How to Rent Guide May 2019 - Latest PDF Download for Landlords

By Jonathan Daines

How to Rent Guide – 2019 Landlord Download (Updated 31st May)

Last updated on March 24th, 2020 at 04:19 pm

Serving the tenant with a copy of the latest How to Rent Guide 2019 (Last updated 31 May 2019), a booklet which is issued by Government detailing a checklist for tenants when renting, is one of the very first actions you must take before renting out a house in England.

How to Rent Guide

Download the latest How to Rent Guide (Last updated 31st May 2019) and our own free landlord checklist.

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Which version of the How to Rent guide do I need to give to my tenants?

The latest version of the How to Rent guide was issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (formerly known as the DCLG) on 31st May 2019.

Most noticeably, the main updates to the latest version of the guide are:

  • References made throughout the guide to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 which came into force on the 1st of June 2019. Landlords and Letting Agents are no longer able to charge ‘prohibitive fees’ to tenants.
  • Letting agents must belong to a Client Money Protection scheme if they handle tenants rent and deposits.
  • Deposits have been capped to no more than 5 weeks’ worth of rent (where annual rent is less than £50,000) or 6 weeks’ rent (where annual rent is more than £50,000).
  • The Energy Performance of a property let after 1 April 2018 must have an EPC rating of at least ‘E’ (unless a valid exemption applies).
  • A landlord or agent can take a holding deposit from a tenant to reserve a property whilst reference checks and preparation for a tenancy agreement are undertaken. They cannot ask a tenant for more than one week’s rent as a holding deposit (this cap is based on the total agreed rent for the property).

Can I email a copy of the How to Rent Guide to the Tenant?

Although lots of people still like to receive a good old-fashioned printed copy of the How to Rent booklet, for those who have fully embraced new technology then it is probably easier for you to email them a digital version of the How to Rent guide, that’s if the tenant has supplied you with an email address.   It’s probably best viewed online, anyway, as it contains hyperlinks.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government itself won’t be publishing the How to Rent booklet in ‘hard copy’ so if a tenant asks for the guide in this format you will have to print it out yourself.

I know you’ve got a mountain of paperwork to deal with anyway, supplying tenants with necessary items such as a written tenancy agreement, gas safety certificate (if there’s a gas installation, of course), an energy performance certificate and a record of any electrical inspections and securing protection in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme in respect of any deposits made by tenants, but don’t under-estimate the importance of issuing that little How to Rent guide.

What happens if I don’t issue the guide?

If you don’t issue the 2019 How to Rent booklet, it could land you in a whole lot of trouble. Not that you could end up in jail – but under the new Section 21 Legislation for Landlords in England, which came into effect almost two years ago, you won’t be able to repossess your property (heaven forbid it should get to that stage) with a Section 21 notice without providing your tenant with the booklet.

Man in a suit behind bars insinuating he is in jail.
Don’t worry, you won’t end up in jail if you don’t issue the How to Rent guide but you won’t be able to serve notice on your tenant(s)!

So head off any potential trouble by just issuing the How to Rent guide for tenants at the beginning of any new tenancy. And as another safeguard ask the tenant to sign a release form, confirming that they have been provided with an up-to-date version.

Up-dates will abound in the future I am sure but one good thing is that you are not required to supply a further copy of the document each time a new version is published during the tenancy.

The How to Rent guide makes a pretty good landlords’ checklist too!

We all know that when renting out a property, the requirement for landlords to provide prescribed information and associated legal documents, can often be a complicated affair.  So much so that some pundits believe there is a strong case for simplification by either consolidating housing legislation now or by undertaking a review of the Law Commission’s 2006 Report.

Who knows what might happen in the future, but the point about the here-and-now is to make sure before you start letting your property – whether it is a house, apartment or bedsit – that everything is in order. That includes making sure the building is insured with adequate landlords insurance and that the structure and exterior of the property is maintained, while also ensuring that items such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms (in rooms using solid fuels) are fitted.

See also: When is the best time of year to let a property?

