• The Government has published a revised version of their guide “How to rent: The checklist for renting in England” with effect from 9 July 2018.

    It is a more substantial update over the January 2018 changes, with a new look and text that makes this version a more apparent change over the previous versions.

    The guide is part of the “prescribed information” required to be given by a landlord to their tenant prior to the commencement of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). A landlord must supply the current version of the guide. This can be provided either as a printed copy or, if the tenant agrees, by email as pdf attachment.

    The requirement for a landlord to give this “prescribed information” is set out in the Deregulation Act 2015 and has applied to all new ASTs entered into since 1 October 2015. Under Section 21B of the Housing Act 1988 a landlord may not give a valid Section 21 Notice to terminate an AST when the landlord has not complied with this obligation.

    Whilst there is no obligation to provide any updated versions of the guide that occur during a tenancy, if a new statutory continuation tenancy or new fixed term AST should occur a landlord should ensure that the latest version is provided to the tenant.

    The look of the new How to Rent guide fits in with some other new “How to…” guides published by the Government including for tenants to “rent a safe home”, for landlords on “how to let”, and for long leaseholders.

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