The Zillow blog mentions that with the slow real estate market, the option to rent is a "good option for many." This market is creating more investor opportunities with buying rental properties, so as a renter, be aware of your rights. Check out the Fair Housing Act to understand the law regarding discrimination. If your application is turned down, find out why.
Read up on the state's landlord and tenant laws so you can be clear as to what's required if you want to break a lease early, or rent an apartment now.
Consider negotiating for start rent dates and security deposits. Educate yourself on what you can and cannot negotiate for. Get in writing all the agreed upon repairs to be done to the apartment or home you are renting.
And always, communicate clearly and respectfully with the landlord or property manager.