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Legal information

Your landlord or agent must give you the government’s ‘How to Rent’ booklet when you move in.


The government’s How to rent guide serves as a helpful checklist for anyone searching for a house or flat to rent in England. It offers useful advice to guide you through every step of the letting process. It is regularly updated. You can access the latest versions online

Since October 2015, the law says that your landlord or agent must give you a copy of the booklet when starting or renewing your tenancy. 

If your landlord lives in the same flat or house as you, and shares a bathroom, kitchen or living room with you, then you are a lodger.  Lodgers have fewer rights than tenants, and the information on this page does not apply to you. 

Please visit the Shelter website for more information.

Get advice if you are not sure whether or not you are a lodger.  For example, you are not a lodger if:

  • you live with a “head tenant” who collects the rent; or
  • your landlord moved in after you first moved in; or
  • your landlord keeps a room for themselves but does not live there.

What if your landlord or agent does not give you the ‘How to Rent’ booklet?

If your landlord does not give you the latest copy of the booklet when your tenancy is started or renewed, they are not allowed to give you Notice Requiring Possession under section 21 Housing Act 1988. This means it is much harder for a landlord to evict you and you have in effect a much more secure tenancy. 

If you believe that your landlord did not give you the most up-to-date version of the booklet when you last signed a tenancy agreement, get advice from one of the agencies signed up to the Tower Hamlets Private Renters’ Charter.  

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