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Renter’s Checklist, Step 2: Search

How to find the best place to live — even if you're a novice — in 4 simple steps.


Step 2: Search

Get online

  • Up to 95% of renters begin their search on the Web. Check out Trulia and filter to find just what you’re looking for. Browse available rentals on a map or opt for the photo view. You can even save searches to be notified as soon as new listings that match your criteria hit the market.
  • And to stay in the know on the go, make sure to download Trulia’s free mobile app too.

Contact the landlord or property manager

  • But before you do, we urge every renter to read our fraud FAQ.
  • Once you’ve found the one, complete the contact form in the upper-right corner of the Trulia listing page to get more information on a property. Depending on the market, some vacancies get filled within hours of becoming available, so don’t spend too long waffling if you think a place might work for you.
  • Keep track of your requests and the information you receive — and be specific. Document the listing name, landlord contact information, price, address, and last date of contact.
  • Make yourself available. Again, some rentals are snapped up lightning fast, so squeeze in that lunchtime visit if you can!

Do some research

  • If you’re renting in a large or well-known building, check out reviews online. Then do a little research on the landlord or property management company before visiting the unit.
  • Establish what costs you may incur before you even move in. If you’re working with a rental agent to view properties, be aware that some charge a fee for their services whether or not you end up renting with them.
  • And remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. When you’re dealing with a potential landlord, he or she should return your calls in a timely manner, and questions should be answered respectfully and thoroughly. If you’re having difficulty early on, it may not bode well for interactions down the road when you’re an actual tenant.

Step 1: Discover
Step 2: Search
Step 3: Compare
Step 4: Sign