I've paid first month's rent, and security, in the form of a cashier's check, which is essentially a cash equivalent. Does this technically constitute a contract? I believe there was on offer and acceptance, evident through the request and acceptance of the money, as well as consideration (the money itself), and obviously, legal intent. They are giving me problems because of limited credit history... should they not have checked on this prior to requesting and accepting the first month's rent? I know in a prior situation, when my lease expired, I continued paying rent on a month-to-month basis and the landlord told me that simply by paying and her accepting, this constituted a month-to-month contract.
A rental agreement is a contract outlining terms of tenancy for a certain period of time. Short-term rental agreements may renew automatically until cancelled.
Landlord-tenant law is governed mostly by state laws, and covers issues like security deposit limits and deadlines, evictions, and the right to withhold rent.