HOW TO RENT GUIDE: How To Rent Out Your House And The Benefits

how to rent guide

There are a set of rules and regulations, or policies, that landlords put in place while renting their apartments. Hence, a contract must be signed as evidence that you agree to the rules. This article will cover the how-to rent guide, your house, and getting a housing benefit for private rent. 

What exactly is the How to Rent guide?

The How to Rent Guide is an Internet government resource that provides current and potential tenants with information about the leasing procedure in England. It explains their rights and duties as tenants, as well as landlords’ legal obligations.

At the start of their lease. Every landlord must guarantee that their tenant(s) have received a copy of the How to Rent booklet.

Which edition of the How to Rent guide should I provide my tenants?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government. Has published the most recent version of the How to Rent guide on December 10, 2020.

The following are the major changes to 2020 How to Rent guide:

  • Fees for Tenants
  • More information on deposit caps and deposit protection. Including the maximum deposit sum of 5 weeks for annual rents under £50,000 and 6 weeks for those above.
  • New “authorized fees” section with a complete list of permitted and prohibited fees under the Tenant Fees Act.
  • The Tenant Fees Act specifies the limitations on default fees for late rent payments. Which are restricted at 3% above Bank of England base rates.
  • Additional sentence to highlight that landlords and rental agents cannot rely on Section 21 notice. That is if they have not refunded any unlawful fees or deposits.

Advice on Tenant Rights

Assist the tenant in determining whether the landlord is the freeholder, leaseholder, or owner of the property. As well as whether their mortgage lender (if they have one) has granted permission to let.

Details on two forms of right-to-rent checks: manual document-based checks and online checking through the Home Office.

Tenants should be advised to check with their landlord to see if they have signed a Code of Practice.

Purchase of contents insurance is recommended

Recommendation to install a smart meter

Emphasizing the right of tenants to report landlords who refuse to correct unsafe repairs to Trading Standards.

Explanation of a tenant’s right to sue their landlord if the property is unfit for human occupancy and the landlord refuses to make necessary repairs.

A new section has been added to explain Rent Repayment Orders.

Tenancy Contracts

More information on tenancy length. Including a 6-month minimum stay and the option of weekly or monthly ASTs, may be found here.

If a tenant is unsatisfied with their tenancy agreement. They should be advised that they can walk away from unfair terms without losing their holding deposit.

Emphasizing that failure to mention the need for repairs to landlords can result in a lease agreement violation.

Responsibilities of the Landlord

  • The additional language emphasizes the obligation of installing at least one smoke alarm on each storey.
  • Addition of a new section on selective licensing schemes.
  • Explanation of the landlord’s need to offer an address in England or Wales. So as to take written notice, rent is not legally due if the information is not provided.
  • Details on the April 2020 requirement for all private rental properties to have an energy performance rating of E or higher.
  • Additional information on the mandatory electrical inspections and EICRs. This will apply to new tenants beginning in July 2020 and to all existing leases beginning in April 2021.
  • Emphasizing the landlord’s need to arrange for five-yearly electrical safety tests
  • Particular emphasis is placed on the landlord’s or agent’s need to seek permission to enter the property. In addition to providing 24 hours’ notice.
  • Specifics on a landlord’s obligation to verify that all products, fixtures, and fittings are safe. And not subject to a product recall, as well as that any blinds do not have looped cords and are child-safe.

Terminating a Tenancy

Additional sentence on the landlord’s obligation to acquire a court order in order to legitimately remove a tenant from their property.

The correct period of notice, which varies depending on the kind of tenancy and grounds for eviction, is emphasized.

Tenants are advised to read and act on any notices delivered by their landlord as soon as possible, or to contact Shelter or Citizen’s Advice if they are unsure what to do.

Explanation of how tenants can terminate their tenancy and what to do if they want to vacate the property sooner than agreed.

Instructions for returning all key sets given

Can I send a copy of the How to Rent Guide to my tenant through email?

Although many individuals prefer a good old-fashioned printed copy of the How to Rent guide, it’s probably easier to email a digital copy to those who have completely embraced new technology. It’s also a good idea to provide them with a direct online connection so they can always view the most up-to-date edition.

Unfortunately, the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government will not be printing physical copies of the How to Rent pamphlet, so if a renter requests it, you will have to print it yourself.

Landlords already deal with a mountain of paperwork: tenancy agreements, gas safety certificates, electrical condition reports, and energy performance certificates, to name a few. However, just because the How to Rent guide is free to download doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.

What if I don’t distribute the How to Rent guide?

If you do not distribute the How to Rent pamphlet, you may find yourself in a lot of difficulties. If you haven’t presented your tenant with the How to Rent guide, you won’t be able to repossess your property (heaven forbid it gets to that level) under Section 21 Legislation for Landlords in England.

To avoid any potential problems, all landlords should provide their tenants with the most recent How to Rent guide at the start of any new tenancy. As an added precaution, have your tenant sign a release document stating that they have received an up-to-date version.

More revisions are likely in 2021, but the good news is that you are not required to provide a fresh copy of the document each time a new version is released during the tenancy.

The How to Rent guide also serves as a solid landlord’s checklist!

We are all aware that the obligation for landlords to furnish required information and accompanying legal documentation when renting out a home is a cumbersome business. So much so that some commentators believe there is a compelling case to be made for simplification by either merging housing legislation now or reviewing the Law Commission’s 2006 Report.

Who knows what will happen in 2022, however, the key about the here-and-now – whether you’re letting a house, apartment, or bedsit – is that everything must be in order. This includes the following:

  • Firstly, Ensure that you have adequate landlord’s insurance.
  • Secondly, Ensure that all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are operational.
  • Finally, Assuring that the property has a current gas safety certificate, EICR, and EPC.

