How To List Your Rental Property on Craigslist

Listing your rental property on Craigslist can be a great way to increase exposure and collect more tenant leads. Here's what you need to know.

Finding tenants is one of the first and most important skills a landlord needs to develop. Vacancies are costly, however, you don’t want to simply select the first tenant that comes along. You need to

There are numerous places you can market your rental property. Including Facebook Marketplace and listing websites like Zillow and Zumper. 

One site that has been a go-to for landlords and renters for years is Craigslist. Listing your rental property on Craigslist is free and is a great way to get more interest and more leads. However, it comes with a few idiosyncrasies.

This is why we've provided a simple step-by-step guide below on how to utilize Craigslist for listing your rentals, so you can leverage the full power of this platform and find great tenants fast. 

What is Craigslist?

Craigslist is a free online platform for classified advertisements. Users have the freedom to post a wide array of ads mirroring traditional newspaper classifieds, encompassing community events, local services, job openings, housing options, items for sale, and discussion forums. Under the housing category, users can advertise apartments, houses, housing swaps, office/commercial spaces, parking/storage, real estate listings, shared rooms, room requests, temporary sublets, and vacation rentals.

If you’re looking at Craiglist to help you secure a long-term tenant, you will most likely want to explore the "apts/housing" sub-category within the housing section. Nonetheless, if you're new to utilizing Craigslist for rental postings, it could be beneficial to explore the entirety of the housing category. Who knows? You might stumble upon your next opportunity within the "real estate for sale" sub-category.

Getting Started on Craigslist for Rentals

The first step to marketing your rental property on Craigslist is to create an account. This can be accomplished through five straightforward steps, as detailed below:

  1. Visit Craigslist and locate the "Create an account" option in the upper right-hand corner of the site.
  2. Input your email address.
  3. Click on "Create account."
  4. Check your email inbox for a verification link and proceed to click on it.
  5. Opt to either create a password or opt for a passwordless authentication method.

Once you’ve created your first posting you’ll be able to find them (when you start using Craigslist to post your rentals) under your account

How To Use Craigslist To Post Your Rentals

Using Craigslist to post your rentals is a straightforward process. Here's a simplified guide to posting a rental listing on Craigslist:

  1. Visit and log in.
  2. Verify that your location is accurate.
  3. Click on "Create a Posting."
  4. Choose the type of posting, such as "Housing Offered."
  5. Select a category relevant to your rental, like "apartments / housing for rent."
  6. Input the listing details and description.
  7. Upload photos to enhance your listing.
  8. Publish your listing!

Note: In certain areas, there might be a nominal fee for posting your listing on Craigslist. This measure is typically implemented to mitigate potential scams on the platform. Further details can be found below. Fees are listed below.

Add Your Landlord Studio Listings Page to Craigslist

As a Landlord Studio user, you have the opportunity to enhance your rental postings on Craigslist by incorporating the link to your Landlord Studio listing.

When you create a rental property listing with Landlord Studio you not only get a dedicated listings page, but you can also set up a prescreening questionnaire. This prescreener is designed to help you qualify leads and weed out time wasters and scammers. The questionnaire contains questions around topics such as estimated credit score, pet ownership, and smoking habits.

Sharing your Landlord Studio link will allow you to direct prospects to your unique listings page, where they can inquire for more information, fill out the pre-screener, and apply for the rental. This means you won’t have to share your email or phone number and you can centralize the management of all of your tenant leads in a single place for easy comparison.

Plus, when you create your rental listing with Landlord Studio you can also syndicate your listing with the click of a button to top rental property marketing sites like Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, and Zumper. It’s free and you don’t need to worry about creating multiple accounts on multiple platforms.

Create your free account with Landlord Studio today to get more high intent leads, and find great tenants fast.

Avoiding Rental Scams on Craigslist

One of the downsides of Craigslist is that, while you are likely to get a good number of legitimate questions, you may also get a number of time-wasters or even scammers. As such, when it comes to utilizing Craigslist for rental listings, it's crucial to be vigilant and take proactive measures to safeguard both yourself and prospective tenants against potential scams. 

Here are some red flags that both landlords and tenants should watch out for:

  1. Renting Without Viewing: Exercise caution if a prospective tenant or landlord wants to move ahead without first arranging an in-person viewing. 
  2. International Presence: Individuals claiming to be overseas or out of the country could be a sign of a scam, especially if they are using it as an excuse to avoid meeting in person or provide verifiable references.
  3. Unorthodox Payment Methods: Scammers often prefer unconventional payment methods like wire transfers or cashiers checks as they are difficult to trace and provide little to no recourse for victims.
  4. Overpayment Scams: This tactic involves overpaying and then asking for a refund of the excess. It's commonly used in scams where fraudulent checks or money orders are involved.
  5. Sense of Urgency: By creating a sense of urgency scammers are attempting to prevent victims from thoroughly vetting the situation.
  6. Poor Communication: Legitimate tenants typically communicate clearly and provide specific information about their rental needs.
  7. Refusal to Meet in Person: If a prospective tenant refuses to meet in person this could be a sign that they are not genuinely interested or may have ulterior motives.
  8. Resistance to Application Process: Legitimate tenants should be willing to comply with standard renting and tenant screening procedures and provide the relevant documents when asked.

By staying vigilant and being aware of these warning signs, you can help protect yourself from falling victim to rental scams on Craigslist or any other online platform. Always trust your instincts and conduct thorough due diligence when dealing with potential tenants to ensure a safe and successful rental experience.

To avoid or report a scam, read more regarding Craigslist tips and advice

Craigslist Fees

As noted above, Craigslist is a free posting service, with the exceptions of:

  •  Job categories in US and parts of CA —$10-75 (fee varies by area)
  •  Apartment rentals in Boston, Chicago, and NYC areas—$5 
  •  Commercial real estate in the US—$5
  •  All for sale by-dealer categories in the US—$5
  •  Cars/trucks by-dealer in the US, Vancouver BC—$5
  •  Furniture by-dealer in Vancouver BC—$5
  •  Cars/trucks, RVs, and motorcycles by-owner in the US—$5
  •  Gigs in US and selected CA areas—$3-10
  •  Services in US and CA—$5

(Source: Craigslist)

Final Words: Craigslist for Rentals

When it comes to managing rental properties and striving for financial independence through passive income, it's crucial to recognize that the process of finding tenants can sometimes deplete your rental reserves or involve initial expenses—a fact often overlooked by novice real estate investors.

If your goal is to swiftly occupy your investment property, you have a plethora of platforms available to attract tenants. While "traditional" listing sites such as Zillow and are popular choices, don't overlook the potential of social media platforms and classified advertisement sites like Craigslist. 

Many landlords have achieved success in finding tenants, particularly in areas with a younger demographic, as an increasing number of individuals rely on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist to discover their next residence. These versatile avenues can prove invaluable in your quest to fill vacancies efficiently and effectively.

And of course, it’s well worth exploring how property management software like Landlord Studio can help you streamline your rental listing and tenant selection process with features like rental listing syndication, in-built prescreening, and tenant screening reports, all free. 

Create your free account with Landlord Studio today.

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