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Right to a rent book

This content applies to England

Rent books and when a landlord should provide a tenant with one.

It is good practice for all tenants and licensees to have a rent book as a record of rent paid. However, for those tenants paying rent weekly, it is a legal requirement for the landlord to provide a rent book, unless board forms a substantial part of the rent.[1]

The rent book, or similar document, must contain the name and address of the landlord, the rent payable and state the type of tenancy granted. Details of all the requirements for rent books can be found in three statutory instruments.[2]

If a landlord fails to provide a rent book, the tenant should notify the local authority's tenancy relations officer since it is a criminal offence for which a landlord can be fined.

If a tenant is not entitled to a rent book, it is advisable to ask the landlord to provide receipts or to accept payment by cheque; this will provide proof of payment in the event of a dispute over rent arrears.

[1] ss.4, 5 and 7 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985.

[2] Rent Book (Forms of Notice) Regulations 1982 SI 1982/1474, amended by SI 1988/2198 and SI 1990/1067.

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