How to Rent Guide: Updates and Changes 24 March 2023


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has recently updated the "How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England" guide on 24 March 2023. This guide is an essential resource for landlords and tenants, providing information on the rights, responsibilities, and regulations regarding renting a property in England. 

The Government published How to Rent guide must be given to assured shorthold tenants in England.

The latest version of the guide introduces several changes and additions that landlords and tenants should be aware of. This article will discuss these changes and their implications in detail. In addition, we will consider when this new How to Rent guide must be given.

When must a landlord give the updated guide?

It is advised that existing tenants are given a copy of the revised How to Rent guide PDF wherever possible, but it must be legally given in the following circumstances:

  • new tenancies granted must include the latest version
  • if there's a renewal tenancy and the tenant hasn't been given the latest version
  • if the tenancy becomes statutory periodic on or after the date of release (this doesn't apply to our customers using Tenancy Builder as those assured shorthold tenancies go contractual periodic).

What if I'm in the process of making an assured shorthold tenancy?

The Tenancy Builder has been updated to automatically include the latest version of the how to rent booklet.

For customers using the Tenancy Builder to create an assured shorthold tenancy, the following is advised:

  • If you're in the process of creating a new tenancy - when you save and build, the latest How to Rent guide 2023 will be inserted automatically
  • If you've sent the contract off for digital signing, but it's not been concluded, there's no need to cancel the document, but you should email all tenants the latest How to Rent guide.

Fundamental Changes in the Updated How to Rent Guide

Removal of Assured Shorthold Tenancies Section

The updated guide no longer includes a section dedicated to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs). This may indicate a shift in focus towards tenancies in general, but landlords and tenants should still be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding ASTs.

Right to Rent Checks and Identity Verification Technology (IVT)

The updated guide now includes the option to use Identity Verification Technology (IVT) for Right to Rent checks, streamlining the process for landlords and tenants. This allows for a more efficient and secure way of verifying the identity and immigration status of potential tenants.

New Sections on Property Modifications and Non-Resident Landlords

The updated guide now includes sections on making changes to a property (such as requesting permission for alterations) and the tax obligations of landlords living outside the UK. These additions provide helpful information for landlords and tenants when negotiating property modifications and understanding the tax implications of renting from a non-resident landlord.

Institution of Chartered Surveyors as a Reputable Agent

The guide lists the Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as a reputable agent, offering landlords and tenants a reliable source for professional property advice and services.

Updated Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

The new guide reflects the latest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, ensuring landlords and tenants know their responsibilities regarding these essential safety devices.

Flood Risk Assessment

A new section on checking the risk of flooding in your area has been added, highlighting the importance of understanding potential flood hazards and taking necessary precautions when renting a property.

Updated Terminology for Electrical Installation Reports

The guide now uses updated terminology for reports detailing the condition of a property's electrical installations, clarifying the requirements for landlords and tenants.

Considerations for Disabled Tenants

A new section has been added to help disabled tenants assess whether a property suits their needs, offering guidance on what to look for and what adjustments may be necessary.

Smart Meter Installation

The updated guide includes a new section on considering the installation of smart meters, encouraging energy efficiency and cost savings for both landlords and tenants.

Updated Landlord Responsibilities

The guide now includes updated wording for fitting smoke alarms and carrying out Right to Rent checks, as well as a new section on considering requests for reasonable adjustments from disabled tenants.

New Section on Tenant Eviction

A new section has been added to provide information on what happens if a tenant does not leave the property when required, offering guidance on the eviction process and the rights of both parties.

Updated Terminology

The updated guide replaces several abbreviations and terms with their full names (e.g., HMO to House of Multiple Occupation, EPC to Energy Performance Certificate, and local authorities to local council), providing a more precise understanding for landlords and tenants.


The updated "How to Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England" guide is an essential resource for landlords and tenants navigating the rental market in England. With the recent changes and additions, both parties must familiarise themselves with the latest information to ensure compliance with regulations and a smooth rental experience.

Download the updated guide at and stay informed on your rights and responsibilities as a landlord or tenant.

View Related Handbook Page

Prescribed Information (How to Rent Guide)

Not to be confused with tenancy deposit prescribed information, for all assured shorthold tenancies granted on or after 1 October 2015, including renewals, a landlord or landlord's agent must give the tenant the following information – the version of the document entitled “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England”, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that has effect for the time being.