When you are going to rent a house, you need at least three months of payment. One month advance and two months deposit. It is the formula that works for almost all house for rent owners. I think that it is reasonable enough. We also rented once and our landlord was kind to return the deposit to us. That is after getting all the final bills like of electricity and telephone.
Other landlords require postdated checks for a year to be issued. Some just demands for one month advance and one month deposit.
One thing that anyone who would want to go into this business make sure of is : the one who would rent would at least have the ability to pay. There are many cases that some would get into the point of not being able to pay their monthly rentals anymore. Do not get too familiar or close with each other also because that could start the missing payments.
Well, for those who rent...there are many affordable housing programs available right now. Check them out. It is okay to start small. At least, you are paying for your own property.