Find a local agent!
Let him or her guide you................ and explain the process to you step by step.
At the very least, you will be expected to show verification of employment (income high enough to afford the rent)......... and have your credit scores run........there may be other information that is required, but that depends on the individual landlord.
If you have a few hiccups in your past (financial hiccups), your agent can potentially help you overcome them.
For most leases (yes, I am in NJ, so this certainly varies state to state) you will be expected to give the first month's rent upfront, along with a security deposit (here it is usually 1.5 month's rent).......in my area, the tenant also (usually) pays the commission - often = to 1 month's rent.
Find out what is customary and usual where you are.