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New Government ‘How to Rent’ Guide updated 10 December 2020

14th December 2020

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (formerly the Department for Communities and Local Government) has published a new ‘How to Rent’ Guide which must be used from 10 December 2020 in place of any previous version.

The new Guide can be accessed via the following link -

So what does the announcement of a ‘new’ version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide mean to you as a landlord or an agent?

As most landlords and agents will know, a Section 21 Notice to seek possession of premises let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (‘AST’) cannot be served unless and until a hard copy of the ‘How to Rent’ Guide has been provided to the tenant(s) amongst other statutory requirements. This restriction applied to ASTs granted on or after 01 October 2015 and now applies to all ASTs from 01 October 2018.

The version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide to be served is that which has effect for the time being - the latest version and not something that came before.

The guide may be provided to the tenant—

  • in hard copy; or

  • where the tenant has notified the landlord, or agent, of an e-mail address at which the tenant is content to accept service of notices and other documents given under or in connection with the tenancy, by e-mail.

If the “How to Rent” guide is amended during the tenancy, as has occurred here, there is no requirement to serve the new version immediately on your existing tenant but note the following comments in relation to any renewal of the tenancy.

Where a written renewal of the tenancy is made between the same landlord and the same tenant for substantially the same property, another copy of the “How to Rent” guide only needs to be provided if the guide has changed since the previous tenancy and previous version supplied to the tenant. The advice here is that if you are in any doubt that what is available now is updated version of anything that you may have served before then simply download from the link shown above, and serve, the latest version whenever the tenancy is renewed. This same cautionary advice applies is the tenancy ends and becomes a statutory periodic tenancy.

For more information on How to Rent please see our Legal Updates from 2018 entitled “Government ‘How to Rent’ Guide updated” and “A Sense of Déjà Vu?! Another new ‘How to Rent’ Guide” .

Should you have any questions in relation to the above, then please do not hesitate to contact Susan Fox, at or 01435 897297.


This legal update is provided free of charge for information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. No responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by any member of KDL Law or by KDL Law as a whole.

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