How to Find a House for Rent Online

By Meg Jernigan

Searching for a house for rent online can simplify the process. An online search removes the need to go out and buy a paper and spend hours on the phone trying to reach prospective landlords. The search for a rental locally or in another city is eased by email, photographs and websites that provide detailed information about properties. Most traditional sources for home searches, such as newspapers and advertising circulars, are now online. You can broaden the scope of your search, however, by knowing where to look for more listings of houses to rent.

Step 1

Log on to one of the nationwide house-and-apartment-rental websites, such as, or Searching for homes is free, and most websites show photos of the property, give details and have an option to contact the landlord rather than go through a third party.

Step 2

Check realty agencies' websites in the area where you want to rent. They frequently have a real estate agent on staff who handles rental houses.

Step 3

Visit the website of the town or city where you want to move, and check for links to local newspapers. Read the ads at online newspaper websites and place Housing Wanted ads. Include free newspapers and papers that are dedicated to advertising.

Step 4

Use the local craigslist. Most cities have both Wanted and For Rent sections. Beware of scams that happen on some craigslist sites, and check out prospects as carefully as possible. Bring a friend when you visit the property.

Step 5

Sign up for a free account to search for short-term house rentals at The company handles sublets worldwide. If you're interested in a rent-to-own property, visit JSC Investment's website at Searches are free and there's no need to register.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have any qualms, take a friend with you when you look at properties. Don't rent a house online without looking at it first.