Websites dedicated to properties for rent by the owner include Rent.com and ForRentByOwner.com. Prospective renters can also use a classified ad site such as Craigslist.
How you choose to browse for rentals should depend mostly on your budget and how long you intend to occupy the property. Sites such as Rent.com target renters with middle- to upper-class budgets who plan to sign long-term apartment leases. A renter moving for work in a major city such as Chicago would benefit from this kind of site. ForRentByOwner.com also mostly features postings for average to large budgets, but the properties are available for variable times, from a few months to long-term leases. Someone in search of a summer or vacation home has several ads to browse through on the site.
There are also websites specifically for short-term vacation housing. Owner Direct Vacation Rentals is a resource for anyone with a large budget in search of a vacation home in any part of the world, as the site features postings from owners in countries all over the world. Renters with small or average budgets can perform localized searches on a site such as Craigslist. Renters can browse an array of cities and neighborhoods and directly contact the owners. One downside to sites like these is that it may be difficult to sift through the properties that are not for rent by owner.