The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have informed us that they are to publish an update to the How to Rent guide.
This guide is the one which landlords granting assured shorthold tenancies in England must provide by law to their tenants.
We’re sincerely thankful to MHCLG for informing us in advance as it allows us to prepare subscribers and prepare the Tenancy Builder (see later).
In addition to the How to Rent guide, updates will also be published to other guides issued by MHCLG namely:
The How to Rent guide will be updated to include information about tenant fees and the new electrical safety rules.
All the guides will be updated on the morning of 10 December 2020.
Stephanie Kvam of MHCLG said:
The ‘How to…’ Guides provide information to tenants and landlords in the Private Rented Sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. The ‘How to Rent’ guide must be given tenants at the beginning of new tenancies.
The department last updated these guides in June 2019. Since then, new laws have come into force as a result of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and the Electrical Safety Act 2020.
These will be published on the gov.uk website on the morning of 10 December.
How to Rent and Tenancy Builder
Our Tenancy Builder automatically inserts the current How to Rent guide into any assured shorthold tenancy built. Our system directly feeds from the MHCLG website to download so it will be interesting to see what happens. If they change the filename then, it will fail (but we will be closely monitoring to update the filename at our server end). Otherwise, if they retain the same file and just overwrite, our system will immediately and automatically start inserting the correct new guide. This is the first update to the guide since implementing this system so, we will be on standby!
You should wait before building an agreement before 10 December 2020 until we announce on our Twitter feed that the Builder has been updated.
Update 10/12/2020: Tenancy Builder has been updated with the latest How to Rent guide.
If you have an agreement in draft form that is to be granted on or after 10 December, you should now wait until the 10th so you ensure you have the latest guide.
How to Rent and Existing Tenancies
Where there is an existing tenancy, there’s no requirement to provide a tenant with an updated version each time it’s published unless it’s a renewal or statutory periodic tenancy.
Therefore, if you have a tenancy which you renew on or after 10 December, the new guide will be required.
If you have a tenancy which goes statutory periodic on or after 10 December 2020, a new guide will need to be provided because statutory periodic is classed as a renewal.
Our assured shorthold tenancy agreements don’t go statutory periodic and instead go contractual periodic so subscribers using our agreements don’t need to provide the updated guide when it goes periodic (but could still do so if they wish).
We have more information about providing the How to Rent guide for England here.