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Verbal Commit to Rental without Deposit

How long can I hold a rental for a single family home by a verbal commitment and no security deposit?  Can we continue showing the home and possibly rent to another party if that other party gives a security deposit?  How much weight does a verbal contract hold here.
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I, personally would not hold a rental for a long term without some type of substantial payment such as the security deposit or the first months rent. I would also have the interested party sign the lease. If you contact your current prospective and tell them that you need a month's rent to hold the unit and they get upset; then you can tell them that you cannot hold it without a deposit.
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