On the 10th December, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government updated the How to Rent guidance for the first time since last year. The guide’s purpose is to help tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to understand their rights and responsibilities.
Since the guide was last updated, the private rental sector has seen a number of changes, including the introduction of the Electrical Safety Standards regulations and the end of the transition period for the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Who needs to be given the guide?
All assured shorthold tenants should be given an up to date copy of the How to Rent Guide, meaning that from the 10th December all new tenancies, including renewals, should be given a copy of this updated guide at the start of the tenancy.
You can either provide the guide as a hard copy or email them a digital version if they have provided you with an email address that the tenant has agreed that you can contact them on.
What does the guide cover?
The guide itself provides a checklist and information on each stage of the tenancy, including:
- What to look out for before renting
- Living in a rented home
- What happens at the end of a tenancy
- What to do if things go wrong
The new version of the guide includes updated information regarding a variety of tenancy matters including licensing requirements, tenant fees and deposits.
It now covers landlords’ obligations about mandatory electrical testing and the fees under the new Tenant Fees Act amongst other changes.
What happens if you don’t provide the guide?
If you do not give a tenant the How to Rent guide at the start of the tenancy then you won’t be able to serve a valid Section 21 notice to regain possession of the property as providing the How to Rent guide is a statutory precondition of serving the notice.
A copy of the update guide can be found here.
This blog post is intended as a guide only. For further information please refer to the government’s website.