is it too much to request first and last month with a security deposit? I have some really qualified potentials and I'm curious to know if I have that in back pocket to take away the last month and they can just pay it during lease months.
From my own personal experience as a tenant and friends who are tenants. Nothing turns you away from a potential rental than being required to pay 3 way. The only way tenants are willing to pay 3 ways is if the property is in a high demand area or the rent is not too exorbitant that its affordable to them to pay 3 ways. Even in New York City, most private landlords only require Security Deposit and First Months rent.
So if you feel the property is in a great neighborhood or the asking rent is affordable to pay 3 ways then by all means do that. If not I would only require the Security Deposit and First Month.
Your suggestion at the end would be the middle ground of my suggestion, so may be it will work for you if you do it that way.
My friend with just under 30 sfh in Texas requires first, last and security of her low credit score tenants, and they come up with the money. Her houses are generally in nicer areas.
That's all market driven, I know some areas do that and some don't. Call a few rental ad's and see what the others are doing.
I’m guessing in most areas this would be a struggle unless they have bad credit and are used to doing this