The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published new "how to" guides this week, aimed at improving the quality of accommodation in the private rented sector.  Landlords must remember to provide prospective new and renewal tenants with the new "how to rent" guide - see paragraph 3 below.   

In addition to the new guides, the Government has indicated that it intends to consult soon on ensuring longer and more secure tenancies in the private sector.  

The new guides include:

1. A "how to let" guide for private sector landlords, setting out their responsibilities and best practice.

2. A "how to lease" guide for leaseholders, again covering rights and responsibilities.  This guide also explains the involvement of a managing agent.

3. A "how to rent" guide for tenants , including what to look for when renting a home, living in a rented home, what should happen at the end of the tenancy, and how to deal with any problems.  All landlords must provide tenants with a copy of this document when they are entering into a new/renewal tenancy. 

4. A "how to rent a safe home" guide for tenants on how to rent a safe home, and which includes information on how to spot and report any problems.

These are the latest measures in the Government's bid to improve living standards in the private rented sector.