15 Sep 23
Rental sector organisations have been given an indication by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that a new How To Rent guide will be issued in early October.
Private landlords MUST serve the latest version of the guide at the start of any new tenancy and on renewal if there has been an update to the contents of the guide. It forms part of the prescribed information landlords must issue, and if they do not, they lose the right to repossess using Section 21.
The latest update – likely on October 2 – will be the second update in 2023 and the revision next month will include reference to the controversial Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service, which replaces the Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes and allows tenants to access legal advice if they are at risk of losing their home.
The HLPAS offers early legal advice, free of charge, to anyone at risk of possession proceedings and loss of their home. Advice can be provided in relation to Housing, Debt and Welfare Benefits issues, and this assistance includes so-called ’In Court Duty’ on-the-day emergency advice and advocacy to anyone facing possession proceedings.
Under the new scheme, the Legal Aid Agency is extending court duty scheme work to include early legal advice on housing, welfare benefits and debt from the moment a landlord or lender issues a notice to repossess. This is non-means and non-merits tested.
A government statement says: “The service enables anyone at risk of losing their home or facing possession proceedings to get free legal advice, and representation in court, regardless of their financial circumstances.”
The government says new versions of the How to Rent guide will be available on the gov.uk website during the day on Monday October 2.
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