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Updated 'how to rent' guide

On 2 October 2023, the Government updated the how to rent guide to provide advice to tenants on how to access legal aid services, advice and support, regardless of circumstances.

The current version of this guide has to be issued by a private sector landlord to a tenant before an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is granted. 

Failure to serve the guide prevents a landlord from ending an AST using Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (i.e. two months no fault notice). 

The guide does not need to be issued: 

  • where the landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
  • where an AST is a replacement AST of the same property between the same parties, which has come into being at the end of an existing AST, so long as:
    • the landlord or the landlord’s agent provided the tenant with the guide under an earlier AST; and
    •  the version of the guide provided under the earlier AST is the same version as the version that was in effect on the first day of the new AST.

Private landlords should ensure that letting policies and procedures are updated to take account of the new guide.

This guide is for tenants and landlords in the private rented sector to help them understand their rights and responsibilities. It provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process


housing management, occupancy agreements, social housing, housing