Good rentals lease almost immediatly. If you are looking intio apartments, you can go look now and they will let you know what will be available in February. Most will even hold one for you with a small holding deposit.
If you are looking for single family homes, I would wait until January, as many leases cannot post a "for lease "and show until 30 days prior to the end of the orgiinal lease. Also, this far out, if you find a vacant one or soon to be vacant, most likely they do not want to wait until February to lease it.
If you need help in finding a lease, contact me, I will be happy to help.