Best that you work with a rental agent from a reputable property management company. Too many listings are being hijacked by unscrupulous people. Prospects are asked to complete formal looking applications that ask for a lot of personal information, and then ask prospects to send their deposit via Western Union. When unsuspecting folks do this, they find themselves swindled out of money, and have their personal information jeopardized in different scams like identity theft.
Drive by the place...if there's a for sale sign, then it's not for rent.
Google property management companies in the cities you choose and speak to two or three rental agents who may have other properties that are not yet activated, but may be suitable for your needs.