist has been around since the 90s. Their interface provides rental opportunities across the globe. Landlords usually post here since Craigslist doesn’t charge broker fees, meaning you can find cute locations and prime deals that you wouldn’t find on other, larger sites.
That being said, you should act with more caution shopping on Craigslist versus other sites. Scams and spams still happen, so keep your wits about you.
- Smaller landlords usually advertise their properties here
- Local rentals across the world
- Can find great deals
The idea behind RentHop is that searching for an apartment should be easy. As such, their tools can illustrate a property’s rental value in a less abstract sense. The HopScore, as it’s called, ranks listings based on their quality, considering factors such as the completeness of information, responsiveness of the advertiser, and listing accuracy. The HopScore helps users gauge the reliability and trustworthiness of a listing.
RentHop also has a price comparison tool that needs no explaining but sadly isn’t as common as it should be. You can use it to match two apartments and see how they stack up in terms of cost, size, location, and other factors.
- HopScore summarizes an apartment’s quality
- Handy price comparison tool
- Available for major US cities
If Zillow isn’t doing it for you, it may be worth checking out their subsidiary, HotPads. If their name doesn’t give away their goal, I’ll spell it out for you. HotPads focuses on downtown rentals and other popular areas where it can feel like it’s easier to swim through quicksand than it is to find an affordable place to rent.
Much of the information about the rentals HotPads offers is about the neighborhood, including information on local amenities, schools, transportation options, and demographics. You can also learn about the nearest dog park.
Additionally, Landlords are given their own ratings and customer reviews so you can see which ones are worthy of your hard-earned rent money.
- Customers can receive live messages about new listings
- Issues ratings to landlords
- Focuses on highly-populated urban zones
Zumper goes out of their way to ensure customer safety. All listings have to be provided by licensed property managers or confirmed by Zumper themselves as being legit. Additionally, they provide short-term rental deals, a huge green flag for digital nomads.
The service’s application process is streamlined. Users can submit rental applications directly through the platform, track the application status, and communicate with property managers or landlords during the application process.
Finally, Zumper has a filter specifically for low-income families. This is different from simply “cheap” rental units, as these listings are protected by the government under Section 8.
- Offers short-term rentals
- Simple application process
- Low-income family housing filters
Sometimes, the best answers are the most simple, and when it comes to the best apartment rental sites, there’s no name that’s more simple than Rent.com. Thankfully, their filters aren’t skimpy nor simple, as they allow rather specific filters like independent living facilities, proximity to military bases, and off-campus housing for students.
Rent.com’s main appeal, however, is the Moving Center, which can give you a free quote as to how much it’ll cost you to move there. This isn’t about the cost of rent but how much it’ll cost you out-of-pocket to move all your belongings from your current location to the new apartment.
- Moving Center is unique and useful
- Variety of filters allows users to cater their experience
- Good location coverage
#9 Apartment Guide
Apartment Guide provides 3D guided tours for some of their listed properties, allowing you to get a closer look than if you were stuck to pictures. This is ideal for folks looking at properties outside their current city. Their filters are quite detailed, allowing you to include multiple types of amenities in your search
They also separate their available apartments into the following categories:
- Separate categories for specific apartment types
- Provides neighborhood information and insights
- Full 3D tours for some apartments
What distinguishes RentCafe as one of the best apartment rental sites are the little things, like the fact that it lists a unit’s availability for visits. This makes it easier for prospective renters to plan out their visit. They also only hold apartments from property managers, ensuring that there aren’t any scams on the platform.
Plus, RentCafe provides an online resident portal that allows current tenants to manage their leases, pay rent online, submit maintenance requests, and communicate with the property management team. This feature streamlines the rental experience for tenants.
- Real-time visitation hours offered
- Top-quality apartments listed
- Resident portal makes paying rent simple
How To Pick The Best Apartment
I’m not going to tell you how to pick the best apartment because I know nothing about you. You could have pets, allergies, or a limited budget. Only you can decide what you need to look for in a living space. However, I can give you some basic considerations to keep in your back pocket while looking through the best apartment rental sites.
