To ask Her Majesty's Government whether landlords are required to give tenants without fault the booklet How to Rent before seeking to evict them; and if so, whether they can do this at the same time as issuing a Form 6A notice seeking possession of a property let on an assured shorthold tenancy.
Under the Deregulation Act 2015, landlords cannot use the Section 21 possession procedure if they have not provided a copy of the publication “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” to the tenant. The restriction is lifted as soon as the publication is provided. However, the How to Rent guide should ideally be provided at the outset of the tenancy. Form 6A is the legally prescribed form for serving a notice requiring possession under the Section 21 possession procedure.
In respect of individual cases, it is for a court to decide whether the landlord had complied with the requirements of the Deregulation Act when they served a notice requiring possession using Form 6A, and therefore if that notice is valid. The landlord must provide evidence that they have given the tenant a valid copy of “How to rent: the checklist for renting in England” when they make a claim for possession in the county court.
This requirement applies to tenancies in England which commenced on or after 1 October 2015. It does not apply where a landlord is a private registered provider of social housing or where the tenant entered into occupation of the property under a previous tenancy and the landlord has already provided the tenant with an up-to-date version of the guidance.