TDS Charitable Foundation research showing that only 35% of tenants recall being given the How to Rent guide is informing the Government’s approach to reforming the private rented sector.
The How to Rent guide is a document issued by the Government which provides details of tenants and landlords rights and responsibilities. By law, it must be issued to tenants at the start of their tenancy. TDS Charitable Foundation’s continuous “Voice of the Tenant” survey has shown that confirmed receipt of this document is consistently low. In the 2022 report, only 35% of tenants said they have seen or been given the document. TDS has said that the Select Committee’s recommendation that the Government should update the How to Rent guide as a means of educating the sector on the new reforms is, therefore, unlikely to provide a satisfactory solution.
In their response to the House of Commons Select Committee’s report into reforming the Private Rented Sector, the Government cited the TDS Charitable Foundation’s statistics and discussed the importance of responding to different information-seeking needs and patterns. They acknowledged that the way in which people access information has been digitally transformed, and that different tenant groups may have different needs and preferences. They said they will continue to work with partners to improve their understanding of tenant information needs and are considering disseminating guidance through a broader range of channels. These are positive developments; improving tenant resources and landlord's understanding of their rights and obligations will be key to the success of the reforms.
Findings from the 2023 report of the TDS Charitable Foundation’s Voice of the Tenant survey can be accessed here.