The How to Rent Guide was, quite frankly, a pain in the arse! Until now!
Because it can be updated without you knowing it, does that mean it is an underhanded trick by the powers that be to catch you out? Not half!
What are the consequences of serving an out of date How to Rent Guide to incoming tenants? Since October 2015, Landlords have had to issue How to Rent Guide to incoming tenants. If the How to Rent Guide is not the current version on the day it is served, it would invalidate a Section 21 further down the line.
Other things you must do to successfully validate a S21 are: correct deposit protection procedure (tenancy deposit scheme), sending prescribed information within 30 day timescale, issue current Gas Safety and EPC certificates, issue Data Protection Notice to Tenants. And of course, it cannot be used for retaliatory eviction – for example tenant has complained in writing about the condition of the property and Landlord retaliates with a S21 – Landlord won’t succeed! But for now we are talking about How to Rent Guide.
You can send a hard copy or send it via email to your new tenant, at the start of their tenancy. Every time a new version is released, you don’t need to send it to tenants – although that could change – but you need to serve latest version to new tenants. You don’t need to serve it again when renewing a current tenancy. However, it is good practice to send updated versions at all times to all of your tenants, and always essential to get them to sign for them.
So, being able to use Section 21 is doubtlessly to be scrapped within the next 12 to 18 months, but while it is still in law, you need to make sure tenant is served with current version of How to Rent Guide at the start of their tenancy, if you need to use S21. The current version on the Government website is dated May 2019, even though it has been updated since then. As it can be updated without you knowing it, you can’t sugar coat that it is a sneaky trick to catch you out. They have already updated without letting anyone know, of course they will do it again.
And now for the good news! Head over to this website where you will be able to open a free account, and they will update you via email every time the How to Rent Guide is updated. How cool is that? https://www.madesnappy.co.uk/tools/howtorent
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