Be careful. Only deal with reputable, established real estate professionals with references and accountability. I've seen some crazy schemes over the years. Most recently, I witnessed scam artists victimizing would-be renters for a house that was actually for sale by a legitimate Realtor and seller (not for rent). The crooks took the pictures from the (for sale) listing and made their own rental listing and had people paying money to apply to lease this house, that they had no authority to represent. The owner was still living in the house, too. Very brazen, I'm sure you'll agree. I don't believe that the police ever caught the perpetrators, but I understand that they had many applicants give them their private information (identity theft) and pay them money for screening that was never done. They were asking for first months rent, plus the security deposit, and were offering a lease. I don't know how many victims they got on that part of it, but they were "renting" the house slightly under market, around $2,000 a month, so this meant if someone fell for it, they would've turned over $4,000 to the bad guys.