There is no central source for information about residential property for rent in the Dallas area.
The North Texas Real Estate Information Network, usually called the MLS, is probably the largest collection of individually owned properties for lease. It contains only a portion of what is available, although the portion has been growing. The website Zillow.com recycles the MLS data, as do most of the other rental websites.
The column on the right contains a link to the MLS and some other sources. Most leasing and management agencies have put their listings in the MLS. The display you get on their web site is a display drawn out of the MLS database.
If you can find an agent to show you rental property, you can see property in the MLS and the property listed by that agent's office. You probably won't see anything not listed because the agency cannot make a commission, and in a slow market like this one it is hard for leasing agents to make a living.
By contrast, the MLS system for selling residential property is well organized and it is easy to find an agent who will show because the commissions are bigger. Most of the residential property for sale is available through the MLS and agents who are members.
NTREIS real estate database. formerly Dallas area MLS . This is the public portion of the largest database for residential real estate in the Dallas area. No ads, no popups, no sign-up. Caution: You will not get the phone numbers for other real estate agencies when you search this database. If you find something you like, you will have to look up the phone number. The name of the listing agency is at the bottom of the details page. If you try to send an email, it will come back to our office and it is not our listing. Better yet: get in your car and go find the property. You will know what the neighborhood looks like and can get the number off the sign.
CraigsList is one of the largest rental databases. It is free so some property found here may be listed nowhere else.
Dallas Morning News classified ads once dominated the market but now have shrunk to the point that the paper's website no longer features its own ads but contracts with an internet agency to produce rentals. Still it is easy to use but not comprehensive.
Ebby Halliday puts everything in the MLS. So an MLS search will turn up all of Ebby's listings.
Posey Properties based in Plano
Signature Leasing has a large inventory; puts its listings in the MLS. Its agents will show you property listed in the MLS if you ask.
Goodloe Realty usually has some high end single family houses
Campagna Realtors specializes in Lakewood and East Dallas and puts its listings in the MLS.
Apex Realty usually has single family houses in Garland and eastern Dallas County