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How to Rent clarification

Wednesday 21 August 2019

After receiving feedback from our members regarding the updated How to rent: the checklist for renting in England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has now provided clarification to ARLA Propertymark.

The most up to date How to Rent guide was published on the Government’s website on 7 August 2019.

The changes include

  • 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

ARLA Propertymark members were concerned that despite amendments made to the document as stated, the guide itself is currently dated May 2019 rather than August 2019. To reflect this, we sought clarification from MHCLG that the updated guide was still correct.

MHCLG has now added text to the publication page stating: “This is the most up to date version of the Guide. It incorporates all changes detailed in the update history below (although dated May). Note: we have not corrected the date in order to avoid creating a new version.”

Therefore, despite the date discrepancy, any document downloaded since the update on 7 August 2019 is the correct copy and is what letting agents and landlords should continue issuing to all new and renewing tenants as required by the Deregulation Act 2015. If you have issued the latest version since 7 August 2019, you will not need to reissue despite the May 2019 date.

A representative from MHCLG told ARLA Propertymark that they intended for the guide to be updated on a twice-yearly basis, and that they would be engaging with stakeholders should further amendments be made.

ARLA Propertymark is in continual dialogue with MHCLG concerning the issues affecting the private rented sector. We continue to highlight the feedback we receive from members.

News story: ‘Updated How to Rent guide