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This Friday (17th March), the Government will issue a new “How to Rent” guide, which landlords and letting agents must serve their tenants at the beginning of every new tenancy or renewal. The new guide will form part of the prescribed documentation landlords and letting agents in the private sector must issue to help inform tenants of their rights and responsibilities while renting.

The guide covers information such as what to look out for before renting, living in a rented home, what happens at the end of a tenancy and what to do if things go wrong, and establishes a level of expectation around both parties obligations.

What’s new?

The guide has been updated in response to recent legal changes and will include:

  • The requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in every room with a fixed fuel burning appliance
  • The necessity for an Electrical Installation condition Report (EICR) to be provided to tenants
  • Information on fitting smart meters
  • A guide to ensuring the property is suitable for tenants with disabilities
What do landlords and letting agents need to know?

It’s crucial that landlords and letting agents do issue the new version of the ‘How to Rent’ guide from 17th March when it becomes available. By not complying, they will lose their right to accelerated repossession under Section 21 of the Housing Act, which ironically is due to be abolished later this year or early in 2024.

It’s important that the landlord or agent keeps a log and evidence of when they’ve issued this document to a tenant, otherwise they might struggle to counter a defence against a Section 21 repossession if a tenant claims they’d not received it.

Arc Legal’s Property Owners Legal Expenses Insurance offers support for landlords, letting agents and affinity groups and covers legal fees for tenant disputes, criminal prosecution, property disputes, unpaid rent, and debt recovery.

Richard Finan, Director of Strategic Development, Arc Legal Group

If you’d like to find out more in relation to this update or any wider landlord and lettings issues, please contact your Partnerships Manager or email

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