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‘How to rent’ updated (and other non statutory guides)


A new ‘How to Rent’ Booklet was released today (26 June 2018) by MHCLG. This version must be provided to the tenant by the landlord (not just a link) for all new assured shorthold tenancies and replacement ASTs (including statutory periodic tenancies) that arise from now on. At least until the next version. A copy has been added to our archive of ‘How to Rent’ booklets – there for landlords, tenants and tenants’ advisors to check the right version was given. If the correct booklet was not given to the tenant, then for any post 1 October 2015 tenancy or replacement tenancy, no section 21 notice can be served.

MHCLG have branched out into other ‘How to’ guides. Though these have no statutory significance at all, today MHCLG also released:

How to Let – aimed at landlords

How to Lease – aimed at prospective and current leaseholders

How to Rent a Safe Home – aimed at tenants

I think it is fair to say they are an ‘introduction’ to each topic, and there is the odd little hiccup of law, but the basic rights, responsibilities and duties are all there.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Bernie Brandon

    Giles here is another example of Deposit protection but without teeth. In the real world many landlords and their agents will not bother with any of these new provisions . I have recent and bitterly disappointing experience with the Bristol County (Chancery) Court where both the District Judge and the Circuit Judge were fooled by dishonest claims by Landlord’s agent ; refused to investigate the dishonesty which was any attempt to argue that the H A 2004 requirements for deposit protection did not apply to them ” we are only the agents – better go after the Landlord!!” Sure enough this fooled the DJ and the Circuit Judge decided on paper that there was no dishonesty in this … that the Agents ( who were of course completely liable !) were merely putting their best case forward.

    Moving on I have always believed that to strike down a S21 Notice is nowhere near enough : the law should further stipulate that No proceedings may be begun by a landlord and that the tenant should have and continue to have complete protection as to his continued tenancy; further that once a breach ( any breach) of Deposit protection is established the tenancy is converted irrevocably to an Assured Tenancy.

    • Giles Peaker


      Whether the agent is liable under a deposit penalty is a question of fact, the agent isn’t automatically liable. It is a question of who appears to be holding the deposit.

      If a s.21 notice is not permitted, then possession is on s.8 and Schedule 2 HA 1988 grounds, which are equally good against a full assured tenancy, so your second point is otiose. But, if a new tenancy is given then the possibility of a s.21 revives. This would be trite law. It is a new tenancy. (Save for the current possibility of a once and for all failure on the gas safety certificate, which has yet to reach the higher courts).

    • Chris Daniel

      Got a better idea Bernie,
      Why not let all tenants stay there rent free. No wait, even better, make the landlords move out of their homes and give them to the tenants with landlords having to live in their previous rental accommodation AND pay the tenants rent.

      • Giles Peaker

        Chris, what a pointless comment. By the way, what is your view on people who give wrong advice to landlords then take months to correct it on their own site, despite being repeatedly told it is wrong?

  2. kjetilniki

    Thank- you for your archive. It was most helpful. I have done a short note with the dates which I now keep at court for when I am on duty and need to check.

    Are you aware of any archive of the different versions of the initial requirements and the scheme administrator article 2(1)(b) leaflets

    once again many thanks for this wonderful blog

    • Giles Peaker

      I’m not and I didn’t think to start one back in 2007! I suppose the schemes may be able to provide historic versions.

    • KTC

      They don’t exactly make it easy do they?

      MyDeposits make available all historic versions of their scheme rules easily available on their website, but not the Information for Tenants leaflet. The web version of the DPS Custodial terms are at v23 (Feb 18), the printable version linked to from that page is at v24 (May 18).

      With, one can get DPS custodial terms back to April 2013 (v20), and all three versions of the insurance terms (v1, v23, v24). Yes, great numbering systems they have going there!

      They have 5th and 6th editions of TDS’ What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme leaflet. A bit of googling produces the 4th edition (Apr 12). Appears to have only been one version of the What is the TDS Custodial Scheme leaflet.

      Only one MyDeposit’s Information for Tenants leaflet. gives copies of March 08, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, Jul 13, Jun 14, and Feb 16. Can’t find a copy of April 13. Think there was a version before March 08 that’s not available, and it’s unclear if there’s any version from 2015.

  3. Michael Barnes

    The web site gives both a PDF and a HTML version of the guide.

    Is there any reason why I should not print the HTML version to give to the tenant and save a colour ink cartridge (because the PDF contains lots of background colour)?

    • Giles Peaker

      Don’t see why not, as long as all the info prints out correctly.

  4. Sasha Balter

    Does it apply if original agreement was drafted in 2012 for a year and then became a rolling contract till now.

    • Giles Peaker

      No. Or not yet.

      It probably will from 1 October 2018. But that isn’t entirely clear. Watch this space… (the blog, obviously, I’m not coming back to update this comment!)

  5. Sasha Balter

    Thanks a lot for the prompt reply.

  6. Anon

    Do Registered Providers need to serve a ‘How to rent’ booklet, or just private landlords?

    • Giles Peaker

      Registered providers are exempted by s.3(5)(a) of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015


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