The sneaky update the government didn't want you to know about!
For those of you who are keen, hands-on landlords you will no doubt be aware of the need to serve your tenants with a plethora of government approved bumf to make sure that you are acting in accordance with the law.
These things include:
- Valid gas safety certificate
- Deposit information leaflet
- Deposit protection Certificate
- Tenancy Agreement
- and of course the "How to Rent" booklet published by the government
Now it's the last item on that list which is key today. It's of paramount importance that you serve THE MOST RECENT ONE at the time of you issuing the agreement. Failure to do so will cause lightning to strike and all manner of other things to happen, but most pertinently you will lose your right to serve a section 21 notice. Now when did these changes occur you ask? Well, the current published version at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent indicates that the version is dated May 2019. However, since then there have been changes made, most recent one being 10 days ago. So landlord simply referring to that document, seeing that it is still dated May, could be forgiven for thinking they acted correctly if they created a tenancy between May and now (August).
However the details are located in the version history. One can see the version history below the download link and actually reads:
So you can see there has been two updates, one in June and one on the 7th of August, in both of which the date on the actual booklet has not been updated. Naturally as to whether a judge would deem a landlord to have acted "fair and reasonable and within the spirit of the law" by serving the 31 May version up until now is yet to be tested.
But let's not take that chance. If you are doing your own paperwork always refer to the webpage and download the currently published version, and don't rely on downloaded documents on your computer - they might have just sneakily been changed, materially or otherwise!
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