Government publishes ‘How to rent’ guide

A minority of landlords are failing to comply with regulation, which stipulates that a gas certificate and deposit paperwork must be provided.

They are also required to give tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before entering the property and to maintain the structure of the property.

The government recently confirmed plans to require all letting agents to publish a full tariff of their fees on their websites and in their offices, while anyone who fails to comply will face a fine.

The guide offers advice and information on tenancy deposit schemes, bill payments and the tenancy length.

Housing minister Kris Hopkins said: “This government is turning up the heat on the small minority of rogue landlords that are not playing by the rules and giving tenants a rough deal.

“The new ‘How to rent’ guide will give tenants the knowledge they need at their fingertips and help raise the game of landlords who may not know what is expected of them.

“We are doing all of this without the need for excessive state regulation that would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent.”

The guide also details the legal requirements for landlords and tenants on ending tenancies and returning deposits.

The government hopes to bring clarity to the system, ensuring England’s nine million private rented sector tenants have the knowledge to hold their landlord to account.

Magistrates’ courts will have the power to impose unlimited fines on landlords guilty of not meeting their responsibilities, such as failing to carry out essential improvement works to a property or continuing to rent out a property which the council has ruled is not fit for habitation.

Hopkins added: “The private rental sector is vital asset to the country and this government is determined to get Britain building and boost investment in the sector.

“The new £1bn Build to Rent fund helps developers build homes specifically for the private rented sector, and is on track to have work underway on up to 10,000 new homes by 2015.

“In addition to this the government ‘s housing guarantee scheme is supporting up to £10bn worth of investment finance in large-scale private rented projects and additional affordable housing.”