A Guide to Renting

On 26th June 2018 new rental guidelines were published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The purpose of these new guidelines is to continue a government crackdown on poor practice in the rental section by a minority of landlords and letting agents. One of the reasons for this initiative is that, during 2017 some 65,000 private renters contacted the Citizens advice Bureau with over 100,000 problems relating to their tenancies.

These guides can be accessed on gov.uk. They comprise a series of “How to” topics which are briefly outlined below:


“How to let”
This area helps Landlords with their key legal responsibilities and best practice. The section covers:

• The Assured Shorthold Tenancy
• Before letting your property
• Getting the property ready
• Setting up the tenancy
• During the Tenancy
• At the end of the tenancy
• If things go wrong.


“How to lease”
A section giving assistance to Leaseholders in order to understand their rights and responsibilities.


“How to rent a safe home”
This part covers a wide range of topics and aims to give assistance to present and future tenants in order to identify conditions, which may be potentially unsafe within their rented property.

• The Energy Performance Certificate
• The Gas safety certificate
• Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms
• What to look for.
• What to do if you identify a hazard.
• The condition of a property
• Accidents
• Risk of infection
• What to do if repairs aren’t undertaken

 

“How to rent”
The section follows a step by step guide to the taking up of a private rental agreement as well as how to understand the legal obligations that a Landlord has. The check-list briefly includes:

• Assured shorthold tenancies.
• Matters to consider prior to renting.
• Finding a new home
• Paperwork
• What the landlord must provide to you prior to moving in.
• Living in your new home – Landlords and Tenants responsibilities.
• What happens at the end of the fixed term and return of deposit.
• What happens if something goes wrong?

 

The Government has made it clear that they intend to remain committed to the protection of the rights of tenants and improving their security occupation. A consultation is being launched to ascertain the benefits and disadvantages that there may be to Landlords in offering a longer, more secure, tenancy.

In addition the Government has announced their intention to regulate all letting agents and require the letting agents to belong to a client money protection scheme in order to practice.