Helpful Tips Tenancy Management

Forum Spotlight: How to Rent guide

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

Several members have posted on our forum in the past week about the How to Rent guide updates.

The How to Rent guide was updated once in June, and once in July.

A member posted on our forum this week wanting to know exactly what changes were made to the guide since the last update in May 2019 (which was updated to reflect the Tenant Fees Act)

This is because the updated version of the guide actually still reads ‘May 2019’ in the bottom corner.

Our team were able to respond by confirming that the Government has issued an updated version of the guide, where two words have been changed.

All updates to the How to Rent guide can be found over on our How to Rent guide webpage.

Do I need to give my existing tenants the new version of the How to Rent guide?

The How to Rent guide forms part of the ‘prescribed documents’ that landlords must give to tenants at the beginning of a tenancy.

It is important for new tenancies starting in England that landlords serve the most recent edition of the How to Rent guide to their tenants. Failure to do so could lead to the landlord struggling to be able to serve a Section 21 notice further down the line if they need to.

Landlords with a property in England must provide the correct How to Rent guide for the date that the tenancy started.

So, for a tenancy started between June 3rd – July 28th, the 3rd June How to Rent guide should be provided.

For any tenancy started on or after 29th July, then the 29th July version should be issued.

This includes any statutory periodic tenancies that started on or after these dates.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.


  • What a massive pain in the neck this process has become. Any landlord, like me, who issued and co-signed ASTs in mid-July, including the then-relevant June update of this wretched document, will be caught out because the tenancies didn’t actually start until 3 and 5 August, by which time the July version had been issued – of course with the usual zero publicity.

    Is there any chance the Government could stop fiddling with its versions and leave landlords and tenants in peace for five minutes?

    Also, what 2 words have changed please? My tenants may want to know.

    • Hi Tony, thanks for your comment. In terms of the two changes that have been made, on 3 June 2019, the guide was updated to change the reference and link on page 5 from “NALS” to “Safeagent” and the guide was updated again on 29th July 2019- the wording on page 4 was changed from “If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for help.” to “…for advice.”

    • Here, here. What a farce. I can think of 2 words which sum it’s all up but I don’t think they are in the guide!

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