How To Rent Guide in UK?

How To Rent Guide

In England and Wales, the How to Rent guide is a government web resource that provides tenants and prospective tenants with advice on the rental process. The document outlines tenants’ rights and responsibilities, as well as landlords’ legal obligations towards them. Before the tenancy begins, every landlord must make sure his/her tenants receive a copy of the guide How to Rent.

What Version Of A “How To Rent Guide” Is Valid?

As of 10 December 2020, the version of “How to rent” issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is the most current version.

The main changes to the How to Rent guide for 2020 are as follows:

1. Tenant Fees

  • This article provides more information about deposit caps and deposit protection, including the maximum deposit amount of 5 weeks in the case of annual rents under £50,000 and 6 weeks in the case of commercial rentals.
  • There is a new section called “permitted fees” that contains a complete list of all permitted and banned fees under the Tenant Fees Act.
  • Information about the Tenant Fees Act’s limitations on default fees for late rental payments capped at 3% above Bank of England base rates.
  • Further clarification is necessary to make it clear that landlords and letting agents cannot charge unlawful fees or deposits and rely on giving notice under Section 21 in such situations.

2. Tenant Rights and Advice

  • It is a good idea to tell tenants to find out whether the landlord is the freeholder, the leaseholder, or the owner of the property if they have a mortgage lender.
  • Two types of right to rent eviction checks are provided; a manual document-based check or an online check via the Home Office.
  • Encourage tenants to ask whether their landlord or agent has signed a Code of Practice.
  • Purchase of contents insurance is recommended.
  • A smart meter should be considered.
  • The right of tenants to complain to Trading Standards about landlords refusing to make repairs that are unsafe.
  • The right of tenants to sue their landlord if the property cannot be used by humans and the landlord refuses to make adaptations.
  • We have added a section explaining Rent Repayment Orders.

3. Tenancy Agreements

  • We will provide you with additional information regarding the tenancy length, including the minimum stay of 6 months and the possibility of weekly or monthly ASTs.
  • Provide tenants with advice that they have the right to walk away from unfair terms in their tenancy agreements without forfeiting their holding deposit.
  • Emphasizing that failure to inform landlords of repair needs can be a breach of the tenancy agreement.

4. Landlord’s Responsibilities

  • An additional point to emphasize is that every floor must be equipped with at least one smoke alarm.
  • A new section has been added about selective licensing schemes.
  • An explanation of a landlord’s obligation to provide an address in England or Wales to accept written service of notice and the rent is not lawfully due if the address is not provided.
  • A description of the energy performance requirements for all private rented properties starting in April 2020.
  • Please find attached additional information regarding the mandatory electrical inspections and EICRs, which will be applied to all tenancies from July 2020 and to all new tenancies from April 2021.
  • Highlighting the requirement of an electrical improve and safety check every five years by the landlord.
  • Emphasis is placed on the need for landlords or agents to obtain permission before accessing properties alongside 24-hour notice.
  • Specifics on a landlord’s responsibility to ensure all products, fixtures, and fittings are safe and not subject to recall, as well as making sure that blinds do not have looped cords and are child-safe.

5. Ending a Tenancy

  • Additional information on the tenant’s right to be legally removed from the property by obtaining a court order from the landlord.
  • Emphasis on the proper period of notice, which varies depending on the type of tenancy and grounds for eviction.
  • Whenever a tenant receives a notice from their landlord, it is advised that they read and act upon that notice as soon as possible. If they are unclear on what to do, they should contact Shelter or Citizen’s Advice.
  • An explanation of how a tenant can end their tenancy and what they should do if they wish to leave the property earlier than expected.
  • The keys provided must be returned.

Is It Necessary To Email A Copy Of The ‘How To Rent Guide’ To Tenants?

How To Rent Guide’ To Tenants

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government will not print hard copies of the How to Rent booklet, so you will have to print it out for any tenants who ask for it in this format.

 The paperwork landlords have to deal with already amounts to a mountain: tenancy agreements, gas safety certificates, electrical condition reports, and energy performance certificates. The fact that the How to Rent guide is free to download, however, does not mean you should overlook its importance.

What Happens If The ‘How To Rent Guide’ Is Not Issued?

What Happens If The ‘How To Rent Guide’ Is Not Issued

You could end up in a lot of trouble if you don’t provide 2020 How to Rent booklet. As a landlord in England, you will not be able to repossess your property (heaven forbid it should get to that point) if you haven’t provided your tenant with a guide on How to Rent.

Landlords should always provide the latest How to Rent guide to their tenants at the beginning of any new tenancy in order to avoid any potential problems. You may want to have your tenant sign a release form, confirming that they have been provided with an updated copy as an additional safeguard.

In 2022, there will probably be more updates to the document, but the good news is that you will not have to provide one each time a new version is published during your tenancy.

Other Essential Documents

  • Both you and your tenant(s) should sign the tenancy contract before the tenant(s) moves in.
  • Whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, don’t forget to create an inventory – this will make things much easier if there are any problems at the end of the tenancy. Your tenant should have access to:
  • Please give me a copy of your annual Gas Safety Certificate.
  • Please provide us with a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
  • Information about where the deposit is being held.
  • Please provide a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report.
  • Please send me a copy of the inventory and condition report for the property.

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