Online guides will help renters and leaseholders to know their rights

New ‘how to’ guides include checklists for new and existing tenants, landlords and letting agents

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Landlords, leaseholders and tenants will be armed with vital information on their rights and responsibilities thanks to new online rental guides published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government today (26 June 2018).

These guides form a key part of government’s continuing crackdown on poor practice by a minority of landlords and agents in the private rented and leasehold sectors. Evidence shows that Citizens Advice helped 65,000 private renters with more than 100,000 problems about their tenancy in 2017.

As part of government’s commitment to ensure everyone has a decent, safe place to live, the ‘how to’ guides include checklists for new and existing tenants, landlords and letting agents to ensure they are complying with their legal responsibilities.

Published on GOV.UK today the guides have been produced in partnership with landlord, tenant and letting and managing agent groups, professional bodies and local housing authorities and aim to drive up living standards in the sector.

The ‘how to’ series comprises:

How to let

This new guide will help private landlords learn more about their key legal responsibilities and best practice when letting a property, including how to protect tenancy deposits, carry out gas safety checks and install smoke and carbon dioxide alarms.

How to lease

By reading this new document, leaseholders can learn about their unique set of rights and responsibilities. For example, a managing agent or landlord could be responsible for running a leaseholder’s block or estate – but the leaseholder does have a say in how they do it.

How to rent a safe home

This document will help current and prospective tenants identify potential unsafe conditions in rented properties. It gives tenants an overview of the most common hazards to look out for in rented properties, including gas and electrical safety, damp and mould and trips and falls hazards, and how they should report dangerous conditions.

How to rent

This updated guide provides a step-by-step process to renting privately. Tenants can learn how to challenge poor practice and understand private landlords’ legal obligations. It is a legal requirement for all landlords to provide their tenants with this document.

Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:

"Every day across the country thousands of people move house – from young people leaving home for the first time, to those relocating after years in the same property.

"Whatever the circumstance, we want to ensure renters, landlords and leaseholders are armed with information so they know their rights, responsibilities and can challenge poor behaviour."

The guides will be reviewed in light of any new legislation to ensure tenants, landlords and leaseholders are supplied with up-to-date information.

Further information

Government is committed to protecting the rights of tenants and giving them more security. We will shortly be launching a consultation seeking views on the benefits and barriers to landlords offering longer and more secure tenancies in the private rented sector.

We have already announced our intention to require private landlords to belong to a redress scheme, and that we will require all letting agents to be regulated and belong to a client money protection scheme in order to practice.

Our consultation on ways to make redress more accessible and effective across housing closed on 16 April and we will issue a response in due course.

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