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.