When looking for your next rental home, there are a plethora of online tools to help. But weeding through those tools to find the best will not only save you time and energy but will also help you locate that perfect place to live. Here, we review Rent Jungle, a rental apartment search engine that combs the web for rentals so you don't have to.
While there are a lot of search tools out there to make the hunt a little easier, not all of them are created equal. Then along came Rent Jungle, a search-engine dedicated to apartment rentals - think Google, only for people who are just looking for their next place to live. Starting with two guys who were fed-up with other rental search tools that often have limited postings or cater only to large apartment complexes without any real indication of vacancies. So, they started Rent Jungle, a search engine that looks at rental sites and pulls information into one easy-to-use location. Whether you're moving for the tenth time or moving into your first home, this is a tool that can help.
The main search page is simple and clear. It allows you enter where you're searching (location), and has an optional search box where you can enter whatever is most important to you in terms of a rental property.
When I searched, I entered the city I was looking at then typed in "pet-friendly" before hitting the search button.
One thing you'll notice when using Rent Jungle is that there isn't a preference list that you usually find in other search tools. However, once you've hit the search button, you'll find a list of rental properties (in List mode) and on the left-hand side, some options that you can choose in order to reduce the number of rentals.
You can set parameters such as a number of bedrooms and price range. You can also look by neighborhood, which is a nice feature if you know the area well enough and can locate the specific city or neighborhood. You can also look by rental type, whether that's a house for rent or apartment only or all types. When in list mode, you can also sort the list by price (low to high or vice versa), the number of bedrooms or by distance. The list view provides a lot of information at a quick glance, including price, size, address, photo and my favorite, a Walkscore.
From the list view, you do have the option of finding more information or seeing where the apartment is on the map by clicking the links. Like Google, Rent Jungle provides a very brief line about the rental, taken directly from the original ad. Remember, this is a search engine, not a rental site. One of the nice features is that a hover over the listed address will show all the pictures available. Nice way to see what a place looks like before clicking further. The good thing is, unlike other sites, when you click on an apartment address link you are taken to a new tab so you don't have to worry about hitting the back button and losing your information.
If you're not a fan of lists, then you can also view the rentals on a Google map with all the usual zoom tools. And to add some fun to the search and to alleviate some of the frustration and boredom, you'll notice when you move the map location using the grab tool (the hand cursor), Rent Jungle shows a funny image of a monkey and tells you it's updating your search and combing the web for listings.
My only complaint when using this search engine to find our next rental is that often the places are already rented. While I know that's not the fault of the search engine - just as out-dated information on a website isn't Google's fault - it was still a little frustrating, especially because I had to follow a link that took me out of Rent Jungle before I found out that the rental was gone.
Really, that was my only complaint.
Otherwise, it was a fairly easy tool to use. I highly recommend it for your next apartment rental search.
- Searches over 12,000 rental sites so you don't have to
- Easy to use
- Produces a lot of results
- Available for both Canada and the US
- Provides a lot of information upfront without the need for endless clicking
- Really, there's only one: that the search information isn't always up-to-date; some apartments I was excited to find were no longer available. Again, not the fault of Rent Jungle rather the websites they're referring to