- Budget: Determine your budget and establish how much you can afford to spend on rent each month. Consider additional costs such as utilities, parking, and maintenance fees.
- Location: Evaluate the neighborhood and its proximity to your workplace, schools, public transportation, grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and other amenities you value. Also, think about safety, noise levels, and the overall vibe of the area.
- Size and layout: Determine the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require, as well as the overall square footage. Consider the layout and whether it meets your needs for living, dining, and storage space.
- Lease terms: Review the lease agreement carefully, paying attention to the duration of the lease, terms for renewal or termination, and any restrictions or rules that may affect your living experience.
- Amenities: Consider the amenities offered by the apartment complex, such as laundry facilities, parking availability, fitness centers, swimming pools, communal spaces, and security features. Determine which amenities are important to you.
- Pet policy: If you have a pet or plan to get one, check if the apartment allows pets and if there are any restrictions, additional fees, or deposits associated with them.
- Maintenance and repairs: Inquire about the management’s responsiveness to maintenance requests and how repairs are handled. It’s important to know how quickly issues are resolved and who is responsible for the associated costs.
- Utilities: Find out which utilities are included in the rent and which ones you’ll be responsible for paying separately. This will help you budget for monthly expenses accurately.
- Parking: If you own a vehicle, consider the availability, cost, and convenience of parking options. Determine if there are designated parking spots, street parking regulations, or additional fees associated with parking.
- Accessibility: Assess the accessibility of the apartment, particularly if you have specific mobility needs. Check if there are elevators, ramps, or any barriers that may affect your daily life.
- Natural lighting and ventilation: Take note of the apartment’s exposure to natural light and the availability of windows for ventilation. Consider your preference for a bright and airy space.
- Safety and security: Inquire about the security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras, secure entrances, and door locks. Research the neighborhood’s crime rate and ask current residents about their experience with safety.
- Renters insurance: Determine if the landlord requires renters insurance and what it covers. Consider obtaining renters insurance to protect your personal belongings and liability.
- Future plans: Evaluate how well the apartment aligns with your future plans. If you’re planning to stay long-term, consider if the apartment will meet your needs in the coming years.
- Read reviews and talk to current residents: Research online reviews or talk to current residents to gain insights into the living experience, management responsiveness, and any potential issues with the property.
Finally, here’s an uncommon tip – visit the apartment during the day and night. This will give you an idea of how the area differs depending on the time of day. It’ll also show you what the apartment looks like when there’s more or less sunshine so you can see whether it seems homely even in the dark.
What is the most reliable home rental website?
The best apartment rental sites in terms of reliability are those that pull from property managers. Sadly, this excludes our old friend Craigslist from the ranking, but it opens the door for sites like Zillow, Zumper, and RentCafe. You may have other local sites in your area that provide reliable rental options, but I didn’t list them here as I wanted to focus on sites with large coverage.
Where is the cheapest average rent in the US?
The most affordable states in the US are Oklahoma and Arkansas, but I don’t think you want to move there if you’re young and hungry for the big city. As such, allow me to list out five major US cities with the cheapest average rent:
- Memphis, Tennessee, $1,000 for a two-bedroom apartment
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, $1,080 for a two-bedroom apartment
- Detroit, Michigan, $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment
- El Paso, Texas, $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin, $1,110 for a two-bedroom apartment
Where can I live for $1,000 a month?
A few cities you can live in for under $1,000 a month include Rochester, NY, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. However, if you’re looking to live for that little, you may want to consider moving out of the country because it’s tough to find anywhere in the States where rent, transportation, and food will keep your spending at less than $1,000.
Housing is a hot topic and I don’t have to explain why. Most people worry whether they’ll ever be able to afford a house, and that’s if they can find one inside the large cities we’re all moving to. Unsurprisingly, finding a good apartment has become more important than ever. Most people know what they want from an apartment but don’t know where to find one.
I hope my list of the best apartment rental sites has helped you identify where to look before you move.
Enjoyed this review? Well, there’s plenty more from where this one came from! Check them out!