You should ask your landlord for a written copy of your tenancy agreement and always get a receipt for any money you have paid to the landlord. It is a good idea to check and agree with your landlord the extent of any damage already made to the property before you move in to avoid problems later getting your deposit back. If you own a camera, take photos of each room, particularly areas where there are marks or damage. You can then refer back to these if there is a dispute when your tenancy ends.
Private properties are let on what is known as an assured shorthold tenancy. This means that you are secure in the property for a minimum of six months as long as you don't break any of the tenancy rules laid down in your tenancy agreement.
You need to agree with the landlord how long your shorthold tenancy will last. It can last for a set period (known as a "fixed term") or can be left open ended. An assured shorthold tenancy does not give you the right to have your tenancy extended after the original period has ended. It is well worth asking your landlord how long he or she is planning to let the property, especially if you want to avoid having to move on again in the future.