A new How to Rent guide which is mandatory to give to assured shorthold tenants in England has been published despite it only being a couple of weeks since the last one was published!
The title has changed from:
HOW TO…RENT A guide for current and prospective tenants in the private rented sector in England
HOW TO…RENT The checklist for renting in England
This is important because the regulations requiring the guide to be given state:
3.—(1) A landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England, …, must give the tenant … the information mentioned in paragraph (2).
(2) The information is the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that has effect for the time being.
As the 26 June 2018 version did not use the title as specified in the regulations, it was arguable, that wasn’t the appropriate guide to give.
To add confusion, the page hosting the guide still says last updated 26 June 2018 and the HTML version of the guide still says June but, the PDF guide has been changed to July. It’s therefore unclear whether this is simply a continuation and corrected version of the June guide or a brand new July version.
The NearlyLegal blog is advising all landlords who gave the June guide from 26 June 2018 to give again this version to play it safe. This is good advice.
This July version should also be provided with any renewals or going statutory periodic from now on.
Other minor changes are also made from the June to July version. As we pointed out, there was a mistake about landlords giving an electrical report and evidence about the checking of smoke alarms to tenants. The June version said landlords must provide this information which has now been changed to should.
The final change is that one of the links in the June guide in the “help and advice” section has been removed in the July version.
We had previously emailed MHCLG about errors which today they have replied to thank us and confirming the new published guide. We have replied asking for clarity on whether it’s a new July guide or a corrected June guide.
As always, our Tenancy Builder has been updated with this latest version. If you have already sent a draft with the previous guide, when you update the agreement to final, the new guide will automatically be inserted.