New How to Rent Guide published (10 December 2020)

December 10, 2020

How to Rent BookletThe ‘How to Rent’ guide is a government publication which needs to be served by landlords and agents to their tenants:

  • At the start of the tenancy, and
  • (If the booklet has changed since day 1 of the tenancy or since the last booklet was served) at the start of a ‘replacement tenancy’

Until this is done, no valid section 21 notice can be served.

The regulations (which are found in s3 of The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015) tell us that a ‘replacement tenancy’ has the same meaning as in section 21(7) of the Housing Act 1988.

Which says:

For the purposes of this section, a replacement tenancy is a tenancy—

(a) which comes into being on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy, and

(b) under which, on its coming into being—

(i) the landlord and tenant are the same as under the earlier tenancy as at its coming to an end, and

(ii) the premises let are the same or substantially the same as those let under the earlier tenancy as at that time.

So basically after a fixed term tenancy ends, your options are as follows:

  • The tenancy is replaced as a new fixed-term with no change to the parties or property – only serve the booklet if it has changed since it was last served
  • The tenancy continues as a statutory periodic tenancy – only serve the booklet if it has changed since it was last served
  • The tenancy continues as a contractual periodic tenancy (ie because the tenancy says so – as in the Landlord Law tenancy agreements) – no need to re-serve, although probably a good idea to re-serve anyway if it has changed
  • The tenancy has changed in that one or more of the parties are different (ie if there is a new tenant) or the property has changed in some way (eg if extra garden or a garage has been included) – serve the booklet even if it has not changed.

Hopefully, that’s clear!

If you are not sure, best to re-serve it anyway.

Remember that you need to serve a ‘hard copy’ on tenants unless they have agreed to have it served on them electronically when you need to send it as an email attachment.  Just sending an email with a link to the web page will not count.

The How to Rent booklet can be downloaded from here.

Learn about your obligations for serving the new How to Rent booklet from #landlordlaw

Not a Landlord Law member?  Find out more here.
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