As a full time Realtor, based in Oneonta, I completely agree with your assessment of the long term rental market in Oneonta. The situation is frankly, deplorable. Most local landlords prefer to rent to students, who pay in advance and leave during the summer, at which time the landlord can either pursue the baseball rental market as an outlying area to Cooperstown, or do capital improvements on the unit. Compounding the problem is the fact that home prices are low, therefore, most long term residents who can afford to buy a home, do that.
Due to these unique set of circumstances, affordable long term rentals are few and far between in the City of Oneonta. Craigslist and local drive around offers (watch for signs,) are out there, but the market is competitive and you must be ready to move quickly. Surrounding areas, such as Davenport have more offerings at often at better prices.
A licensed Realtor can help you in your search, as we often are aware of pre-market opportunities. There are several local real estate offices who can help.
75 Market Street
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 222-8571... more