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Is it hard to rent apartment w/out resident card? (Hanoi)

Moving in July to Hanoi.
I was told (during previous trip) by 2 police stations and immigration Dept. that I can't get a residency card from local police because I have only a the 5 Year Visa Exemption (due to my minor daughter being Vietnamese) and I will not have a work, business or student visa. Definitely can't get a bank account - that's okay I can manage without that, altho inconvenient. But I am worried about an apartment owner or agency wanting to see the resident card in order to rent to me.
Has anyone been able to easily rent without one?

( I am coming with my US local police clearance, State DOJ fingerprint and FBI clearance and hope to get a resident card somehow - without paying an outrageous sum at some point, but I certainly won't have one before apartment hunting.))

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