I always advise individuals with credit and/or rental history issues to deal directly with the owners. You can find rental ads on Craigslist or in the local "green sheets." Landlords who advertise without an MLS listing tend to be a bit more flexible when dealing directly with potential tenants, especially if the property has been vacant for a while. For the most part, owners who list their homes with Realtors expect us to screen the applicants, and generally insist upon a clean rental history. We are permitted to contact previous landlords, and owners want us to do so. In your instance, you may be required to pay a higher rent, the first and last in advance, and/or a larger security deposit. Don't be surprised by the "sticker shock." I wish you well.