How to Rent Guide

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    How to Rent Guide

    This relates to a property owned by my mother. It’s been let and managed for years by another agency.

    I’m about to take over management and possibly keep the tenant. However, there’s a good chance we’ll serve a S21, depending on the outcome of an inspection I’m carrying out later today.

    I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before we do anything. My mother isn’t reliant on the rent in any way but I don’t want a possession claim to get thrown out for shoddy paperwork.

    When I go and see the agent later today I’ll be checking over all the paperwork but I’m unsure on the how to rent guide. The original fixed term started in January 2012 and there has been no new fixed term since then, it having turned to SPT thereafter.

    Obviously the How to Rent Guide didn’t exist at the time of the original tenancy, but would it be wise to serve one before we served any S21?

    Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?


    Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

    AST - sole tenant

    Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/

    January 2012 (exact date TBC when I see them later)

    Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

    6 months

    Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

    Per calendar month

    Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

    Yes, at the commencement of the tenancy

    Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

    Not yet applicable

    Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?



      Ii haven't any actual experience of this, so this is simply an opinion...

      I'd say no. You have to give the version of the form contemporary with the start of the tenancy, so there's no way you could actually comply 100%. So I'd personally not do it.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).


        Tenancy predates the Deregulation Act so it's not a requirement for service of a s21(4) as far as I know.


          Thanks both. I appreciate there’s probably no definitive answer until it’s contested in court.

          We’re probably going to let him stay for the foreseeable anyway.


            Strictly speaking legally, without consideration of whether a judge may make a mistake, the requirement is clear. No need to serve a copy of the How to Rent guide, now or after 1 October 2018.
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.


              If it helps to have another way of looking at it: the regs wording is that you do not have to give any tenant an updated version of the guide, only the one that was in force at the beginning of the tenancy. So, as there was no guide in existence then there is no need to provide a guide!


                Whilst I agree that the regulations do not require the provision of the guide to make the S21 valid in this case, the wording of the regulations is ambiguous.
                It requires the version "that has effect for the time being". This could mean "when the tenancy started" or could mean "when the document is provided to the tenant".
                Maybe we should all write to the minister urging him to clarify the regulation?


                  Originally posted by MdeB View Post
                  Maybe we should all write to the minister urging him to clarify the regulation?
                  Just that one?


                    Originally posted by DPT57 View Post

                    Just that one?
                    Provide a list, and I will get writing.


                      For the avoidance of doubt I might also submit latest version with s21, provided I can show the T received the substantive version,( if avail ) at start of AST.
                      What is the point of providing out of date info?


                        why even bother asking the question? Takes more time to post here plus reading/responding to replies than it does to just give them the latest version. And if the S21 is invalidated by not providing (the right) one when the tenancy started then there's nothing you can do about that now... other than serve them the latest version.


                          Well it’s probably unlikely that I’d get penalised for serving the latest version when no version was necessary, but many things have been unlikely until a judge has decided otherwise.

                          Plus I think there are enough people here, many of them experienced, saying they aren’t sure.

                          Plus I have loads of free time at the moment.


                            Would 'the Minister' even know the answer though?

                            In view of recent ministerial replies about the rental market, I suspect the answer is no.
                            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.


                              Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                              Would 'the Minister' even know the answer though?
                              It doesn't matter if he knows what was intended, only that he makes a decision about what it should mean and makes that decision clear in the updated regulations.


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