Know Before You Rent

Tips for Renting on Craigslist

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If you’re in the market for an apartment, one of the first places to look for rental locations is Craigslist. Homeowners and management companies alike use this website to post listings, providing renters with excellent information, making the selection process easier.

When using Craigslist to find your next apartment, pay attention to the following tips:

1. The website receives the highest traffic of people looking for apartments on Sundays. But it’s one of the lowest posting dates. Monitor Craigslist during the week when management companies are more apt to post new openings.

2. Use the mapping service to research the property before you take the time to drive over and check it out. Google Maps can give you a street location, as well as satellite images, allowing you to determine what you’ll see from your living room window each morning.

3. Be suspicious of a deal that sounds too good to be true. Unfortunately identity scammers try to use Craigslist to gather personal information about unsuspecting individuals, as well as asking for renters to wire money to a “future landlord.” If you question the ownership of a property you’re interested in renting, check the property records with the city to find out who is currently paying taxes for the property.

4. Ask the landlord if the property is in foreclosure, or will be put on the market for sale. Ask for the response in writing.

5. Always visit apartments during the daytime to inspect them in person, and bring a friend or family member with you. If you decide to take the apartment, bring a person with you when signing the rental property agreement.