I have always been successful with "negotiating" down to one month deposit on lease signing. But in that process I have also considered the landlord's position to identify a "win/win". The most recent condo rental involved the landlord providing a rent reduction, installation of a washing machine and agreeing to one month security. One my side I offered a longer rental term and rent payments in 6 month advance bundles. I figure this allows both of us to "sleep better", a two way street vs a one way street. I always look for newer buildings with multiple similar units available and vacant, feeling this strengthening my negotiation position and the value of my offer.