The How to Rent Guide has been changed again.
The How to Rent Guide was substantially updated on 31 May 2019 to reflect the changes introduced by the Tenant Fees Act. Since that date there has been 2 further minor changes.
The 2 minor changes are noted on the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government website as:
3 June 2019: Corrected to reflect the rebranding of National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) to Safeagent, and to update links to the GOV.UK client money protection scheme webpage.
29 July 2019: The ‘Before you start’ section was updated to clarify Shelter’s advisory role. The sentence ‘If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for help’ was amended to ‘If you don’t have a guarantor, you can ask Shelter for advice’.
Some may feel that these changes are irrelevant and be inclined to ignore them. However, landlords and agents are required to provide tenants with the version of the guide current at the time of the tenancy commencing and a replacement if it has been updated when the tenancy becomes statutory periodic. This means that no matter how minor the changes landlords and agents must ensure that they are providing the current version and keeping an eye on the updates part of the relevant MHCLG website to identify this. It is however, important to note that while the MHCLG website should provide details of updates this is not happening consistently. In this case whilst the changes were made in June and July respectively a note of them only appeared on the MHCLG website on 7 August 2019.
Hopefully the MHCLG will learn from this and ensure that changes are made less frequently and ensure the update part of the webpage is accurately reflecting changes made.