On 24 March 2023, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government released an updated version of their guide for tenants, How to rent: the checklist for renting in England (‘The 2023 Guide’).
The 2023 Guide is an online document providing advice to tenants on the property rental process in England and Wales. It details their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as the legal obligations of landlords. The key changes in the 2023 Guide are the following:
- Landlords must ensure that there is at least one smoke alarm on every floor used as living accommodation, and carbon monoxide alarms in all rooms that have a fixed combustion appliance (such as boilers).
- Landlords must also carry out right to rent checks on any prospective tenants either manually or via the use of approved identity verification technology, which has been provided within the latest guide, and is intended to ensure that the process for verifying any tenants right to rent is more efficient and secure.
- Landlords must now have all wiring within the property inspected by a qualified and competent individual and provide the local authority with a report of this inspection every 5 years, or sooner if the local authority deem appropriate.
- An obligation for landlords to consider reasonable adjustments to the property to assist any disabled tenants, although significant alterations may be refused by landlords if they are unreasonable, and landlords may request that the tenant pay for any alterations required.
Although the 2023 guide no longer refer specifically to ASTs, landlords must still ensure a copy of it is provided to their tenant(s) at the beginning of their tenancy.