The guide must be shared with tenants in England at the start of their new assured shorthold tenancy.
The guide, issued by the UK Government in March 2023, covers various topics, including:
how to search for a new home
the necessary steps once a property is found
tenant rights and responsibilities during their tenancy
the process of terminating the tenancy agreement
When renewing or transitioning to a periodic tenancy, there is no need to provide the guide again unless an updated version has been issued since the original tenancy commenced.
It is necessary to supply a copy of the How to Rent guide before the tenant moves in, otherwise the notice cannot be served. However, the How to Rent guide process does not affect the issuance of a Section 8 notice.
To ensure compliance with the How to Rent guide, landlords and letting agents can access the latest version on the UK Government's website, which also records any updates. Checking for changes since the guide was issued, especially during tenancy renewals, is essential. It is also advisable to download the most recent version from the government website and provide it to tenants at the beginning of each new tenancy.
Maintaining a paper or digital trail of documents received by tenants is crucial. Requesting tenants to sign a document acknowledging receipt and keeping track of email communications can help ensure a record of compliance.