If you intend to rent a home from someone, you are expected to pay a deposit, and to provide references. You will normally be offered a six month Assured Shorthold Tenancy with an option to extend this at the end of that time.
When you rent you should have a written tenancy agreement. To help tenants and landlords the Government has produced a model agreement.
If you’re renting from a private landlord, read these guides which contains useful information and advice.