Every time the ‘How to Rent: a checklist for renting in England’ booklet is updated, the LAT receives a number of calls from members with questions about the booklet itself, and what they are supposed to do with it.
The How to Rent guide in England was most recently updated on the 17th January 2018
Many members are confused as to whether or not 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.
Our member this week was one of these typical calls. He had granted a tenancy in August 2017 for a full year. This tenancy was then set to become a statutory periodic tenancy from the end of July.
The member had noticed the how to rent booklet had been updated on January 18th, and was calling to check if they needed to serve this copy as they were planning on evicting the tenant at the end of their tenancy.
We advised them that they did not need to serve the new document at this time. There is no obligation on landlords to provide a new how to rent booklet every time it updates.
Instead, the landlord would need to check at the end of July. If the January 18 version of How to Rent was still the current one, then they should provide this document to the tenant but only at the point the periodic tenancy started.
This is because a landlord only has to serve an updated version of the How to Rent booklet when a new tenancy starts and the booklet has been updated since the last one was granted. A statutory periodic tenancy is a new tenancy created by the law, so here they would need to serve an updated copy.
We also advised the landlord that if he wanted to avoid worrying about updated How to Rent booklets in the future, he should use our tenancy agreements.
As our tenancies include contractual periodic tenancy clauses there is no new tenancy.
The periodic part just continues on from the fixed term.
As such, the landlord only needs to serve a How to Rent booklet when the tenants move in or when they all agree to a brand new tenancy agreement.
Rupinder Aujla, LAT Manager, said ‘we’re always happy to help with these kind of issues. It’s vital landlords get this right so they can rely on a section 21 form when needed.’
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