AST prescribed information – an update
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) have been in force since 1 October 2015.
Landlords/agents should by now be routinely in the practice of providing their assured shorthold tenants with an EPC (energy performance certificate) and gas safety certificate for the property which they occupy, as well as (in the private sector) the prescribed information regarding ASTs. This takes the form of the DCLG leaflet entitled, "How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England".
The How to Rent checklist was updated on 17 January 2018. It is important for landlords to be aware of this change, because a notice served under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 will only be valid if the most recent version of the checklist has been provide to the tenant prior to service.
The new version should be provided going forward and landlords/agents should check that the most recent version has been given to any existing tenants before service of a s21 notice.
The checklist should be provided to the tenant either in hard copy or, where the tenant has provided an email address where he/she is content to accept service of notices and other documents, by emailing a PDF of the guide. It should be noted that emailing a link is not sufficient to comply with the Regulations, as is made clear by a tweak to the wording in the most recent version of the checklist.