Next month the government is releasing an updated “How to Rent” guide.

This revised guide, coming on the heels of a previous update just seven months ago. It will be available on the website on Monday, 2nd October 2023.

Landlords and letting agents must provide the newest version of the “How to Rent” guide at the onset of any new tenancy or its renewal. It forms part of the prescribed information landlords must provide to tenants and non-compliance strips landlords of their right to use Section 21 for repossession.

This guide not only serves as an informational resource but also ensures that tenants are aware of the services and rights available to them.

The update gives information on the introduction of the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS). This service is set to replace the Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes (HCPDS).

The primary goal of the HLPAS is to provide tenants, at risk of losing their homes, access to free legal advice as soon as possession proceedings begin.

The service offers advise on a range of issues:

  • Repossession claims
  • Rent arrears
  • Issues with welfare benefits
  • Debt problems
  • Housing conditions.

Previously tenants could only receive legal support on the day of the hearing. Now, the Legal Aid Agency will extend its assistance from the moment a landlord or lender flags an intention to repossess. This service is available regardless of a tenant’s financial circumstances.