And while the tenant may probably want to know whether you belong to an accreditation scheme, equally you will want the tenant to confirm his identity and immigration status (through Right to Rent checks) credit history and employment status via a comprehensive tenant referencing check.

Make sure the tenant knows who is responsible for bills such as gas, water, electricity and council tax and that they understand how long the tenancy is for. Some people may want the security of a really long let so make sure that this is agreed at the outset as well.

In any case, the tenancy agreement should say how much notice must be given if you want to end the agreement. Landlords have a legal requirement to give a tenant proper notice – and vice-versa. One month’s notice is typical if a tenant signals he wants to move on.

What other documents do I need?

Once the tenant moves in, however, he (or she) will want a written tenancy agreement, so make sure you can provide one. Regardless of whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, don’t forget to produce an inventory as well – this will make the situation a lot easier if there is any dispute at the end of the tenancy. And it’s probably as well to take photographs of any items you may want to record in particular – how easy is that with today’s digital cameras or smart phones?  Finally, you may want to read up about GDPR for landlords too.

Leonard Rossiter’s miserly Rigsby in the 70s TV sit-com Rising Damp
Remember, you must give at least 24 hours notice before entering your tenant’s home!

Thankfully, we don’t know of any landlords today who are like Leonard Rossiter’s miserly Rigsby in the 70s TV sit-com Rising Damp but it goes practically without saying that you must impress upon the tenant that they must pay the rent on time. Point out that failure to do so could cost them their accommodation – and let them know that lodgers or sub-letting (Rent to Rent) are not allowed unless you give express permission.

And unlike Rigsby you won’t be able to walk into your tenant’s accommodation just whenever you want. So give at least 24 hours notice of a visit if you want to check on things like repairs.

From the outset, let them know where you stand on children, smoking, pets – and even things such as keeping a bike! After all, one man’s recreational pursuit can be another man’s torture!

But if you want further advice on anything to do with renting a property, tenancy agreements or how to find tenants fast, then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Legislation can be a minefield, particularly if you are becoming a landlord for the first time and you are navigating landlord registration, mandatory and selective licensing.

Version Update History of the How to Rent Guide:

31 May 2019 – the guide is updated following the Tenant Fees Act 2019.

9 July 2018 – On 6 July 2018 the title of the guide was amended to ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’.
26 June 2018 – Added updated guide to website.
17 January 2018 – Removed reference to the ‘London Rental Standard’ in the renting ‘Direct from the landlord’ section.
1 February 2016 – Updated the How to Rent guide.
1 October 2015 – Updated with the latest edition of this guide
25 September 2014- Added updated guide.
11 June 2014 – Added information about Acrobat Reader download
10 June 2014 – How to Rent guide first published.

About Jonathan Daines

As Founder and CEO since 2008, Jonathan’s passion for property, technology and entrepreneurship inspired the creation and innovation of With the support of a dedicated team of industry professionals, for the past 11 years he has built a digital marketplace offering low-cost services that empowers landlords and tenants to let and rent property with ease.

How to Rent Guide – 2019 Download
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How to Rent Guide – 2019 Download
How to Rent Guide 2019 Download & Updated PDF Booklet for Private Landlords Renting Out Flats & Houses in England. Plus Landlord Checklist.
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    July 7, 2019 REPLY

    All very helpful.

    June 2, 2019 REPLY

    UPDATE: The How to Rent guide has been updated as from the 31st May 2019. This should be used for all new tenancies starting from the 1st June 2019 onwards.

    February 14, 2019 REPLY

    Hi can someone advise how to get a rent to guide so as I can issue a section 21 please

      Shannon Hall
      February 26, 2019 REPLY

      Hi Paula, Use the governments how to rent guide, we can also help if you call us or drop us an email.

        June 10, 2020 REPLY

        Please can you tell me if I need to find the September 25th 2014 version of the how to Rent guide for my tenant whose sta started in November 2014 before I can issue an section 21? And if so where? I understood that for pre 2015 tenancy agreements the how to Rent Guide wasn’t needed even after the 2018 changes.

