Estimated read time: 3 minutes
*The latest update for the How to rent guide was released on 02/10/2023, read more here*
An updated ‘How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England’ guide was released in March this year by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
This is an essential resource for both landlords and tenants. It provides information on their rights, responsibilities and regulations when renting a property in England.
It is crucial for landlords to stay on top of changes to the How to Rent guide.
Hence the National Residential Landlords Association states that the most recently updated version MUST be provided to tenants at the start of every tenancy. Specifically, this is including renewals if there has been an update to the guide. Otherwise, the landlord would lose the right to repossess using Section 21.
The latest version of the How to Rent guide can be found here.
So, what has changed?
And how might this affect you?
Things Your Landlord Must Provide
Firstly, this list has been updated to now included the following;
“A report that shows the condition of the property’s electrical installations… by a qualified and competent person”
All electrical wiring, sockets, fuse boxes and any other fixed electrical parts in a rented home must be inspected and tested every five years, or more. Additionally, National electrical safety standards must be upheld throughout the entire duration of the tenancy.
“Evidence that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in working order at the start of the tenancy.”
Similarly, Smoke and CO detectors must be tested, ensuring there are carbon monoxide alarms fitted in every room with a fixed fuel-burning appliance. Tenants must be provided with an Electrical Installation Condition Report and are urged to regularly check the alarms are in working order throughout their tenancy.
Right to rent checks and Identity Verification Technology (IVT)
Streamlining the process of right to rent checks for landlords and tenants. Allowing for a more efficient and secure way to verify the identity of potential tenants.
New Advice on Accessibility for Disabled Tenants
Tenants are advised that they can request reasonable adjustments to a property in order to suit their needs, which landlords must consider and respond to within a reasonable timeframe.
“If Things Go Wrong”
“Tenants are also able to make an application to the tribunal to recover a prohibited payment, which can order a landlord or agent to repay a payment which has been charged unlawfully.”
Flood Risk Assessment
A new section highlighting the importance of potential flood hazards and taking necessary precautions.
Guidance on Smart Meters
“If your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord’s permission to alter metering at your property, they should not unreasonably prevent it.”
Information on what happens if a tenant does not leave a property when required, offering guidance on the eviction process and the rights of both parties.
Lastly, tenants are now directed to use the following resources;
Foundations – for advice and to help disabled people apply for funding to make adaptations to their home.
Smart Energy GB – for help and advice about installing a smart meter and tips of energy efficiency.
Redress schemes – for help making a complaint about a letting agent, which can be made by either tenants or landlords. Find more information here.
Download the updated How to Rent guide, and stay informed on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant.