Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

The number of renters nationwide is on the rise. But even in this landlords’ world, savvy renters can still come out ahead.

I’m Kristin Arnold with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

Rent is negotiable, even in a competitive market. If a property has been listed for a month, you have a shot at reducing rent. Convince the landlord that waiting for another tenant would be costly. Of course, this plan may not work as well in a market that turns around listing in 48 hours.

Renters should never pay double for pets. Most landlords will require a pet deposit or a monthly fee, but you should never pay both.

There’s a difference between being owed a security deposit and actually getting that refund back. Videotape the apartment before moving in and take before and after photos. Insist on a final walk-through with the landlord when you move out with a witness on hand. Then make a timely written request for the return of the security deposit.

A $30 fee to run a credit check may not be a big deal if you apply at one apartment, but what if you have to apply elsewhere? Avoid the fee and pull your credit report yourself. Some landlords and management companies accept that.

Finding the right landlord is just as important as living in the right place. A property’s condition offer insight into the landlord or management company, and it may not hurt to check with the neighbors, too.

To learn more about the housing market, visit Bankrate.com. I’m Kristin Arnold.