If you need to find a new place to live, but you do not have a lot of money to put towards rent, you may think your only option is to live in an unsafe area or in a rundown apartment. But this is not the case. You'll have to do some intense legwork to get there, but there are definitely ways to find a decent, safe apartment for rent on a tight budget.
1. Think of living with roommates.
If you are single and do not mind sharing space with other people, consider finding a few roommates who are willing to share an apartment. Two or three-bedroom apartments generally cost only a little more to rent than one-bedrooms, but you'll be splitting the rent two or three ways, so your total cost is lower. Ask around among friends to see if anyone is looking for a roommate, and consider posting on housing boards online, too.
2. Search in a college town.
Whether you plan to live with roommates or alone, consider focusing your search on a college town. College towns are generally pretty safe, and there tend to be a lot of affordable apartments for rent, since students can't usually afford to may much. Yet, the apartments are functional and generally located near conveniences. After all, college students don't always have cars, either. You may feel strange being a non-student renter in a college town, but that's a small price to pay for cheap, safe living.
3. Be willing to walk up stairs.
Apartments up a few flights of stairs do not appeal to a lot of people. Few people want to move all of their items up so many stairs or climb the stairs every day. So, you can typically get a decent apartment in a decent area for a cheap price if you're willing to live on an upper floor! Some top-floor apartments sit on the market for a long time since they're less desirable, so you might be able to offer the landlord less than they're asking for rent and have them accept your offer.
4. Ask for a discount for maintenance.
Another option is to look for apartments that are slightly more than you can afford, and then ask the landlord if they can give you a discount if you agree to take care of the gardening, maintain the common spaces, or do some other sort of work. Many landlord will accept this offer since it saves them from having to hire a gardener or other contractor.