Rental Apartment Complex:
These are usually run by some management. In these type of apartments the maintenance is available on site. So if something breaks or does not work properly then repair is done faster.
Usually companies provide guest house accommodation at least for first 15-days free of cost and then start charging for it per month basis. In the shopping centers/malls (e.g. Wal-Mart, Kmart etc) the -Apartment Guide- is available free. Find out which is a convenient place to stay and commute to work for you and then start calling the apartment supervisor for availability of apartment. Typically in New Jersey, New York area there is the waiting period of 1-2 months before you get an apartment. Other states within a week you may get an apartment. Best thing is to tell your friends to look and reserve an apartment for you if possible. Usually the lease is for 1 year and security deposit is 1-1/2 times the rent.
Rental houses by owners :
Sometimes owners give ads in the local newspaper that the house is available for renting. Owner may not live in the same city so repair works is delayed or the tenant has to get it done and then can be reimbursed by the owner.
Rental Agencies usually work with the owner. Agency charges a registration fee and then finds out the house/apartment according to the specification of the tenant. Once the rental agreement is signed the agency charges one/one and half months of rent from the tenant ( It may be negotiable)
For online search for apartment go to site www.apartmentguide.com