The How to Rent Guide is the prescribed information stated in the Deregulation Act 2015. This act, via subordinate regulations, required that the document "entitled ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’, as published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, that has effect for the time being" is given to the tenant before a section 21 notice can be served. This makes getting this right very important as failure to get it right could jeopardise possession claims.
The guide was updated without fuss or comment in January 2018. Another update was provided on the 26 June and a previous news item refers to that. However, the revised version had some concerns. Most particularly the name of the document got subtly changed and this raised concerns as to if the new guide, with a different name, matched the requirements under the Deregulations Act 2015. It introduced another confusion in that the file name of the PDF said it was the Jun18 version, the last edit date on the MHCLG web site stated 26 June 2018, though the bottom of page two of the PDF version of the guide said it was July 2018 (the HTML version now says updated 9 July).
This has created a great deal of confusion about which version should be issued in which situation. It should also be said that there are no clear answers till a court of record makes a decision on some of the points. For example, there is a potential that the 26th June version is considered not valid because of the name not matching the regulations (but we won't know till a court decides!). This could mean that for a tenancy starting the 30th June the Jan 2018 guide would have been the one that should have been served at the time. However, in the quote in the first paragraph you will see that the version for the guide to give is "that has effect for the time being". Now what is not clear is if this is the version that had effect when it should have been served or when it was actually served. Again a point without a court judgement to make it clear. Therefore for that tenancy starting 30th June (or, of course, for the statutory periodic tenancy arising after the fixed term), it is not clear if the guide that should have been give was the one from the 26 June (as it was valid), the one from Jan 2018 (as the June one was not valid and Jan 2018 was the last correct guide at the point the obligation to give it arose), or indeed the July 2018 edition as this will be the version that will the current at the point the guide is actually given.
All this only makes getting the tenant's consent to email the PDF even more important!!
Obviously users of Training for Professionals' model agreement have the problem for the new tenancy but they do not run statutory periodic so the problem is reduced.