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Updated How to Rent guide

Wednesday 09 December 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will be releasing an updated How to Rent guide – the checklist for renting in England tomorrow, 10 December.

This update means that landlords and letting agents must make sure that new tenants or those renewing, issue the correct version of the guide.

In addition to the How to Rent guide, updated versions to other guides issued by MHCLG will include:

  • How to Rent a Safe Home
  • How to Let

The changes to the How to Rent guide

The specific changes to the guide are not yet known, but it will incorporate recent legislative changes such as:

  • Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)
  • Tenant Fees Act
  • Electrical checks

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.

Which version?

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.

Once the updated guide is available we will distribute it to members.