How to Rent Guide

Latest Mandatory How to Rent Guide

A new version of the legally mandatory renting checklist is issued by the Government, six months after the last one was printed.

A new version of the How to Rent Guide is published by the Government on 02 October 2023, just six months after the last one.

Information on the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service is detailed in the new version. It replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes (HCPDS), which provides legal advice to tenants at risk of eviction.

The How to Rent guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector, and applies to England only, to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.

It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process, including: what to look out for before renting; living in a rented home; what happens at the end of a tenancy, and what to do if things go wrong.

The last version issued in late March included information on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm(Amendment) Regulations 2022, and changes to the Code of Practice on Right to Rent Civil Penalty Scheme for landlords and agents.

Landlords and agents will be required to serve their tenants with the new How to Rent Guide.  The How to Rent Guide constitutes a “prescribed document” which must be provided to a tenant, and failure to do so can prohibit evicting the tenant on the no-fault ground for possession, under s.21 of the Housing Act 1988 (Form 6A/Section 21 Notice).

Providing the How to Rent Guide on tenants became a requirement on 01 October 2015, under regulations derived from the Deregulation Act 2015. Under those regulations, landlords must also provide their tenants with annual gas safety certificates (where there is a gas supply) and a valid energy performance certificate. Failure to comply with any of these requirements prohibits the serving of a section 21 notice.

Landlords and agents should ensure that they are using the new version of the How to Rent Guide to prevent the consequences of non-compliance.

If you need assistance with serving of a section 21 notice, or advise on compliance, you can complete our online enquiry form, and a member of our team will contact you.