in my opinion you can never hold to much in reserve....
I hear ya ... But I would have turned too many good people away if I held out for first, last and security.* Heck, I've got one tenant 9+ years who had first + $100 and built the security up at $100/mo.
Every eviction I've done happened when the tenant fell out of the 3x rent criteria (job loss, seperation/divorce, blah, blah, blah ...).* An eviction in MA will set you back 3 months if you act as soon as possible;* any longer, it's my fault (for being too trusting/forgiving).