As a landlord, there are a number of legal requirements to be complied with prior to letting out a property.
One of these is to provide a copy of the Government issued 'How to Rent' checklist to all tenants when entering into and renewing an assured shorthold tenancy, which is the most common type of contractual letting agreement.
The Government has recently released an updated How to Rent guide, which can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/
The guide is designed to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities under an assured shorthold tenancy both before the tenancy starts and during the term of the agreement.
What additions or changes have the government made to the guide?
There are some noticeable differences with the latest version, which now provides answers to tenants' frequently asked questions, including the level of deposit and its protection, necessary documentation and length of term.
Another important addition is the reference to a landlord's obligations regarding mandatory electrical testing, and a review of the permitted fees under the Tenant Fees Act, which was introduced in 2019.
The Government's latest guide also sets out the information that must be provided by a landlord to tenants, as well as a summary of what each party must and should do during the tenancy.
Importantly, it gives advice to tenants on what to do if things go wrong, whilst clearly setting out what should happen at the end of the tenancy.
Why is it so important landlords provide this guide to their tenants?
Landlords need to bear in mind that giving tenants the How to Rent guide is a legal requirement.
Without doing this, it hinders your ability to later serve a valid Section 21 notice and regain possession of your property, if required to do so.
This is due to the fact that the How to Rent guide is one of the statutory pre-conditions for serving a Section 21 notice.
We will always ensure on behalf of our landlord clients that their tenants are provided with a copy of this guide and that all other landlord requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy are complied with.
If you want any further information about the How to Rent guide or landlord and tenant requirements on the grant of an assured shorthold tenancy, please call our lettings team who will be happy to help.