At the commencement of every new assured shorthold tenancy (AST), and for renewal tenancies, it is now very important that landlords give the correct pre-tenancy information to their tenant/s.
If the information is incorrect, out of date or missing the ability to evict a problem tenant using the section 21 notice and process could be denied to the landlord.
It is recommended that the following information be incorporated into (attached with) the tenancy agreement so that there can be no future arguments as to what has or has not been provided:
- A current EPC – these last for 10 years
- A current Gas safety Certificate if relevant – renewed annually and landlords have 28 days to issue a new certificate. It is now important that the certificate is never allowed to lapse, so gas checks should be arranged in advance.
- The current version of the Government’s “How to Rent” guide.
- The Deposit Protection documentation – deposit must be protected within 30 days of receiving it.
- An up-to-date tenancy agreement – this is important because there have been a lot of changes in AST regulations recently.
The “How to Rent” guide has been updated again (January 2018 – version 3) and it’s for all PRS landlords and letting agents to be aware of this – serve the wrong version and it will have major implications in the unfortunate situation were a possession order is necessary.
Lawyers defending tenants under threat of eviction, and they may have legal aid, will find any loophole they can to stymie the process, and there are now a lot more potential loopholes to trip up landlords and agents.
It’s important that when a tenancy is renewed – tenant signs a new agreement, as opposed to the tenancy becoming periodic – the current versions of these documents need to be re-issued if there are any changes, such as when the “How to Rent” guide has been updated. EPCs and Gas Certificates should be re-issued as and when they are renewed.
These guides were revised:
- 1 October 2015
- 1 February 2016
- 17 January 2018
An archive of these previous and current versions of the How to Rent guides are available here: https://www.landlordzone.co.uk/documents