A new ‘How to Rent’ guide is set to be released by the government next month.
This comes just seven months after it was last updated in March, to reflect legal changes, including the requirement for carbon monoxide alarms to be fitted in every room with a fixed fuel-burning appliance.
A new version of the guide will be released on Monday 2 October, updating pages 15 and 17, to make reference to the new Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service.
The Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes (HCPDS) and allows tenants to access legal advice if they are at risk of losing their home.
This advice can be provided once the tenant has evidence they are at risk of possession proceedings.
The legal advice can cover a range of including:
- Repossession claims
- Rent arrears
- Issues with welfare benefits payments
- Debt concerns
- Disrepair and other problems with housing conditions
The previous scheme (HCPDS) was only available on the day of the hearing, so this should mean that tenants have better access to legal support in housing matters.
Landlords are reminded they must serve the latest version of the How to Rent guide at the start of any new tenancy or renewal (when a statutory periodic tenancy).
It forms part of the prescribed information landlords must issue, and if they do not, they lose the right to repossess using Section 21.