Hidden How to Rent update – “MHCLG, do not do this again”

by Property 118

10:51 AM, 6th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Hidden How to Rent update – “MHCLG, do not do this again”

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Hidden How to Rent update – “MHCLG, do not do this again”

Lawyer Giles Peaker, in an article for Nearly Legal, ‘How to rent guides – sneak updates‘ uncovered that the official How to Rent guide has recently been updated twice since the 31st of May without reference to the date of the most recent changes.

Giles said: “This really should not happen. While the changes are relatively minor tweaks, they are changes nonetheless.

“And as the statutory requirement is for the tenant to be provided with the version of the guide current at the time, silent changes obviously present problems. How many landlords and agents will be using the original 31 May version without knowing it has since been changed?

“While I would imagine a court would give a certain leeway in the circumstances, should it be raised, this is not an issue that should have arisen in the first place. Please MHCLG, do not do this again.”

The changes include:

  • 03/06/19 Change of reference and link page 5 from “NALS” to “Safeagent” .
  • 29/07/19, Change on page 4 from “If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for help.” to “ask Shelter for advice.”

Click here to download the most recent How to Rent Guide.



11:55 AM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

So it might be worth just sending the current version anyway.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

12:00 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris at 13/08/2019 - 11:55
This is what I did, just to be on a safe side. Asked them to confirm by return that they read the leaflet and to keep it on their records.. It does not take much time (of course depending on a number of properties/tenants).

Seething Landlord

12:13 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

To add to the confusion, the guide includes the following on page 2: "Landlords cannot use the section 21 (no fault) eviction procedure unless an up-to-date version of this guide has been provided to the tenant" but it does not say at what point that duty arises so it could be assumed that the version that is current at the time of service of the S21 has to be provided, particularly as it also says "This information is frequently updated. Search on GOV.UK for How to Rent to ensure you have the latest version."

To avoid argument it is probably advisable to serve the up to date version at the same time as the S21 notice, regardless of which version was provided at the commencement of the tenancy.

Luke P

12:20 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Seething Landlord at 13/08/2019 - 12:13
Whilst it can be corrected, the duty is at the outset of the tenancy. If a LL is indeed late in serving the H2R guide, there has been much debate whether this be the version current on the date of service or that which was current at the time of duty (i.e. the outset). The generally thought is to serve the version valid at the time *and* the version valid on the date of service...if you keep old versions, that is (like I do).

bob the builder

13:12 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

I have just spoken to an old General from the NKVD and he tells me it was never this bad for bureaucracy back in the Soviet Union under Stalin!

Whiteskifreak Surrey

13:27 PM, 13th August 2019
About 4 months ago

Reply to the comment left by bob the builder at 13/08/2019 - 13:12
Also never that bad in the communist Poland! But we are going to have some great favourable deals with US - surely we will be able to ask Donald Business Trump to revoke these anti-business regulation?!

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