Why Your Tenants Need the ‘How To Rent’ Guide
On the 9th July 2018, the Government released an updated version of its ‘How to Rent’ guide, subtitled “The checklist for renting in England”.
The guide is aimed at tenants as an aid to understanding their rights and responsibilities, but as a landlord you may not realise that you must provide a copy of the booklet to all your tenants.
The guide works to inform those looking to rent a residential house or flat on an assured shorthold tenancy by providing a range of information covering all stages of the process, from searching for a property to moving out, and advice if there is a dispute or things go wrong.
Importantly, by law, landlords cannot use the Section 21 (no fault) eviction procedure if the tenancy started or was renewed after 1st October 2015 unless an up-to-date version of the guide has been provided to the tenant.
Interestingly, the updated version comes less than a week after the London Assembly calls upon the Mayor of London to back a campaign to abolish Section 21, and to lobby the Government for a change in the law.
Sian Berry AM, proposing the motion stated in a press release, “London renters need to feel secure in their homes and know they can’t be thrown out on the streets for no reason… Having to move at short notice is one of the worst parts of being a private renter and ending Section 21 would make a dramatic difference and solve this problem.”
Seconding the motion, Tom Copley AM said, “Our tenancy laws were introduced 30 years ago when only 1 in 10 Londoners rented from a private landlord. Now more than a quarter of us do, including increasing numbers of families with children… It is unacceptable that landlords can use Section 21 to evict tenants for no reason.”
The ‘How to Rent’ guide claims to help tenants “create a positive relationship with your landlord”, and brings awareness to further regulations, highlighting that:
- they must be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by their landlord
- the rented property must achieve a minimum EPC ‘E’ rating through the MEES regulations (subject to exemptions)
- a Gas Safety Certificate must be provided at the start of the tenancy, and within 28 days of each annual gas safety check if there is a gas installation
- smoke alarms must be fitted on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms with appliances using solid fuels such as coal and wood
Although greater pressure and requirements are being placed on landlords, well-informed tenants is positive for the PRS. By understanding their rights, responsibilities and contractual obligations, along with the required compliance, potential disputes with you as a landlord can be minimised.
If you have yet to arrange an up-to-date EPC on your properties, contact us to book a quick and hassle-free assessment.
For a copy of the ‘How to Rent’ guide, you can download it from the UK Government website here: