Rent prices have a strong relationship with economic factors in addition to the structural and environmental characteristics of housing stocks. Previous research demonstrated that impacts of unexpected and sudden circumstances such as war and epidemics on urban housing markets relate to their effects on the economy. Following the first COVID-19 case in Turkey, which was officially announced on 11 March 2020, changes in both housing preferences and economic structure have significantly affected the rental housing market due to the pandemic conditions. To highlight challenges in the rental housing market, this study addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced rental housing prices in 81 provinces of Turkey using the big data set of Endeksa, a private real-estate platform in Turkey. The data set was descriptively analyzed through four main periods identified on the basis of changing COVID-19 pandemic regulations and implementations in Turkey. Average rent prices of Turkish provinces during the identified periods were compared using ArcGIS 10.6. to show how private rent prices changed during the pandemic. The findings demonstrated that the unit rent prices generally increased from March 2020 to December 2021 throughout the whole country. Furthermore, the findings highlighted that while metropolitan cities have the highest unit rent price, the highest rent price rise occurred in provinces located in Central and Eastern Anatolia. This study contributes to the literature on how sudden shocks such as pandemics affect rent prices in free rental markets. In addition, it shows how the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rental housing market differ from country to country by revealing the increasing trends in Turkey.