Mandatory ‘how to rent’ guide update – remain compliant

Mandatory ‘how to rent’ guide update – remain compliant

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has launched a new series of ‘How to’ guides produced to help support tenants, landlords and letting agents within the private rented sector. In addition, the government’s mandatory ‘How to rent’ guide has been revised.

The most recent update includes a new subtitle in the document and now reads ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ that is reflective of wording in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015.

The Deregulation Act (2015) requires landlords to issue the ‘How to rent’ guide to tenants at the start of a new tenancy or at the renewal of the current tenancy. Failure to issue this means landlords will be unable to serve a section 21 notice on their tenants. It is therefore important to ensure that you provide the correct guide to tenants.

The MHCLG updated the mandatory ‘How to rent’ guide (9th July) and the ‘How to rent a safe home’ guide (26th of June) to reflect recent legislative changes. In addition to this, two further ‘How to’ guides have been produced to help support tenants, landlords and letting agents within the private rented sector.

The new ‘How to’ guides

The government hopes the guides will help to raise standards across the industry as a whole and features a series of four guides for landlords, agents and tenants.

The ‘how to’ guides within the series are;

How to rent (mandatory – updated 9th July)
How to rent a safe home (updated 26th June)
How to let (new)
How to lease (new)

Landlords should regularly check the government website as the guides are subject to regular review and amendment, in order to remain compliant.

You can find out more about the recent changes, including more detailed information about the new ‘how to’ guides here.

Precise Treatment Reduces Pain

Detail needs experts. Expert time is worth it when it saves you a costly mistake. Main objective: Get the property back. Best action: Very precise treatment.

Serving a notice is actually the most important part of the possession process.

It isn’t complicated but one tiny error can cause dreadful problems.

That’s why we say, don’t DIY and don’t use internet amateurs. It’s not worth it.

1. Compliance Errors
If the tenant doesn’t leave at Step1, the notice had better be valid. Because then it has to go to court. Any little error can get a case thrown out. And you have to start all over again.

2. Attempting Short-Cuts.
In an effort to be quick, some internet services aimed at landlords are using short-cuts around the process. But if the tenant doesn’t leave (50%) these practices can backfire at court and the case thrown out.

3. Trying to Save Pennies.
Internet services have mushroomed and landlords can expect to get what they pay for. To get the process done PROPERLY it takes a certain amount of time for an expert to look over a file and be accurate. Our fees cover that expert time.

Chasing courts for dates, arranging advocates and preparing court papers is time consuming. Especially if you’ve never done it before.

Some landlord and agents have served notices themselves. They believed they were saving a few pounds but it often ended up costing them more.

If you lose a claim, the court can order you to pay the tenant’s defence cost, which can run to hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Our in-house Solicitors are there to get your property back as fast as they can. And we protect landlords and agents from themselves.

As experts, we know that in the rush to get things done, errors can happen. And those errors can can come back later to mess up your case – and the whole process has to start again.

You can speed things up – give us accurate information quickly. Help us to help you.

There are services on the web who will prepare papers BUT they get you to pay the court-fee separately and get you to sign the court papers – so in fact they don’t represent you!

If your notice (at Step1) wasn’t drafted or served correctly you risk wasting your court fees and losing a whole lot of time because of a small error.

We won’t let your case anywhere near a court until we have checked every little detail. To make sure you don’t waste time or money, at Step-2 we first only charge part of the fee.

If your notice is fine, then you just pay the balance of the fee and we issue the claim. If there is a problem with your notice or paperwork, we will advise you what to do next.

Courts take the view that possession proceedings can make someone homeless. So they are very careful. If there’s any error in the notice, they throw the case out. It’s the process. Get it right or lose.

If the notice is invalid, you have to start all over again. The weeks or months you’ve waited are wasted. If there were rent arrears, there are now more.

If there weren’t rent arrears, they might now start. More fees. More lost rent. And still no possession. Tenants can be alerted to making a counter-claim.

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