UPDATE– MHCLG has already replaced the new 'How to Rent' Booklet
Last week we reported that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) had released an updated version of the 'How to Rent' Booklet on 26 June 2018 and were requiring all private landlords to issue it when granting new tenancies.
The 'How to Rent' Booklet has now been replaced with a new version, titled 'How to rent: the checklist for renting in England' which is showing on the MHCLG website as having been updated on 9 July 2018. It appears the original version released on 26 June contained an error which would place it at odds with the requirements of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015.The consequence being that if the 26 June version was issued, then the landlord would not be strictly complying with the requirements of the 2015 Regulations and would therefore be unable to rely on a valid notice for possession under section 21 Housing Act 1988.
If the 26 June 2018 'How to Rent' Booklet has been issued between 26 June and today, then the updated 9 July version ought to be issued immediately.
Whilst all landlords will need to ensure that they comply with their legal requirements when granting a new assured shorthold tenancy, registered providers of social housing will remain exempt from this particular requirement.
If any private landlord has issued the defective 26 June 2018 booklet, then they must ensure that the updated version is issued immediately.
Failure to take this step will prevent a valid notice for possession under section 21 Housing Act 1988 from being issued.