20 Jul

Government launch a new series of ‘how to’ guides for the LETTINGS industry

Government launch a new series of ‘how to’ guides for the LETTINGS industry

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published new ‘how to’ guides so that landlords, leaseholders and tenants in England can understand their rights and responsibilities.
This series of guides form a key part of government’s crackdown on poor practice by a minority of landlords and agents in the private rented and leasehold sectors. Evidence from Citizens Advice shows that they helped 65,000 private renters with more than 100,000 problems about their tenancy in 2017.

Included in the new ‘how to’ guides is an updated version of How to Rent which landlords and letting agents are legally required to give to their tenants. So all agents must ensure that you are issuing the updated guide to tenants in England when they start or renew their tenancies. Failure to do so will invalidate any future Section 21 action.

The Government has worked in partnership with landlord, tenant and letting and managing agent groups, professional bodies and local housing authorities and aim to drive up living standards in the sector.

At the launch of the new guides Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “Every day across the country thousands of people move house – from young people leaving home for the first time, to those relocating after years in the same property.

“Whatever the circumstance, we want to ensure renters, landlords and leaseholders are armed with information so they know their rights, responsibilities and can challenge poor behaviour.”

The full ‘how to’ series comprises of:

How to rent
This updated guide provides a step-by-step process to renting privately. Tenants can learn how to challenge poor practice and understand private landlords’ legal obligations. It is a legal requirement that all landlords and letting agents provide their tenants with this document, failure to do so will invalidate any future Section 21 action.

How to rent a safe home
This document will help current and prospective tenants identify potential unsafe conditions in rented properties. It gives tenants an overview of the most common hazards to look out for in rented properties, including gas and electrical safety, damp and mould and trips and falls hazards, and how they should report dangerous conditions.

How to let
This new guide will help private landlords learn more about their key legal responsibilities and best practice when letting a property, including how to protect tenancy deposits, carry out gas safety checks and install smoke and carbon dioxide alarms.

How to Lease
By reading this new document, leaseholders can learn about their unique set of rights and responsibilities. For example, a managing agent or landlord could be responsible for running a leaseholder’s block or estate – but the leaseholder does have a say in how they do it.

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