'How to Rent' guide revised

27.06.2018

A new version of the Government guide for private tenants in England has been issued.

Cover of the 'How to Rent' guide

From 26th June landlords of properties in England must issue the new version to assured shorthold tenants.

The main significance for those representing tenants and working in homelessness prevention is that a failure to issue the guide (or the correct version) may make a section 21 notice invalid.

The general rule is that landlords must give a copy of the current version to assured shorthold tenants whose tenancy started on or after 1 October 2015, failing which they cannot use the s.21 'no fault' procedure for obtaining possession. At least until they rectify the error.

There is however an exception if the landlord issued the (then) correct version of the guide during the current tenancy. If no new tenancy has come into existence the fact that the guide has been updated during the present tenancy doesn't prevent a valid s.21 notice being given.

However, if the guide is revised and a new tenancy arises, the landlord will be unable to serve a s.21 notice during the new tenancy unless the tenant is given the new version. This includes where a statutory periodic tenancy automatically arises at the end of a fixed term tenancy.

See my checker tool for more about the rules governing the validity of s.21 notices in England.

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