What exactly is Housing Benefit for private rent?

Housing Benefit for private rent is money given to low-income households to assist them pay their rent.

How much money might I possibly get?

Housing Benefit for private rent is a benefit that is based on a person’s ability to pay. This means that the amount you can receive is determined by:

  • your financial savings
  • people you share your home with
  • how much you pay in rent
  • how many rooms your house has

if you get disability or caregiver benefits (for example, Carer’s Allowance, Attendance Allowance, or Personal Independence Payment).

If you receive the Guarantee Credit component of Pension Credit, you may be able to have your rent covered in full by Housing Benefit.

How will Housing Benefit for private rent assist me?

Rent might consume a significant portion of your monthly income, especially if you are a retiree striving to meet other living expenses. Housing Benefit may be able to assist you in meeting those costs and relieving some of your stress.

Is it possible for me to get Housing Benefit for private rent?

You may be eligible for Housing Benefit if you meet the following criteria:

  • Firstly, you have to pay rent.
  • Secondly, you have a low income or are receiving government assistance.
  • Thirdly, you have less than £16,000 in savings.
  • Finally, you have reached the State Pension age.

If you receive the Guarantee Credit component of Pension Credit, your income and savings are not considered, thus you may be able to have your rent covered in whole by Housing Benefit.

Moreover, if you own your house, you will not be eligible for Housing Benefit, but you may be able to get help with your mortgage interest through Pension Credit instead.

If you or your partner are under the age of the State Pension and do not already get Housing Benefit, you can apply for Universal Credit to help pay your rent instead.

How to get a Housing Benefit for private rent? 

The following are steps on how to get a housing benefit for a private rent

Step one

Determine who you need to contact in order to claim Housing benefits:

If you are not receiving any other benefits, you should apply for Housing Benefit from your local council. You must request a claim form, or some local governments allow you to apply online.

If you already receive Pension Credit, contact the Pension Service to claim Housing Benefit together with your Pension Credit claim.

Step two

If you need assistance with the claim forms, you can contact your local Age UK or phone Age UK Advice at 0800 169 65 65.

If you are not receiving any other benefits and wish to apply for Housing Benefit through your local council:

Step three

You must provide supporting evidence to back up your claims, such as proof of identification and proof of earnings and capital.

Step four

Keep track of your claim – ensure that the council has everything they require from you. Keep track of who you speak with and when.

Step five 

The council should contact you and inform you of their decision within 14 days. If it takes longer, writes to the housing department and complain.

What if my claim is denied?

If your application is denied, contact your local Age UK for assistance.

How to rent out your house

Below is a list of what I feel to be the most significant points/steps to consider as you rent out your house, in chronological order.

Are you allowed to rent out your house?

First and foremost, assess whether or not you have the legal authority to rent out your property. This question is most relevant to leaseholders (not freeholders).

#2. How much is to rent out a house?

Most people start with this — they figure out how much cheese their home can earn in rent. I don’t blame them, and I wouldn’t hold it against you if it was your first port of call!

But I don’t understand the purpose of getting enthusiastic about dollar signs when you might not even be legally allowed to rent out your property.

#3. Determine the costs to rent out your house.

Any experienced landlord will tell you that one of the most critical parts of being a successful landlord is cash flow! You’ll sink faster than a lead turd in the water if you don’t have a solid grip on your finances!

After you’ve computed your rental income, begin estimating your expenses to see if this venture is even financially viable:

#4. How about your mortgage (if you have one)?

Because it is assumed that you currently have a residential mortgage (having a BTL mortgage for a property that is currently your residential home would be insane), you must notify your lender that you intend to let your property. Most lenders will ask you to obtain ‘permission for lease’ or amend your policy entirely. Most lenders make switching rather simple.

Failure to notify your mortgage lender could result in a breach of the terms of your mortgage contract, which could result in fines, therefore it’s critical you communicate with them!

#5. Do you require a license to rent out your house?

Some local authorities need landlords to get a license under the Selective Licensing Scheme before they can rent out their property. Failure to obtain the license may result in heavy fines.

Check with your local government to see if you require one! If you do, it will cost you around £500 every 3-5 years, and you will also need to meet a few basic requirements in order to be awarded the license.

This is the section that most potential landlords are most concerned about; all of the safety and legal requirements!

I won’t lie: it may be overwhelming, and it doesn’t help that different UK countries (for example, England, Wales, and Scotland) have distinct rule books!

But, in reality, there aren’t that many standards you need to be aware of in order to be legally compliant to begin letting your house, and the majority of them are rather simple to meet! I’m not going to delve into the specifics because I’ve already produced a handy checklist of requirements for new tenancies (again, I recommend making the jump when you’ve reached the bottom of this page).

#7.  Preparing your house for rent

One of the most common mistakes new landlords do is overcomplicating their properties by cramming them full of furnishings and fancy decorations.

What you must understand is that you will be responsible for keeping (and replacing in cases of damage) every item that you offer with the property, thus the fewer items you provide, the less you are accountable for!

#8. locating tenants for house rent

Given that you’re currently an inexperienced and bad landlord, I won’t give you the advice that I would normally give to landlords with a couple of years experience, which is to ditch their local high-street agent and look into online letting agents in order to get your rental listed on Rightmove and self-manage the inquiries, because it’s a lot cheaper.


The How to Rent guide is an internet government resource that provides current and potential tenants with information about the leasing procedure in England

How to rent guide FAQ’s

Does a landlord have to provide a how do you Rent guide?

It details their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as the legal obligations of landlords.

When should I give my Rent guide?

The guide must be provided when a new tenancy or replacement tenancy is given to a tenant.

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The guide must be provided when a new tenancy or replacement tenancy is given to a tenant.

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