Before you move into a privately-rented home you should normally sign a 'tenancy agreement' - a legal contract that sets out your rights and responsibilities, and the rights and responsibilities of your landlord.
It says how much rent you should pay, what repairs the landlord must do and the rules about leaving the property.
The landlord doesn't have to give you a written tenancy agreement, but you have the right to a written 'statement' which should include: the date the tenancy began, the amount of rent and the dates it should be paid, the arrangements for increasing the rent, and the length of the tenancy (usually six or twelve months).
Make sure you can pay the rent set in the tenancy agreement and have claimed housing benefit if necessary. Any tenancy you are given needs to be fair and your landlord cannot take away your legal rights no matter what it says in the agreement.