I also believe your best bet is something direct from owner. Your son could find a number of places he likes using an agent; however, after writing the lease offer, it would be turned down. With an owner you get a face-to-face meeting, and he can present his case in full and probably gain some confidence from the owner. I know someone who has an erratic income record based on time of year. His landlord has worked with him from year one on these "lean" times. He found it as a "by owner" rental in the Dallas area.