Regulation and Enforcement Tenancy Management

Important: Government “How to Rent” guide updated

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

The Government has issued an updated version of its How to Rent guide with landlords reminded they MUST make sure new tenants, or those renewing have the correct version.

Landlords entering into tenancies have to give this new version to their tenants as of today, or they are leaving themselves at risk, with Section 21 notices not valid unless the correct How to Rent guide has been provided to the tenant.

This applies whether it is a new tenancy or a renewal and also includes any tenancies that become statutory periodic tenancies on or after this date.

However tenants who are currently within a fixed term do not need to be given a replacement version of the guide at this point.

The new guide has been updated to reflect legislative changes including information about the tenants fee ban and the upcoming changes to HMO licensing and has been given a facelift to make it more user friendly.

To coincide with the release the Government has also updated its ‘How to Rent a Safe Home’ guide and produced two new guides: ‘How to Let’ and ‘How to Lease’.

Only the How to Rent guide needs to be provided to tenants, with the others designed to advise you, as landlords, on how to successfully and safely let out homes.

The last update to the guide took place in January this year to remove references to the London Mayor’s London Rental Standard which was abandoned by the Mayor back in May 2017.

The RLA runs an online course on Section 21 notices and how to serve them correctly. For more information and to book click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Communications Manager for the RLA and award-winning Editor of RPI magazine. With 16 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and editorial content for our media partners.

She issues press releases promoting the work of the RLA and its policies and campaigns to the regional and national media and works alongside the marketing team on the association’s social media channels to build support for the RLA and its work.


    • Hi there, it is not mandatory to send it to existing tenants, but it does need to be sent out when a new tenancy is created, or when a tenancy is renewed. This includes any tenancies that become statutory periodic tenancies.
      The guide can be served by email, but only if you have the tenant(s) consent. The RLA’s tenancy renewal form has this consent written into it. I hope this helps.

  • What about tenancies that are already periodic, do the tenants need to be issued with the new guide on the annniversary date of their original tenancy

    • Hi, no, in these circumstances they don’t need to be issued with the new guide. This would only need to be given to the tenant if there was a change to the tenancy, as long as it is rolling they are fine with the guide they already have.

  • Hi Sally,
    Thanks for the info. It’s so good to know you’re keeping us up to date with all the latest developments and changes. Just a little query….Has the Welsh Rent to Buy been updated too? Do they work together with the English Gov to ensure they make changes at the same time? Or is that just asking too much?
    Warm regards

    • Do you mean the Welsh ‘How to Rent’ guide? There is a Welsh guide, but landlords don’t need to give it to their tenants.
      Also, legislation is now very different in Wales, so they don’t update them at the same time. I hope this helps.

    • There is a separate Welsh guide, but landlords don’t need to give it to their tenants.
      Also, legislation is now very different in Wales, so they don’t update them at the same time. I hope this helps.

  • Hello sally
    What is the position Re student lets where tenancies have been signed in advance of this years occupations from August etc

    They have received the original how to rent guide at the time they signed the agreements between December and now

    Thank you

    • I have checked this with our Landlord Advice Team, who say it is best to issue them with the updated How to Rent guide.

      I hope this helps.

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