October 19, 2023

How To Rent Guide 2023: Everything You Need To Know


Alfie Darko

How To Rent Guide 2023: Everything You Need To Know

Renting a home in England and Wales involves following many essential rules that landlords and tenants need to know. One fundamental rule is giving out the How to Rent guide. It's a document by the government that gives essential advice to people renting or wanting to rent a home.

Landlords or letting agents must give this guide to all tenants when they start renting a home. The government updates this guide from time to time to include new rules. So, landlords and tenants need to know the latest version of the guide.

In October 2023, a new version of the "How to Rent" guide came out, which updates the March 2023 release.. It has a new look and includes many significant updates which include more financial advice and help for renters which makes sense given the recent cost of living crisis. We'll give you all the details about the latest how-to rent guide update, including all the main changes, and explain what they mean for landlords and tenants.

The New How To Rent Guide: October 2023 Update

The government updated the "How to Rent" guide in October 2023. It has a new look and includes information that is important for landlords and tenants. Here are some of the crucial changes in the October 2023 which carries on from the March 2023 update:

  1. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: The government added new rules to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (Amendment) Regulations 2022. It is now mandatory to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on the property with a combustible gas appliance, except for gas cookers.
  2. Electrical Installation Condition Reports: New information about Electrical Installation Condition Reports is now present in the guide.
  3. Smart Meters: There is new updated information about smart meters requirements.

Landlords must give every tenant the latest How to Rent booklet when they start renting (and if they renew their rental agreement). If landlords do this, they can use a Section 21 notice to take back their property. If they don't, they will have issues dealing with bad tenants, as the courts could reject their request to use Section 21 notices.

The Official How To Rent Checklist for Renting in England 2023 [download]

Sharing the How To Rent Guide with Tenants

Landlords must share the updated guide with their tenants where possible. We will explain the circumstances below.

When to Give the Updated Guide

The guide can be shared either as a printed copy of the tenancy agreement or sent via email as a PDF that tenants can download.

You can find the most recent version of the how to rent guide pdf [here].

It is vital to give tenants the guide at these times in the tenancy lifecycle:

  • New Tenancies: Include the latest version of the guide whenever you grant a new tenancy.
  • Renewal Tenancies: If there's a renewal tenancy and the tenant doesn't have the latest version, you must provide one.
  • Statutory Periodic Tenancies: Suppose your tenant continues to live in the property and pay rent after the initial agreement ends but doesn't sign a new one. In that case, the rental agreement automatically changes to 'statutory periodic.'.

    The tenancy is now a flexible agreement that either the landlord or the tenant can end with a notice. If this change occurs after a new 'How to Rent' guide is released, you, as the landlord, are legally required to provide your tenant with the new guide.

What Happens If I Don't Share The Guide With My Tenants

Sharing the How to Rent guide with your tenants is very important. If you fail to do this, you won't be able to use a Section 21 notice to repossess your property if you need to.

A Section 21 notice is a legal document that a landlord must serve to end an assured shorthold tenancy. Failing to provide the guide can cause significant problems and legal implications if you attempt to regain property possession.

Please take notice of this, as it can seriously affect your ability to manage your property effectively.

Key Changes in the 2023 Guide

The 2023 "How to Rent" guide included several important updates that landlords and tenants must be aware of:

  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: It is now mandatory to have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in properties with any gas appliance, except gas cookers. Landlords must provide evidence that the alarms are working at the start of the tenancy, and tenants are responsible for checking them during the tenancy.
  • Property Accessibility: Tenants can request reasonable adjustments to make their homes more accessible.
  • Electrical Checks: Landlords must arrange a 5-year electrical check by a qualified and competent person.
  • Smart Meters: Landlords should only unreasonably prevent the installation of smart meters if the tenancy agreement requires tenants to get permission to alter metering.
  • Legal Documentation: Landlords must provide all necessary legal documents at the start of a tenancy. These include the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), deposit paperwork, a valid Gas Safety Certificate, a copy of the property license (if required), a copy of the Electrical Installation Condition Report, the most recent "How to Rent" guide, and evidence that smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.

Other Fundamental Changes in the How To Rent Guide in 2023

  • Removal of Assured Shorthold Tenancies Section: The new guide no longer has a section dedicated to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs). This might suggest a shift towards focusing on tenancies in general. However, both landlords and tenants should still be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding ASTs.
  • Right to Rent Checks and Identity Verification Technology (IVT): The guide now includes the option to use IVT for Right to Rent checks, making the process more efficient and secure for landlords and tenants.
  • New Sections on Property Modifications and Non-Resident Landlords: There are now sections about making changes to a property (like asking for permission for alterations) and the tax obligations of landlords living outside the UK.
  • Institution of Chartered Surveyors as a Reputable Agent: The guide lists the Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a trustworthy agent, offering landlords and tenants a reliable source for professional property advice and services.
  • Updated Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations: The new guide reflects the latest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, ensuring landlords and tenants know their responsibilities regarding these crucial safety devices.
  • Flood Risk Assessment: A new section on checking the flood risk in your area has been added, highlighting the importance of understanding potential flood hazards and taking necessary precautions when renting a property.
  • Updated Terminology for Electrical Installation Reports: The guide now uses updated terminology for reports detailing the condition of a property's electrical installations, clarifying the requirements for landlords and tenants.
  • Considerations for Disabled Tenants: A new section has been added to help disabled tenants assess whether a property suits their needs, offering guidance on what to look for and what adjustments may be necessary.
  • Smart Meter Installation: The updated guide includes a new section on considering the installation of smart meters, encouraging energy efficiency and cost savings for both landlords and tenants.
  • Revised Landlord Responsibilities: The guide now includes updated wording for fitting smoke alarms and carrying out Right to Rent checks, as well as a new section on considering requests for reasonable adjustments from disabled tenants.
  • New Section on Tenant Eviction: A new section has been added to provide information on what happens if a tenant does not leave the property when required, offering guidance on the eviction process and the rights of both parties.
  • Updated Terminology: The updated guide replaces several abbreviations and terms with their full names (e.g., HMO to House of Multiple Occupation, EPC to Energy Performance Certificate, and local authorities to local council), providing better definitions for landlords and tenants.


The guide is essential for landlords and tenants. It outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties. It ensures that everyone knows the legal requirements of renting a property. It's not just a legal requirement but also a valuable tool to help prevent misunderstandings and disputes. Simply sending your tenants the How to Rent guide download link can save you a lot of trouble.

At All In House Property Group, we know how essential this guide is and always give it to tenants when we look after properties. Compared to other agents, we don't leave property owners to deal with courts and difficult tenants that can arise from this omission. We are very serious about our job and follow all the legal rules, which helps landlords and tenants feel safe and relaxed.

Trust us to take care of your property and see how much better it is when professionals who care are in charge of your investment.

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