The MHCLG has clarified which How to Rent guide landlords should give new tenants after confusion arose about which version is the most up to date following a recent update.

MHCLG have uploaded a new ‘easy-to-read’ How to Rent guide to its website which, apart from tacitly admitting the other 18-page guide is somewhat difficult to understand, appeared to supersede it too.

But a ministry spokesperson tells LandlordZONE: “The easy read version of the How to Rent guide was published yesterday – the December 2020 version is the main, full and most recent version of the guide. The easy read version is just an easy read version of the December document.”

Landlords are under a statutory requirement to give tenants a copy of the How to Rent guide when the begin or renew a tenancy.

This is not nit-picking; serving the wrong guide could have expensive ramifications for landlords further down the line.

Eviction failure risk

To serve a Section 21 ‘not fault’ notice to evict a tenant legally, a landlord must have served the most ‘up to date’ version of the guide along with a valid EPC and Gas Safety Certificate.

Some landlords had taken to social media to ask which version they should serve – one saying: “I think the Government are just trying to confuse us all. The version they have published today is an easy read version, but the one published in Dec 2020 is still the latest version.”

MHCLG has form when it comes to landlord documentation. In June last year it pulled the latest update to the Electrical Safety Standards after LandlordZONE pointed out that discrepancies in its wording were causing confusion among landlords and the wider industry.


  1. No doubt one of those polical tricks to confuse landlords into serving wrong papers so they lose their rights to use S21. Clearly they Government have been learning from scammers to screw over Jo public. Still I guess we can just not serve any of this rubbish once they have abolished s21. Mind you once S21 goes so will many landlords. All the changes going on have lost confidence in the market. It has made Landlords even more careful to whom the will rent. Those most badly affected are the tenants in the poorest position as council asset strip council housing.

  2. I believe a big issue is the how to prove the tenants have received the correct paperwork at the start of the tenancy.
    I’ve attached to the tenancy all paperwork.
    Including sending attachments to emails and WhatsApp so you can see they have received it and ask for confirmation.
    They may not read but evidence they received them is key I believe.
    I received my divorce papers through WhatsApp so it must be accepted by the courts.
    Be interesting others process in this matter

  3. Bureaucracy for its own sake. There does not seem to be a point where these bureaucrats are happy to say that’ll do.


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