When you take the application, you may want to charge an application fee which covers your cost for running the credit report and your time in verifying past rental references and employment verification. At the same time you take the application and application fee, you should collect a check equal to one month's rent that is referred to at this point as an earnest money deposit. You will hold this check while processing the application. Once accepted, you will deposit this check and apply it toward the first month's rent. When you sign the lease with your new tenant, collect a security deposit, typically equal to one month's rent, along with any applicable pet deposit.