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New ‘How To Rent Guide’ published in January 2018

Mr Engineers takes a look at the changes applied to the latest version of the ‘How To Rent Guide’.


A new version of the “How To Rent Guide” was published on the 17th January 2018 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

This guide must be provided to all tenants at the beginning of their tenancy to help them understand their rights and responsibilities.

The guide 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

What changed from the previous version of the guide?

In the recent update the Government removed the reference to the ‘London Rental Standard’ in the renting ‘Direct from the Landlord’ section of the guide. This voluntary initiative was designed to improve standards within the rental industry in London, however it has been discontinued by the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in favour of a ‘Rogue Landlord and Agent Database’.

Furthermore, the reference to linking to the How To Rent Guide web page as a means of providing has been changed to providing it a a PDF attachment in an email, indicating that a simple link to the website is not sufficient.

Who needs the updated version of the “How To Rent Guide”?

Many property managers are confused as to whether they need to serve the document every time it updates, at the start of each tenancy, or only when it’s a new tenancy and the document has been updated since the last agreement was given.

The answer is that tenants already on a fixed term tenancy do not require a new version of the guide; however brand new tenants or those renewing a tenancy do require the update.

It is crucial that agents use the new version of the guide as Section 21 eviction processes are invalid if the old version of the guide has been given to tenants.

It is important to note that you will be unable to serve this notice if you did not provide the tenant with:

  • The properties Energy Performance Certificate
  • Current gas safety records for the property
  • The Government’s ‘How to Rent’ guide

The new guide can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

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