How to Rent guide updated yet again!

by Readers Question

5:15 AM, 11th July 2018
About A year ago

How to Rent guide updated yet again!

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How to Rent guide updated yet again!

The recently updated ‘How to Rent’ guide has been updated yet again!

The 9th of July 2018 edition now replaces the 10th of June 2018 edition.

Click Here to download the full document which must be provided by landlords and agents to all new tenants.

It seems the main change was the subtitle, which should be ‘The checklist for renting in England’ (as it always was), but was tinkered with…except “The How to Rent Guide: A checklist for renting in England” is written into legislation…so the title at very least cannot be altered.

They are such useless idiots.

Luke

Editors Notes:

“This information is frequently updated. 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.”

The above actually means the correct version of the guide at the time the tenancy was taken out not that you constantly have to keep sending updated guides to your tenants. Although there has been some debate as to whether this is best practice anyway.

The guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector 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
  • what to do if things go wrong

The booklet also confirms the following:

The landlord must provide you with

  • A copy of this guide “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” as a printed copy or, if you agree, via email as a PDF attachment.
  • A gas safety certificate. The landlord must provide one each year, if there is a gas installation.
  • Deposit paperwork. If you have provided a deposit, the landlord must protect it in a government approved scheme. Make sure you get the official information from the scheme, and that you understand how to get your money back at the end of the tenancy. Keep this information safe as you will need it later.
  • The Energy Performance Certificate. This will affect your energy bills and the landlord must provide one (except for Houses in Multiple Occupation).

If your landlord doesn’t provide these, they can’t evict you until they do.

The landlord should provide you with:

A record of any electrical inspections. All appliances must be safe and checks every 5 years are recommended.

The landlord must:

  • Maintain the structure and exterior of the property.
  • Fit smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms in rooms using solid fuels – such as coal and wood – and make sure they are working at the start of your tenancy. If they are not there, ask your landlord to install them.
  • Deal with any problems with the water, electricity and gas supply.
  • Maintain any appliances and furniture they have supplied.
  • Carry out most repairs. If something is not working, report it to the landlord (or their agent) as soon as you can.
  • Arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances).
  • Give at least 24 hours notice of visits for things like repairs – the landlord cannot walk in whenever they like.
  • Get a licence for the property, if it is a licensable property.”


Comments

Chris Daniel

20:58 PM, 16th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Pixie Props at 16/07/2018 - 17:08
Damn, - did MHCLG ever have any flare ? I must go back over and re-read all their publications 😉

Hamish McBloggs

10:41 AM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Simple question,

Are we legally obliged to provide the updates as they are produced?

Or is it sufficient that it was delivered at the beginning of the tenancy?

Hamish

Hamish McBloggs

10:57 AM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Additional question,
By what official mechanism are we informed there is an update?
I thank those contributors to this forum but I won't believe that this method of dissemination was in the strategic plan.
I can only guess that the answer to my previous question is that the document only needs to be served once, at the beginning of the tenancy. Therefore we only check then.
Otherwise the only way to know is to log in every day (twice a day?) and manually check.
It would be a bit of bugger if I go on my annual fortnight to my condo in the Cayman Islands to count my off-shored dosh and catch up on old times with my MP and local oligarchs only to find I've missed some ludicrous 14 day deadline.
Hamish the befuddled

Ian Narbeth

11:29 AM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 20/07/2018 - 10:57
"By what official mechanism are we informed there is an update?"
We are not informed. It's a sort of legal hide and seek where the Governments sees if they can catch landlords out when the typeface for the literature is re-set and the landlord is before the County Court with the tenant from hell who can produce the ace that the wrong version of the Government's bumf was given to him six months previously.

Please don't make jokes about oligarchs and the Cayman Islands - one of the tenant charities may quote you out of context.

Rob Crawford

13:53 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 20/07/2018 - 10:57
The Government is not responsible for it's dissemination. Landlords must stay vigilant and informed - no excuse! I suggest every time you serve it you do so at the start of the tenancy and source it from the Government source webpage. No need to print, you can e-mail it by prior agreement. In any event, ensure you get confirmation of receipt by the tenant. Also make sure your AST is "contractual" as opposed to "statutory" or you will need to reissue with the alters edition for that time at the end of the fixed term.

Luke P

14:31 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 20/07/2018 - 10:41
In answer to your first question, the legislation states:

“(4) Paragraph (1) does not require a landlord, or person acting on behalf of the landlord, who has provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) to supply a further copy of the document each time a different version of that document is published during the tenancy.”

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/1646/regulation/3/made

And this is despite the (current) How to Rent guides claim at the bottom of the ‘Contents’ page (2) that “Landlords cannot use the section 21 (no [recorded] fault)!eviction procedure unless an up-to-date version of this guide has been provided to the tenant.”

What they mean is up-to-date at the date of service. It’s clear as day in the legislation, but not quite how it reads.

Hamish McBloggs

14:40 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Luke P at 20/07/2018 - 14:31
Rob, Ian, Luke.

Thanks !

Ian Narbeth

14:42 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Hamish McBloggs at 20/07/2018 - 14:40
The safe course is to serve the up to date copy just before serving a s21 notice. The landlord is not required to do so but may do so.

Luke P

15:59 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 20/07/2018 - 14:42
If by 'safe' you mean it wouldn't do any harm...but then serving the tenant with a nice bunch of flowers before issuing a s.21 would have similar effect.

"...does *not* require a landlord, who has provided the tenant with the document, to supply a further copy each time a different version is published..."

It could not be clearer.

Ian Narbeth

16:10 PM, 20th July 2018
About A year ago

Hi Luke
Consider this scenario. Landlord and tenant complete tenancy. However, the day before, the How to Rent guide was updated but the landlord was unaware and served the previous version on the tenant. If the Landlord follows my advice, he avoids a problem. If he doesn't he could get ambushed at court.
The administrative burden is onerous. Unless the landlord has kept a copy of the precise document he served at the start of the tenancy and can show that it was the up to date version at that time, how is he to be sure, without inordinate effort, that he has complied? My point is, he does not need to. He can simply serve the document again before serving the s21 notice.

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