How to Rent Guide
All landlords are required to provide a copy of the government guide “How to rent – The check list for renting in England” to all tenants. The government sporadically updates this document. You need to make sure you are providing tenants with an up-to-date version, as this will affect your ability to serve a Section 21 eviction.
There’s more details on all of this below!
The legislation states:
3.—(1) A landlord under an assured shorthold tenancy of a dwelling-house in England, or a person acting on behalf of such a landlord, must give the tenant under that tenancy the information mentioned in paragraph (2).
(2) The information is the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that has effect for the time being.
You can find the up-to-date guide here.
It contains useful information for tenants about their rights and responsibilities.
How to serve the document
(3) The information may be provided to the tenant—
(a) in hard copy; or
(b) where the tenant has notified the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, of an e-mail address at which the tenant is content to accept service of notices and other documents given under or in connection with the tenancy, by e-mail.
It’s great news that the legislation allows a provision for the information to be supplied via email but make sure to update the terms of your tenancy agreement or other document signed by the tenant to state that the tenant agrees to service via email. It’s also important to make sure to send the correct version of the document as it has already been updated since it was launched in October 2015.
If you chose to serve the document in a hard copy, it’s best to have the tenants sign a copy of the document which you then keep hold of as evidence; having given another copy to the tenants.
Each tenant who rents a property with Purple Frog completes a contact information form online, in which they provide an email address to which an email is automatically sent which includes a link to the document.
Back to the legislation; it is riveting stuff!
(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.
So you don’t have to send an updated version of the documents unless….
(5) This regulation does not apply—
(a) where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
(i) the tenancy (“the new tenancy”) is a replacement tenancy;
(ii) the landlord, or a person acting on behalf of the landlord, provided the tenant with the document mentioned in paragraph (2) under an earlier tenancy; and
(iii) the version of the document provided to the tenant under the earlier tenancy is the same version as the version which is in effect on the first day of the new tenancy.
(6) In this regulation “replacement tenancy” has the same meaning as in section 21(7) of the Act.
So the document only has to be re-served for a ‘replacement tenancy’, IF the document has changed.
A replacement tenancy is a new fixed term AST or a periodic AST between the same parties, at the same property.
I hope you’ve found that as interesting as I have!
Purple Frog ensures that all of its clients are compliant with the government’s ever changing list of requirements. As a client, if you have any questions, please speak to your account manager. They’ll be happy to help.
If you’re not a client yet and want help managing your student properties, please feel free to get in touch. You can call your local branch or fill in the contact form on our landlords page.