The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide was updated on 17th January 2018.
The guide is aimed at tenants and landlords in the private rented sector and has been created to help them to understand their rights and responsibilities. It includes key information on what to look out for before renting, living in a rented home, the process at the end of the tenancy and what to do if something goes wrong.
The Deregulation Act that came into force in 2015 means that landlords are required to provide their tenants with the most recent version of the guide at the start of the tenancy. Failure to do so means landlords will be unable to serve a Section 21 notice on their tenants.
A Section 21 notice can be used by landlords to evict tenants who have an assured shorthold tenancy agreement and is known as a ‘notice of seeking possession’. It is important to note that you will be unable to serve this notice if you did not provide the tenant with:
- The properties Energy Performance Certificate
- Current gas safety records for the property
- The Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide
For more information on a Section 21 notice visit the Government website here.
It is therefore important that you make sure that you provide the updated copy to all new tenants and to any existing tenants at the renewal of a tenancy. However, landlords do not need to re-serve the updated guide to any existing tenants.
In the most recent update, the Government removed the reference to the ‘London Rental Standard’ in the renting ‘Direct from the Landlord’ section of the guide. This voluntary initiative was designed to improve standards within the rental industry in London, however, it has been discontinued by the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in favour of a ‘Rogue Landlord and Agent Database’.
The guide is subject to regular review and amendments and so it is important that you regularly check the Government website for any changes to ensure that you remain compliant.
The updated ‘How to Rent’ guide can be found here.