          July 16, 2020 REPLY

          Hi Mel,

          Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Firstly, it’s best to give your tenant a copy of the most up to date How to Rent guide available at GOV.UK. More specifically, the answer to your question depends upon whether your tenant renewed their tenancy after this date (November 2014). If you renewed this tenancy as Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) after October 2015 when the rules for prescribed information were changed, you were required to give your tenant a copy of the How to Rent guide at this point. However, if the tenancy automatically rolled onto a statutory period tenancy, you did not need to give your tenant a copy of the guide at that time.

          If you would like to evict your tenant, we advise that you provide them with a copy of the latest How to Rent guide, along with a copy of your EPC and Gas Safety Certificate if you have not done so already. At the moment, you can use a template provided by the government (Form 6A) to issue an Eviction Notice:

          We hope this information helps you.

          All the best,

    October 1, 2018 REPLY

    My tenant’s 1 year tenancy started in March 2015. It has been a rolling tenancy ever since. I have not given him a Right to Rent book at all. Would it be best to give him the latest version now or wait until just prior to serving a Section 21 notice in the future?

    June 26, 2018 REPLY

    Update – 26th June 2018. The latest version of the How to Rent guide has been published. This document must be issued to tenants entering a new tenancy agreement – includes renewals.

      August 31, 2018 REPLY

      How do I get the updated copies when the come available please

        September 9, 2018 REPLY

        Hi, if you have subscribed to the newsletter then you will receive updates as and when the How to Rent guide changes.

    January 18, 2018 REPLY

    UPDATE: As of yesterday, 17th January 2018 – the How to Rent Guide was updated. The content of this page has been updated accordingly.

    January 6, 2018 REPLY

    Could you tell me please. My tenant has been renting from me for 3.5 years she pays 650 per month. I have never given her a tenancy agreement gas cert or how to rent guide . We now have a dispute and is not paying me the full rent only enough to cover the mortgage. I have sent her a solicitors letter to see if we can sort this out but to no avail. This is the 3rd month of arrears. I want to send a section 21 but how do I go about this under the above. The solicitor says I do have a periodic assured short tenancy as I have 3 years of accounts.

      January 17, 2018 REPLY

      Hi Tracy, It really depends on when the tenancy started i.e. tenancies which started after 30th Sept 2015, you had to prove service of certain documents to be able to serve a S21 notice.

      January 18, 2018 REPLY

      Hi Tracy, Thanks for your question. Your solicitor would be correct in saying you have a periodic AST (albeit a verbal one). The ‘new regulations’ and the requirement for serving certain documentation only applies where an AST is granted on or after 1 October 2015 including written renewal on or after that date.
      The regulations do not apply where a tenancy becomes a statutory periodic tenancy on or after 1 October 2015 where the original fixed term tenancy was granted before the 1 October 2015.
      If you would like some assistance in serving the S21 and finding you a replacement tenant, please feel free to give us a call on 0333 577 8888.

    September 6, 2017 REPLY

    Hello. I have a problem. I gave my tenant a Contract,, gas safety certificate, energy performance certificate. I didn’t know about how to rent booklet. when he moved in last dec.
    Since moving in he has only paid three month rent. He now owes 5 months which amount to £2300. After 4 months I served him with a section 8. He has broken every part of the contract including keeping two dogs on the premises which is an upstairs flat. He has changed the locks. His dogs are urinating over the balcony onto the tenants below. The council have told me to stop him. He wont talk to me.
    He told me earlier that he didn’t read the contract. Who does?
    When the section 8 date was up, he asked for two more months and promised to be out for the 1st of August. He signed a mini contract promising to vacate. Of coarse he didn’t.
    I have to go to court next week.The judge has only given 10 mins for the hearing.
    Does yhis mean I have to start over again. Will he take any of this into account.

      October 19, 2017 REPLY

      Thanks for the comment Joanmlouis and I’m sorry to hear of the issues you’ve experienced with your tenant. It’s been a while since you posted your comment and I was wondering what was the outcome of your court appearance? Did the judge see in your favour despite not having served the How to Rent guide to the tenant?

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