How to Rent Guide
How to Rent Guide
On Friday 24th March 2023, the government released the updated How to Rent Guide. Landlords should make sure that they give existing tenants this latest Guide in hardcopy or as a PDF (so long as the tenants have agreed to receive paperwork by email) whenever possible.
It is a legal requirement to be given when:
New tenancies are being drawn up.
Tenancies are being renewed, even if the tenant/s received it previously – this is considered best practice.
Fixed term tenancies roll over into Statutory Periodic tenancies that start on or after the 24th March – again best practice.
At a quick glance little has changed but there are numerous significant changes that landlords need to be aware of as it is over two years since the last version was issued. When looking at the New Guide, agents and landlords need to be aware of the following points. The guide now:
- No longer features a dedicated section on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs).
- Allows the use of Identity Verification Technology (IVT) for Right to Rent checks, providing a more efficient and secure method for verifying tenants’ identity and immigration status.
- Covers making property alterations and the tax obligations of landlords living outside the UK, offering valuable information for property modifications and understanding tax implications.
- Covers current smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, advising both parties of their responsibilities.
- Uses updated terminology for electrical installation reports, clarifying requirements for landlords and tenants.
- Includes updated wording for fitting smoke alarms, conducting Right to Rent checks, and considering requests for reasonable adjustments from disabled tenants.
- Has a new section helping disabled tenants assess property suitability and potential adjustments.
- Encourages installing smart meters for energy efficiency and cost savings.
- Has a new section offering guidance on the eviction process and the rights of both parties if a tenant fails to leave the property as required.
- Has a new section highlighting the importance of checking flood risks and taking necessary precautions when renting a property.
- Lists the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a reputable agent, providing reliable property advice and services for landlords and tenants.
- Replaces abbreviations and terms with full names for clarity.
The revised “How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England” guide is a crucial resource for landlords and tenants in the English rental market. The aim is to ensure that landlords understand the latest changes so that they remain compliant and for both parties to be able to enjoy a smooth rental experience. If in any doubt, landlords should take professional advice to make sure they are acting legally and their property.