Since u didn't say a lease was offered sounds like a month to month rental. In any event lease or not, u should have a basic agreement, preferably in writing, providing for the terms most important to you, such as names & addresses, rent, term of occupancy & utilities. Most leases are pre-printed landlord forms. U might like to read one over and pick terms u find important to u. Of course if u write an agreement, landlord will most likely want some terms of their own. Gentleman's agreements usually don't work over the long run. What u originally agreed to at the start will inevitably change for one reason or another. If you don't have something to show u live there, unscrupulous landlords may try to lock u out & u might have an uphill battle to prove u were illegally evicted. Along with an agreement u should make sure u control your utilities, except possibly heat, and that you have your own mail box (if there isn't one u should agree with landlord to install one). U should always read your mail when u are a tenant. U should have government Id (DMV) listed & issued to you at your address. Without a lease or agreement with a definite term your landlord could evict u after serving a 30 Day Notice to Quit. A lease will usually have terms that provide for your rights to occupy until a future date & on terms that landlord can only remove u if u breach the lease. Of course a lease goes both ways to protect landlord & tenant, but it is usually written with more don'ts than can do's for the tenant, thus it usually protects the landlord more than the tenant; but it can provide peace of mind that most things that came up in a lease situation are spelled out one way or the other & leave little doubt about what was agreed upon in the first place. If you make an agreement, lease or not, if u are not a lawyer, you should consult a lawyer to explain how the written terms will be interpreted or u might not have the benefit of any deal u wrote anyway. Legal interpretations of lease & contract clauses don't always follow logic. And yes a lawyer does charge for their time to analyze your lease or agreement, but it may well be money well spent.