The debt respite scheme came into effect in May this year and gives someone in problem debt the right to legal protections from their creditors.
There are two types of breathing space in the respite scheme:
- A ‘standard breathing space’ is available to anyone with problem debt.
- A ‘mental health crisis breathing space’ is available to someone who is receiving mental health crisis treatment.
Do you have Tenants asking you for Breathing Space?
It’s really important for your tenants to know that they can’t just say to landlords that they are giving themselves the ‘breathing space’ it can only be started through a registered debt adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (or an approved mental health professional, where seeking mental health crisis breathing space).
If you are told that a debt owed to you (rent arrears) is in a breathing space you must stop all action straight away related to that debt and apply the protections. These protections must stay in place until the breathing space ends.
You can however still contact the tenant about anything property related, such as inspections and repairs – but you must NOT discuss the rent arrears.
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