i have not had a landlord ask for a deposit before sending out a lease for execution, but i can certainly see where that would be an intelligent strategy from a landlord. lots of times leases will go out for execution and will never sign. in the meantime the landlord may have turned away potential tenants because they felt they had a deal in place. in order to make sure you are serious and not just aggressively shopping, this is a smart strategy. I would fully negotiate that deposit though. I think one month is too much for this type of deposit. Because your lease calls for a security deposit, I would negotiate paying 1/2 months rent as good faith, with the rest of the deposit and first months rent to be delivered with the signed lease. I agree that the deposit should be accompanied by a written contract stating that this takes the space off the market.
May 10, 2013