The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities recently revised the "How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England" guide on March 24, 2023. This essential resource for landlords and tenants outlines their rights, responsibilities, and regulations when renting a property in England. The government mandates providing this guide to assured shorthold tenants in England. This article will explore the latest changes and additions to the guide and discuss when landlords must provide the updated version.
When to Provide the Updated Guide:
Landlords should give existing tenants the updated How to Rent guide PDF whenever possible. However, it is legally required under the following circumstances:
- New tenancies must include the latest version of the guide.
- Renewal tenancies must provide the updated guide if the tenant hasn't received it previously.
- Statutory periodic tenancies starting on or after the release date must also include the updated guide.
Key Changes in the Updated How to Rent Guide:
1) Removal of Assured Shorthold Tenancies Section: The updated guide no longer features a dedicated section on Assured Shorthold Tenancies(ASTs), possibly shifting focus towards general tenancies. Nonetheless, landlords and tenants must be aware of AST rules and regulations.
2) Right to Rent Checks and Identity Verification Technology (IVT):The guide now allows the use of IVT for Right to Rent checks, providing a more efficient and secure method for verifying tenants' identity and immigration status.
3) New Sections on Property Modifications and Non-Resident Landlords: The guide now covers making property alterations and the tax obligations of landlords living outside the UK, offering valuable information for property modifications and understanding tax implications.
4) Institution of Chartered Surveyors as a Reputable Agent: RICS is now listed as a reputable agent, providing reliable property advice and services for landlords and tenants.
5) Updated Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations: The latest guide reflects current smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, ensuring both parties understand their responsibilities.
6) Flood Risk Assessment: A new section highlights the importance of checking flood risks and taking necessary precautions when renting a property.
7) Updated Terminology for Electrical Installation Reports: The guide now uses updated terminology for electrical installation reports, clarifying requirements for landlords and tenants.
8) Considerations for Disabled Tenants: A new section helps disabled tenants assess property suitability and potential adjustments.
9) Smart Meter Installation: The guide encourages installing smart meters for energy efficiency and cost savings.
10) Updated Landlord Responsibilities: The guide includes updated wording for fitting smoke alarms, conducting Right to Rent checks, and considering requests for reasonable adjustments from disabled tenants.
11) New Section on Tenant Eviction: A new section offers guidance on the eviction process and the rights of both parties if a tenant fails to leave the property as required.
12) Updated Terminology: The guide 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. Familiarizing oneself with the latest changes ensures compliance and a smooth rental experience. Download the updated guide at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rentand stay informed about your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant.