Tenants, landlords and buy to let investors are the targets for new online rental guides introduced by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and now available on the government’s official website.
A statement from the ministry says they 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.”
The government claims that the Citizens Advice charity helped 65,000 private renters with more than 100,000 problems about their tenancy in 2017 - highlighting what Whitehall sees as an apparent problem with the rental sector.
The ‘how to’ series comprises, firstly, How To Let - this outlines landlords’ 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.
Second up is How To Rent A Safe Home, which helps 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.
Third is an update of the How To Rent guide, allowing - in the government’s words - “tenants to 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.
There is also a new How To Lease document, allowing leaseholders to know of “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.
You can see all the documents linked from here.