I am new to the Houston, TX area and have been looking at some private rooms to rent/sublease and some landlords/subleasors don't require signed leases from tenants (just for them to pay month-to-month). I assume this is a "tenancy-at-will" agreement and that is completely legal.

My questions:

1. What are the downsides to tenancy-at-will agreements?

2. What are the upsides to tenancy-at-will agreements?

3. Do tenants on tenancy-at-will agreements have the same exact rights as tenants who sign leases?

4. Do tenancy-at-will agreements allow tenants more flexibility in what they do while they live in the building?

I am actually planning on renting a private room in Houston and am not sure if renting on a tenancy-at-will agreement is better for me than having to sign an actual lease. Will a tenancy-at-will give me more freedom, more flexibility, and less restrictions with the same tenant rights as if a signed a written lease? Also, do I just write the landlord/subleasor a check with the property address and month on the check as payment? I just don't want to be giving up any rights or have any disadvantages as a tenant by renting on a tenancy-as-will agreement.