New Government How to Rent Guide: What You Need to Know
How to Rent guides are one of the key documents that a landlord must serve on their tenant. These guides set out important information for both parties to know, including rights, responsibilities and what to do if things go wrong.
Since October 2015, it has been a requirement for a landlord to provide their tenant with the latest version of the guide at three key points during a tenancy:
- At the start of the tenancy,
- Once the tenancy becomes statutory periodic,
- At the start of an extension agreement.
The guide has been updated several times since its launch. Meanwhile, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have indicated that another new How to Rent guide will be issued in early October 2023.
However, if a landlord had failed to serve the correct How to Rent Guide before serving a Section 21 Notice, then the notice will be invalid.
Which ‘How to Rent Guides’ should have been served:
With another version of the guide about to come into circulation, do you know which guide would have been served in the following tenancy scenario?
|November 2015||12-month tenancy begins||October 2015 Guide||Required at the start of all new tenancies|
|November 2016||Periodic tenancy begins||February 2016 Guide||Once the tenancy becomes statutory periodic|
|September 2019||New 24-month tenancy extension begins||July 2019 Guide||Extension agreement signed|
|September 2021||New periodic tenancy begins||July 2021 Guide||Once again, the tenancy becomes statutory periodic|
|November 2023||Section 21 notice due to be issued||No guide needed||Landlord wishes to serve notice|
Within this tenancy, there have been no new triggers for the ‘How to Rent’ guide to be issued since the statutory periodic tenancy started in September 2021. Therefore, in this fictitious scenario, even though the landlord wishes to sell the property, they do not need to reissue a guide – even though it is due to be updated in October 2023. That’s because the tenant was served the correct guide at the last key trigger point.
However, if the landlord had failed to issue the correct guides, at the appropriate junctions during the tenancy then the landlord would be unable to issue a Section 21 Notice unless they had issued the most up to date guide before notice was served.
What is inside the new guide
The updated guide is expected to include reference to the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, which replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes and allows tenants to access legal advice if they are at risk of losing their home.
Alongside our Legal Providers, Woodstock Legal Services, we stay on top of all tenancy related developments and have a skilled and experienced team to assist you with any landlord and tenant needs. If you need any advice, please talk to us.