For starters you have to determine that this is actually your landlord's responsibility. You should check your lease and see if this was clearly stated in the lease. If it says it's his responsibility, then you need to point that out, and make sure that something is done to resolve it. If it doesn't say anything about this maintenance being a specific person's responsibility, then you probably will end up having to do the work on your own. If you run into problems with your landlord not following through on commitments in the lease you may want to talk to a lawyer, but I doubt that will come up.
Actually, Realtors can help you find rentals. I own a rental property, and for the past 10 years have used a Realtor I know (who specializes in rentals) to find tenants. Honestly, though, a lot of real estate agents don't focus on rentals because the commission is much less than making a sale. Commissions are always negotiable, but I happen to pay one month's rent as a commission to find a tenant--you may be able to negotiate a better deal (if you're a landlord; as a tenant, you often wouldn't pay anything). But some agents have made that a niche that they focus on, and they can be excellent at that. So I wouldn't rule out using a Realtor to find rentals.
Lots of tenants, and plenty of landlords, also use Craigslist. I've heard some success stories there. However, my personal experience has been terrible. And there are lots and lots of scams aimed at tenants on Craigslist. So--consider using Craigslist, but be very careful.
I would be interested. I am eventually moving here, but need to settle in for awhile and take care of my elderly father who lives in Aurora. I have a declawed cat 14yrs. old who is fixed, and no trouble at all.Would you consider that?... more