The MLS is the single best method to find a tenant for your residential rental property. I would challenge anyone to dispute this claim and provide evidence to the contrary.
With the changing resale market, the rental market has strengthened across the country. Not only are rental prices up but the time it takes to rent a property is down. Look at it this way, people need a place to live. If you default on your home and lose the property to the bank, you still need a place to live.
How does it work?
The MLS has sep sections for residential sales, rentals, commercial, etc… The rental listings appear just as a for sale listing would appear. (price and commission are of course listed differently)
Rather than waste your money with the local newspaper, consider placing a rental ad in the MLS. I can almost guarantee you will see more activity from the MLS for your rental than any other advertising outlet.