Updated How to Rent guide
The Government has now officially released information on the amendments to the How to Rent guide - the checklist for renting in England. This update means that landlords and letting agents must make sure that new tenants or those renewing, issue the correct version of the guide.
Outline of changes to How to Rent guide
- Updated links to the GOV.UK client money protection scheme web page (updated 3 June 2019).
- The ‘before you start’ section updated to clarify Shelter’s advisory role. The sentence ‘If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for help’ was amended to ‘If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for advice' (updated 29 July 2019).
- Corrected to reflect the re-branding of National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) to Safeagent.
These are only minor changes, but the Deregulation Act 2015 made it a requirement for landlords and letting agents to serve on tenants the How to Rent guide.
Hard copy or email?
The guide must be given to tenants either as a hard copy or, if they agree, via email as a PDF attachment.
When to serve
It is worth remembering that at the start of a new tenancy or new Fixed Term the most up to date version of the How to Rent guide will need to be reserved.
Impact on Section 21
Failure to provide tenants with an updated How to Rent guide before serving a Section 21 notice, will mean that the notice is invalid, and landlords will be unable to rely on it.
If agents are in any doubt about whether they have given the correct version or format of the How to Rent guide it is advisable to send an updated copy of the guide to all your tenants.
ARLA Propertymark is in continual dialogue with the Ministry of Housing about issues affecting the Private Rented Sector. We continue to reiterate to the Government the need for a coordinated approach to updating the How to Rent guide and the impact it has on the existing tenancies and the working practices of agents.
Source: Propertymark March 2023