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Be still, my beating heart – new ‘How to Rent’ Guide


A new version of the How to Rent Guide was released today, 2 October 2023.

This needs to be given to the tenant on all new and replacement tenancies (including on statutory periodic arising) from today onwards.

NB – ‘given’ means a physical copy given to the tenant, unless the tenant has expressly agreed to being sent a copy by email (and even then sending a link to the site is not sufficient).

No section 21 can be served until the How to Rent Guide has been given.

A copy has been added to the archive.

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. witstert

    Did the restriction “No section 21 can be served until the How to Rent Guide has been given.” exist in February 2016?

    • Giles Peaker

      Yes. From October 2015 – for all new or replacement tenancies from then.

  2. witstert

    Giles, Thank you. Hmm!

    • Giles Peaker

      No hmm about it. It has existed for all new and replacement tenancies from 1 October 2015.

      • witstert

        Actually, there is a “Hmm!”, where it applies to me. To continue this discussion would be to breach the rule about not seeking advice. I am respectful of “Nearly Legal”‘s rules and will not “push my luck”. One day, if I get lucky and meet you I will bring it up.

        • Giles Peaker

          Well if a possession order was made back then, then is nothing to be done. And the requirement for a s.21 is simply that a how to rent guide is given before a s.21 notice. It can be done late.

        • witstert

          Was not ever given. The tenancy started July 2001. The S21 was introduced at the Court hearing.

        • Giles Peaker

          Unless the tenancy had a replacement – a new fixed term, or became a statutory perioidic after 1 October 2015, it didn’t have to be given. That was my first reply.

        • witstert

          Thanks for the clarification.

    • Clare

      Is a s21 valid if landlord didn’t use gas safe registered engineer for gas check just before taking on tenancy and the year before. Does this make the certificate invalid?

      • Giles Peaker

        Potentially, yes. You should get advice.

  3. Ben Reeve Lewis

    Why was the notion of a statutory periodic tenancy being included as a replacement tenancy when it wasn’t in multiple deposit penalty claims? Never got that logic

  4. rsp9e214e12ea00

    Regarding fixed term tenancies created before 01.10.2015 but going periodic after 01.10.2015 the Prescribed Requirements regs state;

    (4) These Regulations do not apply to an assured shorthold tenancy that came into being under section 5(2) of the Housing Act 1988 on or after 1st October 2015 on the coming to an end of an assured shorthold tenancy that was granted before that date.

    (S5(2) Ha 1988 is the provision that automatically converts a fixed tenancy into a periodic tenancy at the end of its term)

    So for a Pre October 2015 fixed term AST that went periodic after the 01.10.2015 surely the regs do not apply and there would be no need to serve a Know How to Rent Booklet prior to service of a S21? i.e. a periodic tenancy would not constitute a new or replacement tenancy in this context.

    • Giles Peaker

      Yes, if it remained stat periodic thereafter.

  5. RSP Legal

    Many thanks, just checking we were on the same page.


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